Up until about 9 months ago, I’d never painted with watercolor before. In fact, I’d barely painted much at all in my life. Even though I went to college for graphic design and have been doing it as my full-time career for over 10 years, I never considered myself an “artist” and didn’t feel confident drawing, painting, sketching, etc.
I’ve also noticed the majority of people don’t consider themselves creative or artistic, whether or not they have a creative professional career. The truth is, every one of us has an innate creative side. Usually, we just don’t tap into it or think our art or creative pursuits isn’t worthy or beautiful. But as the famous saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” It is this quote that pushed me forward to pursue pattern-making.
I have always had a fascination with patterns and prints but was never fully aware of the surface design industry until the fall of 2016 when I tried to start making pattern greeting cards that I planned to sell on Etsy. I was drawn to various artists I found online and gravitated towards the ones that created modern and colorful watercolor patterns. I knew right there and then that I wanted to learn how to do the same.
After many hours of research about which paint sets, brushes and paper stock were good, I used my beloved Amazon Prime account and started purchasing. Within a week, I had all my materials and was ready to start. I was excited yet hesitant. I didn’t want to try it out and be disappointed that I had no talent. So after a while, I told myself, “You are just experimenting and it doesn’t have to perfect. You are a beginner after all. Just do it.” The picture below was my very first watercolor painting.
What was the first thing I painted? Nice and easy circles! Once I started, it was exciting to see how the paint moved through the water on the sheet. The cool thing about watercolor is the way you can manipulate the paint to create very interesting effects.
At this point, I still didn’t know what surface design was. It wasn’t until I made a mistake in estimating my Etsy revenue that I surprisingly came across the industry of surface design, thus changing the course of my business and life. Stay tuned for the next blog post where I continue to share my journey on how I became a surface designer.
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