A Thought or Two About Surface Pattern Design Courses

In the world of surface pattern design, where creativity meets business, the excitement of art licensing courses promising lucrative opportunities can be hard to resist. But among the hype and promises of substantial income, it's important to ask whether these claims are genuine or simply a marketing move.


Let's address the elephant in the room: many seasoned teachers in the industry do indeed showcase the potential for significant income through art licensing. And yes, I firmly believe it's entirely feasible. However, there's a crucial catch: it takes time and, most importantly, YOU have to put in the work. No one else is going to do it for you.


Courses, whether they're short classes or extensive programs, can be valuable tools for learning and exploring the possibilities in the field. They provide insights, techniques, and inspiration, but it's crucial to understand that they're not a silver bullet. You can invest in coaching, courses, or memberships, but at the end of the day, success depends on your willingness to roll up your sleeves and put in the work. And I'm telling you this as a designer who has taken many, many courses and also offers consulting and classes, so I can see both sides of the coin.


Creating artwork, establishing systems, pitching, marketing—it all requires dedication and effort. And while online education is fantastic, no course can guarantee overnight success. The journey to profitability is unique for each individual, and it's essential to acknowledge that. It's undeniably inspiring to see artists thriving in the industry, but it's crucial to understand that their success didn't happen overnight. It took time, dedication, and a willingness to persevere through challenges.


It's easy to fall into the trap of blaming online teachers or feeling bitter when success doesn't materialize as quickly as hoped. But the reality is that success in surface pattern design, like any creative endeavor, is a journey filled with ups and downs. Some courses may offer valuable insights and strategies, while others may not resonate as much. But can you - or should you - put all the responsibility for your career success on the back of one course, or one teacher and expect that they solve everything for you?


Yes, good courses exist, but not every course will be the right fit for everyone. My advice? Explore different teachers, methodologies, and approaches. Find what resonates with you and aligns with your goals. And above all, be prepared to put in the work.


So, while online courses can be a valuable resource, remember that they're just one piece of the puzzle. Ultimately, your success in surface pattern design hinges on your willingness to take action, hone your skills, and stay persistent on your journey.


Keep creating, keep learning, and keep pushing forward. The possibilities are endless when you're willing to put in the effort.

What do you think about this? Let me know in the comments!

Write a comment

Comments: 3
  • #1

    Whitney (Saturday, 02 March 2024 14:25)

    Those courses are great at many things. I would love to see the stats of people through the years and their income to how much they put into their business. A mentor that doesn’t run a class said “no class replaces hard work.” Some answers are great and can help, but the reality of the income has been hard to come to fruition in my peer group, and they are great artists. However, it’s coming. We hope. But classes can only do so much and are a little inflated about what will happen.

  • #2

    Amandine (Sunday, 03 March 2024 10:22)

    Definitely good to bring this up � Personally, I’ve never really gone to these courses thinking “that’s it, I’ll come out of this, earning the equivalent of a full time job”. I see through the marketing ploy and buy the course knowing full well that it’s up to me to take what I need from the course and apply its principles to my own circumstances. �

  • #3

    Roberta (Tuesday, 14 May 2024 15:37)

    Great reminder!