Tropical Fusion BlogHop 2014

The Surface Design Process explained in pictures:

  pantone color of the year 2014 radiant orchid 

Remember the year that Radiant Orchid was the color of the year? Well it inspired a textile design process from hand sketch to digital results. See photos of the entire process below. SCROLL NOW!

Hello and thank you for visiting, you landed on our blog hop. For those of you that do not know what a blog hop is, its a collaboration of bloggers (and designers in our case) that blog about the same topic and create a loop that you can follow. This blog hop is a group of 40 international designers and spread out over 4 days. You can follow along on our design and thought process  journey and see how the same color and inspiration will result in many completely different designs.

At the bottom of this post is the link to hop to the next designer's entry, or if you would like to start at the beginning of the blog hop you can click here and visit surface designer Mary Tanana's blog

Update as of July 2018 the loop is not longer functioning all the way around. BUT MARY TANANA has a list with all the blog links.


Continue Reading

How to trace an image in Illustrator or how to vectorize

after a long night of adobe illustrator for beginner online webinars, i am still inspired to share what we created working into the late night hours. the above image is an example of how adobe illustrator’s live trace or rather image trace function is quite powerful and creates great and very close to original image renderings as vectors. however the problem comes in when the original image is already pixelated and that the tracing results in color will try and imitate the look of the individual pixels and that it becomes a nightmare to handle as vectors. Continue reading “How to trace an image in Illustrator or how to vectorize”

Recommended Online Pattern (Surface) Design Classes – Free To Inexpensive

Updated this post on 8/8/2018 - New course information and Free Summary PDF Download/ Majo's class has been removed by her for now. But it's still a great read.

When I first wrote this blog post, I didn't have a public surface design course on my site nor did I have the resource vault filled with some of the resources mentioned on my blog. Enjoy!

  • Scroll down for visuals of the Adobe Max pattern people class that I was looking forward to taking a couple of weeks ago (or rather years ago by now). Thank you to everyone who suggested which designs to submit, Unfortunately the class was structured a lot different from what I thought and I did not get to use them. More about that below. 

If you have never heard of Adobe Max check out this handy summary of resources I collected there and why it is called the creativity conference along with some new technology - nerdy findings that I mention. It's in the vault. Sign up and grab the key by clicking on the image. I am overdue for writing a blog post on this. SO stay tuned, the summary is a guide that could help you convince your boss to pay to go and learn there, but the blog post would share more about all the fun I have at Adobe Max.

Creativity conference

But first, let me introduce you to a class that I am really looking forward to from a fellow surface design virtual friend of mine. Her name is Majo Bautista a Colombian fashion, textile & surface pattern designer. She has been such an excellent source of resources, advice, and inspiration in one of our online groups. So inspiring at times that I have been very curious about her design process, I believe that she will give so much information in this online course that I might sign up myself (Since Majo's course is not currently available I'll just show you some of her inspiring visuals and add one of my free YouTube tutorials below my recommended classes)

I always feel that even though I have been teaching Adobe Illustrator & Adobe Photoshop for years, it's important to occasionally peek into another's designer's workflow. There are so many tiny nuggets of valuable information that can be discovered when watching someone else being creative.

Surface design pattern online class

I loved Majo's course image. It shows her style really well and one can see clearly the type of patterns that she taught during the course.

Sketchbook exercise

In this photo Majo's shared how she uses her hand sketches to start her design process. 
As promised, here is a free video that you might want to watch. It's using the free templates that anyone can use from

On to Adobe Max's session that I attended YEARS ago. Here are some pictures with description of the class in 2013. Some might recall that I submitted some of my doodles to them to see them being put into repeats. I imagined that we would see a lot of examples of our designs being put into repeats, but this class was a lot more, like a pattern history and background information on pattern people than a tutorial based class.
These three pics are the three very clean designs that were made into a repeat.

surface design components, textile class 1

These are the 3 designs/ doodle from 3 different class participants that were being used.

textile class 2

This is the final "mash up" of the designs.

textile class

And look at it in color!

If you would like to stretch creatively in regards to creating textile - pattern - surface design art, also take a look at the online course that I created right here. The intro is a sample of one of the modules inside. 

online pattern class

Did you enjoy the video and images? Then let me know what you think in the comments below?

top new adobe creative tools for fashion designers

i am still at adobemax 2013 today, but here is a quick roundup on the top 4 creative tools that i am exited about for the apparel industry in regards to adobe programs and now hardware. please let me know what you think and share with me what you would like to see improved or what is your fav new feature? Continue reading “top new adobe creative tools for fashion designers”

Life long learning at Adobe MAX

Updated This Post On 8/8/2018 - Click here to see the visuals of the actual workshop that I attended and grab some goodies.

It's that time of the year again. I am going to Adobe Max next week ( that was in 2013). One of the courses that I am really looking forward to is called: " the power of pattern: how to create & communicate through patterns". The creators of patternpeople, which is a very inspiring and informative website, are offering this course. They asked us to send them 2 (maybe 3) black and white "seeds".  They are then going to show us how to make patterns with them.

Here is what their email to us said: " We're looking for simple doodles - from geometric shapes to squiggly lines" below you can see art that I am considering to use?  Which 2  should I submit?

which design seed for textile print design should i pick

creating seamless tiles in illustrator cs6 with polar grid tool and mandalas



from pizza slice to full mandala in minutes. here are some visuals of what was happening during our live session tonight. i just finished teaching the master textile design creativity track and couldn’t stop looking at this mandala and had to share.  Continue reading “creating seamless tiles in illustrator cs6 with polar grid tool and mandalas”

fashion illustration with watercolor online class


fashion illustration glitter thread crystals

2013 means more hands on creativity outside of the computer. to me anyways.  i have spent the last several years freelancing and teaching and editing.. like a lot… it’s time to bring color back onto this blog.. i am constantly surrounded by it and i am going to share it more

Fashion Croquis in water color

it had been quite a while since i used water color, thanks to katie rogers’ class over at paper fashion i finally picked up my brushes again and doodled my fashion illustration that is based on my inspiration ( pinterest). Continue reading “fashion illustration with watercolor online class”

2013 – Pantone color of the year – Emerald -17-5641


It’s official Pantone announced next year’s color of the year to be Emerald.


A cool hue for us to enjoy throughout all of 2013, from fashion designs to home ware and more. This year we enjoyed the warm Tangerine Tango color all over the place. Let’s see what you will design with this?

To learn more about this years color  you can visit Pantone’s  Color announcement by clicking here. There you can scroll to the bottom of the page and read more about several of the previous year’s colors. Enjoy!

Tie Dye in Photoshop?


Creating the next live online Textile Masterclass series is a lot of fun. Part of the first series is how to create tie dye print within Photoshop. Entirely digitally without getting your fingers dirty. There are several easy steps like using a gradient and then putting a pattern on top of it with a Layer blending mode. Continue reading “Tie Dye in Photoshop?”

Summer Workshops – Learn Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6


My June and July schedule for live classes is up and you can click here to see the details.

Pretty much I  have a set of beginners for Illustrator for fashion design and non fashion design and a beginners for Photoshop for fashion design and non fashion design.

Continue reading “Summer Workshops – Learn Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6”