WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING

There is big love happening for Pattern Camp! Here’s what a few Pattern Campers had to say:

Jessica Swift’s Pattern Camp is phenomenal. Her cleverly structured course, with its fun and breezy mix of text, image, video, social media interaction, builds beautifully towards those pivotal eureka moments that help you understand pattern building in Illustrator. But it’s the way it gives much more than that – that makes it phenomenal; Jessica has jam packed this course with extra insights, ideas, tips, tricks, inspirations for artwork, organisation – all given with warmth and generosity. Above all – she’s there to guide you, answering every question you ask, as quickly as she can. – Jo Cave

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Sigh. Pattern Camp is over. I looked forward to this event. I thought it would be fun. I thought I’d learn something(s). I thought it would help me as I step back into my old beloved career as a pattern/surface designer. I was wrong. IT WAS TERRIFIC. Not having much of an attention span, I was afraid I’d be bored, or get too antsy to stick with the entire class. WRONG, wrong, wrong. This class was so well taught, so smooth, so clear, so complete. It was full, full, full of information, and Jessica Swift was so patient and so generous. I seriously am sad that it’s over, but happy to have all the info available for another month, and a whole new group of friends to share with/ask questions of/etc… Really – this was one terrific weekend. Let’s do it again – in person next time!! – Marian Nixon

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Can I just say how much I love how much fun I am having? I’ve never drawn things before. Doodling shapes and lines, but never “things”. These challenges are pushing me to have fun looking around my environment, the same way I do for photography, quilting, ceramics, but with a different “lens” and then try and draw what my interpretation of what I am seeing. I spent hours last night in my kitchen trying to draw things. It was hysterical and super fun. I just got my Wacom and have yet to open it up (eeeeeks! – now I’m buying gadgets to go with this new obsession.) I’m putting together another half drop repeat and can’t wait to see how it comes out for this week’s challenge. Thank you, Jessica, for your belief in what is possible for those of us who think we “can’t” and for those of us who have “never” opened Photoshop or Illustrator or drawn, e.g. We all start somewhere. And where we end up is yet to be determined, but this is just another gentle reminder, that “anything is possible.” Ok, now onto choosing colors for my pattern!!! – Diane Sullivan

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I used to do textile design the old fashioned way, and stopped designing years ago because I thought of computer design as an impediment that I couldn’t overcome. You have opened doors and turned on the lights for me Jessica! In such a fun way!!! I can’t express enough how happy I am to be learning it now. – Katia Bulbenko

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Yahoo!! I know it may seem basic for some, but this is a huge step for me, my computer skills are just awful! I have found Pattern Camp so empowering in so many ways! I have done things on the computer that I thought I would NEVER be capable of doing!! Thank you Jessica Swift for opening up my world in so many ways, it’s just unbelievable!!! – Marianne Grobbelaar

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Pattern Camp with Jessica has helped me take my pattern making skills to the next level! I didn’t want to leave camp and the smores! ;) The step by step videos are put together so thoughtfully (even towards someone who has never tried their hand at Photoshop and/or Illustrator). As a freelance surface designer, Jessica’s pattern processes, attention to detail and personal guidance helped fit the pieces together for me that were missing… It was an amazing weekend! I’m so grateful…thanks again Jessica for sharing your time, talent and gift of pattern love.. #patterncampforever!!!! – Julia Pellizzari

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After I signed up for Pattern Camp, I questioned my decision to sign up. I am a total beginner in Illustrator and Pattern Design. I am just a little self taught mixed media artist wanting to learn more about design and pattern making. After the meet and greet before class I really got nervous! The class had a lot of experienced designers in it. Everyone was so nice and welcoming but I still wondered if I had gotten in over my head.

Once class started my nerves quickly went away. Jessica is such a great teacher! She made the class great for beginners to the experienced. Her teaching style is easy to follow and she covered things step by step. Jessica explains the steps while demonstrating each process. She is so generous with her knowledge and talent! After Day 1 I had made several patterns in Illustrator from my own doodles and I was thrilled and amazed that I had learned so much in just 1 day! After Day 2 I had mastered even more. Jessica was there holding all our hands and answering any questions we had. Jessica and everyone in class made this beginner feel right at home! This class opened up a whole new world and I’m so looking forward to seeing where it takes me. I highly recommend this class even if you are a beginner! – Cindy Gilstrap

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When Jessica first announced her Pattern Camp class I signed up right away. Her work has always been an inspiration to me and I just knew her course would be invaluable. I’ve been walking the Surtex show for the last four years and have always had this nagging feeling that I wanted to turn my drawings into patterns. But it always seemed intimidating and using Adobe Illustrator was my biggest hurdle.

Jessica broke the software down in a way that is manageable for beginners and challenging enough for someone who wants to take their patterns to the next level. Not only did she provide enough techniques, tips and tricks for a semester long course at an expensive art school (it was a marathon two days) but she was there every step of the way to help each camper trouble shoot. Everyone worked at their own pace and posted questions throughout the weekend. The lessons and videos are still available for those of us still working through each technique. The class was filled with a wonderful group of creative, supportive students and we cheered each other on throughout the weekend. Jessica is a truly generous caring instructor who’s passion for color and pattern is truly remarkable.

This class will definitely to help me take my illustrations in a whole new direction. Thank you Jessica for everything! You’ve changed my path as a creator in a profound way! – Aimee Sicuro

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I have been a children’s illustrator for years and always dreamed of someday trying my hand at creating patterns for fabrics, paper or other licensed products but I kept putting off that HUGE hurdle of learning how to create repeating patterns using my computer. When I saw that Jessica Swift was offering Pattern Camp, I knew I needed to sign up.

After a weekend class, I can now create patterns using Illustrator and Photoshop! Hooray!! Her teaching style is lovely. So easy to follow for beginners as well as to those who might just want to brush up on their skills or learn some great new tips. I would highly recommend this class! – Phyllis Harris

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I signed up for Pattern Camp on a whim because it sounded so interesting and different than my usual medium of painting. But then I worried that I was getting in over my head because I have no experience Illustrator or Photoshop. However, my fears were unfounded. because Jessica Swift is, not only an extremely talented artist, but also an outstanding teacher. She has an innate ability to break material down into digestible segments, each of which seamlessly builds on the previous one, making complex processes easy to learn. And her warmth and enthusiasm for the subject matter and her students shone through on the instructional videos, live Spreecasts, and the Facebook group.

Jessica led us through an immense amount of material in two days – far more than I expected for the price of the class – and it was suited for a range of experience levels from beginner to advanced. I was amazed at how much I learned in such a short period of time and how much fun I was having. Within a few hours, I was making patterns (!) and the two days flew by in what seemed like minutes.

An unexpected highlight of the class was the opportunity to connect with my fellow campers, a wonderful group of talented artists from around the world. They were all so supportive, helping and encouraging each other in real time during (and after) the class. I look forward to staying in touch with the group. And I look forward to adding pattern-making to the art I create.

If you have the opportunity to do Pattern Camp, I highly recommended it! – Tiffany Mura

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Mood boards, color palettes, live trace, straight repeat, half-drop, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop … Pattern Camp is an aspiring surface designer’s dream. Even though I have been creating patterns for about 8 years, I signed up for camp. There’s always more to learn in the world of pattern design.

Since my art is not vector based (Jessica will teach you what that means), Photoshop has been my software of choice for repeats. Jessica introduced me to a whole new pattern creation tool. During this intense (fun) two-day camp, I learned what Adobe Illustrator has to offer and will be able to incorporate many of these new techniques into my routine.

As most artists are, I am a visual learner. Pattern campers are able to watch Jessica’s computer screen as she demonstrates every technique. Even though repeat creation can be confusing and intimidating, her warm and comfortable teaching style makes it easy and understandable. (You even get glimpses of her sweet cat from time to time.) – Joy Hall

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Jessica Swift’s Pattern Camp was informative and full of step-by-step instructions for pattern making using the Adobe products. I was able to watch the videos and work through them as I watched. I was unable to be present for the live class, but happily spent the next week working through the modules. Her method of explaining was detailed yet interesting at the same time. I’ve tried pattern designing before by following online tutorials or reading books, but I never completely understood what I was doing. Jessica did a great job at explaining the ‘why’ of each step, so that it made sense and help me remember. She was great about answering questions in the Facebook group even after the live event was over. I’ve taken several e-courses, and I found this to be one of the best! – Pam Wingard

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I just wanted to say thank you for the great class. I loved the pace and your tutorials were thoughtful and thorough. 16 hours is a long time to sit at a computer, but the time flew by and I had fun!

After this weekend, I’m super excited about creative possibilities. I feel like new doors have opened for me artistically now that I have a better understanding about how to bring my paper & pencil drawings into photoshop & illustrator. Last night I was awake from 2 – 5:30 because I couldn’t stop thinking about ways to use patterns and things to try.

I’m so happy I signed up for this course. – April May