Monday, October 20, 2014

Forever Student




Hi lovelies!

I have missed you dearly and hope your life has been fabulous since my last post. My design endeavors have been kicked up a few notches and I am beginning to feel like a forever student. There will always be something else to learn about designing, building collections, promotion and marketing, etc etc. And while my perfectionist ego would love to know everything at once before doing anything, I know that is not how life is. Therefore, I and my works will forever be a part of the creative and learning process. While this process can be tedious, it can also be a beautiful opportunity to grow and become better at my craft.

One such opportunity that allowed me to leap and learn was participating in a pattern design competition for an upcoming home furnishings company. The project entailed designing a six-piece collection with varying unique designs that fits the personality of the company's customer. There was a grand prize winner as well as other designers selected to join the initial design team. Unfortunately, I was not one of the lucky winners. Yet, I am so totally impressed with myself. 
 

Her Typical Day collection by Darnita L Howard


I am easing into my style and seeing what works and what doesn't. I am enjoying the research process and following all these tutorials and guides about designing and making patterns. It is so much fun. I realize that I can't get enough of patterns and that everywhere I go, I paying more attention to what others are wearing, how walls are covered, and seeing patterns in everything.  And that fuels my desire to design more and learn about shaping these inspirations into pattern form. It is okay to be a forever student. And I don't mind telling others to do the same. So, what are you a student of? Share in the comments section.

Until next time, have a beautifully designed day.

Darnita

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mission Complete! Now What?

Hi Lovelies,

It's chilly over here in Seattle and I need to wear warmer clothing ASAP. How is it going on your end? I hope swell. Anywho, I wrapped up Make It in Design Summer School. Yay for me! After six weeks of work, I can finally say MISSION COMPLETE. I had so much fun and connected with so many other talented designers. I can't wait to do some more learning. As promised, I have the delight of sharing the designs from my last briefs.



Third Brief for the Beginner Level: Jewels Theme

Mockup for Third Brief of Intermediate Level: Feathers Theme

Mockup for Third Brief of Advanced Level: Intricate Chaos Theme


Now that summer school is over, now what?! I mean I know the answer. I must continue forward. There is no turning back now. I told a group a few weeks ago, that I am going to put in my 10,000 hours so that I can master the craft of surface pattern design. Yep. I said that. And I am making that commitment. After using Gimp and Inkscape for years, I have been upgraded. My sweetheart gifted me with a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud as my birthday present. :-) Can I say, AWESOME! And while I have watched and read plenty of tutorials on Illustrator and Photoshop, it is nothing like actually doing the do. There is still much to learn and skills to acquire. No biggy.

As I venture into my 10,000 hours I shall take further inquiry into finding my style and brand identity. At times, I think I know what it is and at others I question what I'm all about. It's all good regardless. It's all celebrating what this beautiful life is offering in the moment. As my mantra goes: Life's a party. Be sure to celebrate. For each step I take, I am celebrating these milestones. Today, I had to sit back and think of how far I have come along this career journey. I know so much more than I did when a started. I am aware of what it really takes to operate a business. And I have beautiful connections to others doing the same thing. I am grateful. So, here's to taking steps and making the commitment. No more excuses to why I can't follow the course. I leave you with a quote from Molesey Crawford, Founder of the Queen Code, "Queen, it’s time to move beyond your excuses and your fears. Believe in your vision enough to take the first step." And so I shall.

Til next time, have a beautifully designed day.




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Creating Beyond Comfort

Hi lovelies,

I have been in a designing frenzy for the last few weeks with Make It in Design Summer School. We received our last briefs and all I can say is Say What?! Each brief regardless of level has been a challenge and taken me way beyond what I thought I was capable of creating. I mean seriously. When I began designing patterns, I was sticking to my handy dandy yet exquisite fractal creations. Yet, I haven't been eager to automatically include fractals into my works for summer school. I am looking at other options first. I guess you can call that growth. Now in the last stretch, I am being pushed even further and it's uncomfortable but it's also pretty darn cool. As I have been crafting ideas for the Beginner Level brief which is focused on jewels, I am starting from nothing but turning out some awesomeness. What it all boils down to is this: You never know what you can do until you do it. From a doubter of all doubters I proved myself wrong. While I am still learning so much and have a lot more to cover about surface design, I am proud of each step I make. I am happy to step and create beyond my comfortable medium or perspective. And just to show you what I'm talking about, here are snapshots of the patterns I've created thus far for MIID.



First Brief for the Beginner Level: Tropical Paradise Theme


First Brief for the Intermediate Level: Retro Geometrics Theme


First Brief for Advanced Level: Water Rays Theme


And yes my very first swimwear mockup. 


Second Brief for Beginner Level: Tribal Shapes Theme

Second Brief for the Intermediate Level: Animal Print Theme.
(I am not one that really knows about animal print. It's called Growth I tell you.)

Here is the animal print on a tote bag. Now available for purchase at my Society6 shop.


Second Brief for Advanced Level: Tribal Collage Theme. I did that! :-)


First ever mockup on boxes. Whoa!


That's it for now folks. I will post again with the last brief designs soon so stay tuned. Oh and I think you should also see the other great designs from MIID students. Go here for more goodness. Thanks for checking and seeing what I'm up to. I'm always looking to here how you are creating in the world. Feel free to share in the comments section. Take care and until next time, have a beautifully designed day.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Textures: Inspirations from the Yard

Today I am an unofficial dog sitter. And as such I must fulfill the duties to engage in playtime in the yard. While out I couldn't help but snap some shots of the amazing florals and textures. Nature is so inspiring.







Monday, August 4, 2014

Make It in Design Summer School and a Whole Heap of More



Hey Lovelies, 

It’s been a minute since I connected with you, so I wanted to touch bases and play a little catchup. Have You Loved Yourself Today wrapped up nicely and I am mightily blessed and grateful to have been given that opportunity to share love and receive it in the process. An entire month of loving on yourself goes by fast. You can’t beat that. Well, yes you can if you do it every day. It was synchronous again as I was pouring forth messages about self-love, I was receiving daily messages as well that advised me to nourish myself and pay attention to my wants. Universe, I am listening. I hear you loud and clear. I took an amazing trip to Leavenworth and Soap Lake in Washington but that gorgeous amazing experience will be saved for a different post. You gotta see the pics. But I digressed. 

Last week I did work that simply wasn't my cup of tea. That meant I had to kick the self-love and care into high gear in the form of sleep. And it was definitely needed. (Little confession here: I don’t like standing in place for eight hours without real social interaction. It is exhausting. Lesson learned.) Can I say I am grateful for a bed and blanket even in this summer heat? Have you been taking naps lately? If not, I highly recommend you schedule one ASAP. 

Anywho, after a week of doing non-creative work and almost going insane from the monotony, I am happy to be back in the studio creating. Designs are in full swing as the Make It in Design Summer School kicked off last week. I happened to mention the Make It in Design Summer School some time ago. If you happened to miss that post, you can learn more about the e-course over here. My wanna be over achiever self had the audacity to register for all levels of the course. What in the world was I thinking? After the initial shock of all that was required for each brief, I got my bearings in order and am now having fun like no one’s business. Party over here! Yay! Design is in my bones and I am happy to be learning from the course. I look forward to the process and the outcome. Stay tuned as I share my insights as I partake in the course. 

So for now, I bid you “Ahnyong” (Informal version of “Goodbye” in Korean). Until next time, have a beautifully designed day. 

 Take care,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Courage Warriors on the Road



Hi lovelies,

It is hot and sunny over here in the Pacific NW. I can't complain though. I need this sunshine in my life. I'm writing because I have an awesome project taking place over at Trevolta.com and I think the great people over here at At the Art of It deserves to know about it. My spouse and I have started a crowdfunding campaign called the Courage Warriors Project. We (mainly being scaredy cats) are stepping outside of our comfort zones and tackling long held fears. We have been on a courageous journey since we located this way from North Carolina. How did I get here without a place to call home, a job, family, and almost empty pockets? I think it took some courage. Wouldn't you agree? Now, we are ready to go abroad to South Korea. We are stepping into a world so different from our norm and hope to experience many adventures along the way. Our project needs backers and backers get to be a part of the journey as well. Though there are plenty of my perks, my fave is the choosing of our adventure. Yes, you get to decide what we do. I just say check out the project yourself and see how cool it is. Until next time, have a beautifully designed day.

Best,

Darnita

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day USA!




Have a fun 4th to everyone celebrating Independence Day in the United States. Enjoy great food, company, and catch sights of beautiful fireworks. Stay safe as well.  Until next time, have a beautifully designed day.

Best,


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Two Days and Counting!



Hey lovelies!

In just TWO freakin' days the Have You Loved Yourself Today? 31 Days of Loving Yourself More experience begins. I can't believe it. I'm just dang on happy to be sharing these love nuggets with you for an entire month. I simply say to expect to laugh, embrace, and dive deep. Oh my. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time. Fill in the form on the sidebar. Until next time, have a beautifully designed day.

Take care,

Friday, June 20, 2014

Knowing When to Fold: Closing Up Shop on RedBubble



Hi Lovelies!

I have been brewing with some life-changing decisions this year and I've come to the point where some things have to be released to welcome the new. I can certainly see this occurring physically, relationship-wise, mentally, and even when it comes to this career of mine. As my goals and vision are being reshaped to be in alignment with my values and priorities, I have to stop hanging on to things that have not been serving my highest. So, today I have to inform you that I am ending my time at Red Bubble. Since 2008, I have promoted and sold artwork there but it's not fitting with where I am today. I must also forewarn you that other changes are coming but have yet to be finalized. And that's okay. Sometimes you have to fold and walk away from the table. I can only know that as the vision becomes clearer, better things will be in store for all of us.  Don't you agree? So until next time, have a beautifully designed day.


Best,