This week I started the Textile Design Master Class with Michelle Fifis of the Pattern Observer blog. Like her other classes, this one is also really well-organized and full of great information. It has a sort of individual coaching element, so I got a chance to bounce some ideas off of Michelle this week, and that was really helpful. If you're ever on the fence about taking a class with Michelle, I can highly recommend it!

I'm really enjoying getting to know my classmates (via Facebook) too. I think there are about twenty of us, from all over the world, all really enthusiastic about this art form and pursuing it in unique ways. It's so nice to have these forums for sharing in the learning/growing process, as it can be really easy to feel isolated when you're burning the midnight oil behind a computer screen, night after night, sometimes feeling good about what you're doing and sometimes not ...

This past week was a real struggle for me. I got a brief from an agent I'd contacted and struggled for days with how to deliver on the agent's requests without sacrificing my own aesthetic. There were moments when I just thought "forget it, I'll make what I want to make!", but not making good on the promise (to the agent and to myself) just didn't sit right. Plus, it doesn't seem wise to ignore an agent's direction, experience and insight into the market.

 

smushed

 

As we round out the week I'm happy with where I ended up (see above and below). I discovered a lot of new capabilities in Photoshop, giving me new ways to combine digital and painterly 'feels'. That's what has me interested these days. So at the end of the day, no matter what the agent's response is, I feel like I was able to take their request for some swimsuit concepts and create something with my own original stamp on it. And that was the challenge, as I saw it.

 

smushed2.1

 

By the way, there's a Beta version of Photoshop 6 out and you can download and test it for free. Yippee! On lynda.com, which is one of the other 'classrooms' I've been frequenting over the past months, they have a video to introduce you to the new features. I see a new oil paint filter, blur filters and stroke and fill capabilities for shape layers. Ooooh, sounds like good viewing to this Adobe-aholic!

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