Art by the Sea
New Creative Art Adventure

Announcing my 2022 New Creative Art Adventure!!

My New Creative Art Adventure is Licensing and Surface Pattern Design!

I am officially announcing my new creative art adventure!! I know you’ve been thinking “why haven’t I received a new blog post from Jackie lately or seen her on social media much?” If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, the time has come to let you in on a secret: I’m taking my art in a new direction!! Pattern Design!!

The last seven months have kept me busy! I’ve completed two 10-week online courses on licensing and pattern design, and now I’ve started a third online course about comprehensive business building for surface designers!! I couldn’t be more excited to share what I’ve been learning with all of you!! Thanks for tagging along! 

In this blog post I’ll be discussing what pattern design is, some basic terminology, and how I got started. I’ll also provide some helpful resources so you can continue learning about how I stumbled across this latest art adventure.

If you’re interested in knowing more about this amazing process of licensing, pattern design, and how I’m starting my pattern design business, this blog post is for you! I will be putting links to all the courses I’ve taken below. Please join me on my creative art adventure!

Licensing for Artists with Juliet Meeks

In my first course, “Licensing for Artists” with Juliet Meeks, I learned all about how to license my artwork, how to get licensing clients, and how to build and run a licensing business by pitching to clients, all about contracts, pricing my work, and so much more! Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions you have!

Juliet’s FIRST EVER Fall licensing course now available!

Other exciting news, for the first time, Juliet is offering her Licensing for Artists in the fall of 2022!! She usually only offers this course once a year in the spring, but due to popular demand, she has decided to offer it a second time this year!! If you’re interested in signing up for her wait list, her course opens Oct. 4th  Click the above link to find out more!! This was definitely a life changing course for me!!

In addition, if you’re not completely sure you are ready for the big leap into Juliet’s full course on licensing, but maybe want to know a bit more about the process and how it works, Juliet is also offering a FREE challenge course called “Get Ready to License” which starts September 28th through October 4th. Below are the details:

Get Ready to License Challenge: 5 Steps to Prep Your Art and Biz for Licensing

Starting September 28th 🎉 Register now for this FREE upcoming Get Ready to License Challenge: 5 Steps to Prep Your Art and Biz for Licensing!

In this five-day challenge and mini-course, the goal is to get you prepped and excited about the possibilities of art licensing for your business and art.

Not sure what licensing is or if it’s for you? Join this challenge to find out!

What you’ll get by joining for FREE:

💥 An actionable video lesson each day for 5 days
✍️ Worksheets for each lesson
👯‍♀️ Access to the Challenge Facebook Group to meet other students and share your progress
👩🏻‍🎨 Access to Live Calls/Q&As with Juliet each day of the Challenge!
🎨 Ask your questions live + learn about how you can join Juliet inside her larger course, Licensing for Artists (Opening October 4th)!

Topics covered:

  • ​​Art Licensing 101 – Let’s go over the basics!
  • ​The Tools + Tech You’ll Need – so you’re feeling prepped!
  • ​Assessing Your Portfolio – What’s working, what’s missing
  • ​Overview of Industry Niches – Where do you start?
  • ​Overcoming Mindset Blocks – So important!

    Save your spot HERE with Juliet!!

Click on the link above for more information!! This free course is what got me hooked on my creative art adventure in licensing and patter design!! I’m so glad I signed up for her licensing course!! Absolutely worth every penny!

Pattern Design Academy with Anne LaFollette

My second course, “The Pattern Design Academy” with Anne LaFollette, was a step-by-step online course and coaching program where I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator and turn my art and sketches into surface pattern designs.

Wait list for Anne’s training!

Currently enrolment for Anne’s Pattern Design Academy is closed, but you can definitely join her waitlist to receive information on her design academy and get notified when her next enrollment starts. BUT, she does have a new doodles coaching session starting next week!! See information below!!

From Doodles to Dollars® Coaching with Anne Starts Sept 20th!

Anne will be teaching LIVE each day at the same time: 1pm pacific time which is 4pm eastern time. 

The LIVE trainings take place in a pop up Facebook group so it will just be people like you, who actively enroll in the Coaching Week

The trainings will be recorded and available for playback until September 28th. 

Anne will cover:

  • sketching – what makes a good sketch to start with – what are some of the do’s and don’ts
  • importing – how do you bring your doodle or sketch into Adobe Illustrator?
  • image tracing – the first step in the process is turning your sketch into vector artwork – that’s the magic of Illustrator so that you can resize your work and not lose quality
  • color! You’ll learn how to add color in a variety of ways
  • pattern design – we’ll turn your colored sketch into a repeating pattern by following my proven “3 Golden Rules”
  • printing – you’ll be able to send your final design off to a printer to get wrapping paper made, or upload it to a print on demand company to have fabric and a myriad of other products made with YOUR design.

I know that sounds like a lot but Anne will take you by the hand and she’ll do it step by step together with you. 

What’s the catch? It costs $10 to participate. Just $10 dollars! Everything starts next Tuesday, September 20th.

Sign up HERE for Anne’s Doodle Coaching Course!! She’s awesome!

Intro to licensing and pattern design!

As an alumnus of both Juliet and Anne’s licensing and design courses, I can say that I highly recommend both of their courses. Plus, I am now an affiliate for Juliet, Anne, and The Print School. This means if you sign up for any of their courses, via the links I provide, I will get a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you in advance for supporting me and taking the opportunity to learn something new and exciting! 

The Print School with Longina Phillips Design

My third course, “Comprehensive Business Builder for Surface Designers” with The Print School, is a professional business training program taught through Longina Phillips Design, out of Sydney, Australia. This course is about the commercial side of surface print pattern design. Longina Phillips Design has been in the business for over 30 years, and they are sharing all their tricks of the trade! It’s super exciting! The Print School also offers a payment program for their Comprehensive Business Builder course as well!! Select the link above for more information!!

The Print School online training options

Below are a couple of training videos from The Print School on how to make a repeat pattern using photoshop. Since I am also an affiliate with The Print School, if you sign up for any of their courses, via the provided links, I will get a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you again in advance for supporting me and taking the opportunity to learn about pattern design! This has been my best creative art adventure yet!!

Create an Easy Repeating Pattern with Photoshop

Photoshop for Textile Design: Repeating Patterns

What is art licensing you ask?

Art licensing is when an artist signs a contract, also known as a licensing agreement, allowing a company or person to use their artwork for commercial purposes in exchange for a fee. If you Google ‘how to license your artwork’ or ‘what is art licensing?’ You’ll find all kinds of useful information. 

What is surface pattern design?

Surface pattern design, or often called pattern design, is the process of creating repeatable designs that can be used in a variety of ways. Pattern designs are found on so many things, more things than you might think. Look around your home, pattern designs can be found nearly everywhere!  Textiles and fabrics are most common — clothing, sheets, bedspreads, and towels as a few examples. They are also found on wallpaper, stationary, notebooks, journals, packaging, puzzles, and so much more. The possibilities are endless! The Print School also offers a great video description on what is surface pattern design.

Types of pattern design and their uses

There are three main types of pattern design: geometric, organic, and abstract. Geometric patterns are those that feature repeating shapes, like stripes or polka dots. Organic patterns are those that feature repeating organic shapes, like leaves or flowers. Abstract patterns are those that don’t feature any recognizable shapes, but instead rely on colors and textures to create their effect. Whatever the purpose, pattern design is all about creating visual interest through repetition. 

Basic terminology

When it comes to pattern design, there are a few key terms that you should know. First, the term “repeat” refers to the number of times a pattern repeats itself within a given space. For example, if a pattern has a repeat of 12″, that means it will repeat 12″ horizontally and 12″ vertically. 

“Surface pattern design” is a term you might hear used interchangeably with ‘pattern design’. This simply refers to the application of patterns to a two-dimensional surface. And finally, “repeating pattern” is a pattern that can be repeated infinitely in any direction. 

How to get started in pattern design

To get started in pattern design, you’ll need some basic supplies: a sketchbook, pencils, pens, and a good quality printer for printing your designs, and if your budget will allow, a scanner. Never fear, if you don’t have a scanner, you can use something as simple as your cellphone camera to take a photo of your artwork/sketches. See my beginning doodle image below — photo taken with my cellphone camera! The original doodle image/photo I brought into Adobe Illustrator and broken the elements out into vector files using Adobe Illustrator.

Making repeat patterns by hand is always a great inexpensive option, which goes to show you don’t need expensive software to make repeat patterns. See the attached YouTube video entitled Making a Repeat Pattern by Hand by pattern designer Lou Davis.

Pattern design software options

If you are handy with a computer, pattern design software programs like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or Inkscape can be fun. There are many different pattern design software options out there, but I prefer Adobe Illustrator and/or Photoshop as these are the software programs I know and use. Other less expensive design software options are also available, such as Procreate and Canva.  In addition, there is a great article from Fix The Photo called “The Best Pattern Making Software” and it reviews several other design software program options. Be sure to click on the links above to check out these options.

What is the difference between Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop?

Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based design software that allows me to make designs that can be printed in large format without losing any detail. 

Adobe Photoshop is a raster/pixel-based design software that keeps the texture of my water-colour or hand-painted silk artworks. But note, because Photoshop is a raster-based software, it is limited on the size you can expand your designs without distortion. 

There are pros and cons when using both products. Some find Photoshop easier to use, I think it really comes down to personal preference and how large you want to make your designs. 

What is the difference between Vector and Raster?

The difference between vector and raster boils down to resolution. Adobe explains the differences between raster and vector via clicking on the provided link, as they are the pros and can explain it much better than I can. 

What is a motif?

A motif is a small design element that can be used to create a pattern. Any simple sketch, drawing, or doodle can become a motif. 

Once you have your supplies and software, you’re ready to start creating! If you’re like me, you may have sketches in an old sketch book from years ago you can use!! If not, just start doodling!! You can start by creating a simple sketch or doodle, basically creating a motif you can use in this new world of pattern design.

Turning your motifs into vector or raster files

Once you have your motifs (sketches or doodles), you can begin playing with them in your preferred design software. I found it best to have several motifs so I can experiment with repeating and changing the scale of my motifs. The fun part is thinking about how to combine and arrange different motifs into interesting pattern designs. 

When I didn’t have immediate access to my scanner, I found it just as easy to take a photo of my motifs using my cellphone camera and then easily import the photo into Adobe Illustrator where I turned the image into vector file motifs. This can also be done in Adobe Photoshop but they will become raster file motifs instead. Being able to import a photo Illustrator and then being able to turn the photo into a usable vector file was the lightbulb coming on moment for me and I’ve never turned back! 

You can also scan your artwork if you have a scanner. Scanning allows you to keep as much detail as possible and still turn your sketches/artwork into usable motifs.

I find the whole pattern design process relaxing and exciting!! Arranging and rearranging motifs into different design combinations has endless possibilities. Once you have a surface pattern design you like, you can start adding color and other design elements. 

Tips for creating beautiful and effective pattern designs

Here are some tips for creating beautiful and effective patterns:

– Start with simple shapes and designs. You can always add complexity later.

– Use a limited color palette. Too many colors will make your pattern look busy and chaotic.

– Play with scale. Varying the size of the elements in your pattern can create interesting visual effects.

– Repeat, repeat, repeat. The key to a successful pattern is repetition. Keep your design simple enough that it’s easy to repeat.

Below is one of my final surface patter designs created from my original doodle drawing after I broke the elements out into vector files.

Creative Art Adventure
Final pattern design

Examples of pattern designs to inspire you

And finally, here are some examples of pattern designs to inspire you:

– Chevron patterns

– Floral patterns

– Polka dot patterns

– Geometric patterns

– Abstract patterns

With these tips and examples in mind, you’re ready to start designing your own patterns! Have fun and be creative! pattern design is a great way to add some personality to your home décor, clothing, or any other item you can think of. So get started today and see what you can create!

Designing patterns can be a fun and creative way to express yourself. I hope this blog post has given you some insight into the world of pattern design and how to get started. For more information on pattern design, be sure to check out the resources we’ve listed below. Happy patterning!

Additional online training options

There are so many training options on how to learn and use pattern design software. I found many free and relatively inexpensive videos on Skillshare, YouTube, and CreativeLive. Select the link below for one month free of Skillshare or click this link for 40% off of Skillshare!!

Learn with Emily Henderson, Kelis, Marques Brownlee, Jessica Kobeissi, and thousands of acclaimed creators. Start your free trial today!


Thank you for staying with me along this journey of self-discovery. I am still plugging away on this daring adventure!! If you are interested in following my future topics, please subscribe below and I will send you and email whenever I upload a new blog post. As always, I am interested in hearing your views, please post in the comments.

Jackie Weatherly-Cadzow


  • Hi Jackie.
    I’m “enjoying” your blog and getting to know you a little better. I feel I kinda lost our initial connection we had through SPIN FB after my allergic fiasco at SPIN 2012 when I faded from the group because of health issues.
    But reading your blogs reminds of how much we still have in common – in our need to redefine ourselves and our paths in a more positive way … our need to create in whatever form possible …
    Each of your quotes struck me viscerally- I need to go back and re-read.

    Wishing you the best, from a fellow Canadian (born & raised in Ottawa.

    • Hi Karin, thank you so much for your kind words. I understand the lost connection feeling, as I too am not on FB much anymore. I’m so glad you subscribed! I’ve always thought of you as a wonderful friend and blessed to have met you via SPIN. Thank you for keeping in touch all these years. Hugs from Nova Scotia, Jackie

  • Oh my gosh, you make we want to try some of this. Especially the doodling part (you should see my work notepads, LOL.)

    I love that you are always evolving. Best of Luck !

  • Congratulations on all your hard work! It will be exciting to watch you follow your new direction with your usual verve and spirit! Here’s to your upcoming creations!cheers!!!! 😀👏🙌👏

  • I can hear your excitement and enthusiasm in this blog. I look forward to seeing your new stuff. I love learning new things!


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