Indigo 2014, the creative textile and surface design show, is now live in Paris! This is what the past 6 weeks of my life have looked like in preparation. Creative chaos at its finest. Sketching, sketching and more sketching. Reviewing all my old notes for Make Art that Sells. Driving to the store to pick up more Sharpies! Dozens of children's motifs all waiting to be patterned. I am amazed at the amount that just didn't make the cut. They will all have their time though. No art work is ever wasted, it will always find its place somewhere. I completed 20 mini collections in total for Believe Creative Studio. It look me quite a few tries to start, but I finally fell into my groove and the style that is mine and a style that worked well with the Believe Creative Studio style. There were definitely moments. Many moments. Moments of doubt, insecurity, and creative exhaustion. The belief that I didn't have another creative drop left in me.That frantic moment of "I got nothing!" Those were the times the music got cranked and fun times were had playing in the snow. Anything to clear the mind. I have to admit that despite the highs and lows~ I loved every moment of it. I loved the challenge of following a brief. I loved stretching my imagination and trying to think like a child. [caption id="attachment_5235" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Still waiting for my Sharpie sponsorship....[/caption] As this was my first experience designing with a studio, with an end goal in mind, there were many lessons learned. A few of these I thought I would share with you. 1. Work around a theme and stick with it.Explore a subject and immerse yourself in it. I made the mistake of jumping around from brief to brief and had a few moments of confusion. 2. Finish one piece of work before you start another. This is a matter of personal preference of course, but I found I would sometimes get stuck and instead of working through it, I would just start fresh with a new pattern. As a result I have many pieces of unfinished work. I know that I can work through them, but I won't. I love a big, blank page of possibility. I like starting. 3. Turn off all social media. Learn what distracts you and get rid of it. Many people made comments about my lack of participation in my social media world this past month. (which also included blogging...sorry) I just found that at the end of the day I was mentally exhausted. Now, however I feel like I can whip off pattern after pattern. I have upped my pattern making stamina. 4.Explore your favourite kids store and see what they are doing. This definitely helped me with my playfulness and use of colour. It also helped me with the sizing of my motifs. Rosie also made a great suggestion - borrow a piece of children's clothing to give you a sense of sizing. Your motif has to read well small. 5. Stop in moments of frustration. Don't push yourself to create. Walk away. I found that once I cleared my mind and relaxed, inspiration came flowing back. 6. Play happy music. Invite young friends over to draw. I was lucky enough to get to spend an afternoon babysitting Thomas,a young friend of mine. He was very quick to give advice and show me how a dinosaur is really done. He was also a little put out that I didn't have one light sabre in my collection...or a narwhal (a what?). I would have liked to post his drawings, but the smarty pants took them with him after I threatened to use them (with commission of course:) One thing is for sure - designing for children makes you happy. I often caught myself with a smile on my face. Unfortunately, I cannot share any of the designs until after the show, they are top secret! A big thank you to Rosie and Vincent of Believe Creative Studio for all of their hard work ~ critiquing, organizing and for being supportive and enthusiastic. I would also like to thank all of the guest designers who were very quick to offer support and answer questions.It is always nice to meet others from all over the globe. I wish everyone of you the best of luck! Thanks for the fun!