I didn’t promise every post would be exciting right?

Learning how to use illustrator

I spent the day doing taxes. It wasn’t very creative but it was productive. I got up early and set right to work on it. I’d like to say my taxes aren’t really that difficult but there is this thing, the job that I trade hours for money (unlike my art career). That job makes an adventure out of tax time.

Both my husband and I work from home. We work with people with special needs, helping them find and access resources. At the end of the year we get a seperate W-2 for each person we work with. Between the 2 of us, that meant 54 W-2’s this year. Can you imaging logging 54 jobs into your computer tax program? Better than hand writing them I guess. Most of the year it’s a pretty good gig, we get to meet amazing people, we laugh a lot, we cry a bit and we may even get a chance to make a difference. But then comes tax time. Each of these 54 W-2’s came in those envelope things that you have to tear each side off to get to the document, not envelopes that you can just use an opener on. (whine whine, that’s 216 sides I had to tear off, just sayin’ – If I’m going to whine I want to do it properly.)

Good news for me though, I had set aside 2 weeks to focus on the taxes. Somehow, I pulled it off on the first Tuesday. I think it’s fair to say I’ve learned some organizational skills related to tax time over the years.

Now I’ve opened up some time to learn Adobe Illustrator! I spent 6 or 7 hours on this 56 minute class from Helen Bradley on Skillshare – Stylish Doodles. This is one of the little bits that come out of it. So much to learn, so much joy of discovery! ahh, happy place.

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Behind the Scenes

it was fairly easy to pattern bomb this photo but I did have to do some modifications to make it go over gutter pipe at the top, keep some perspective. again, thanks to Skillshare and Helen Bradley for this knowledge

I spent a ridiculous amount of time teaching my Photoshop program to save files of my patterns, in all the formats I need, with just the touch of a button. I also put together a filing system for my new designs on my computer to help streamline posting them out in the world. Lots of work creating automation and organization in the beginning will give me more time to make new patterns in the future. I’m feeling very smart right now. (Thanks Oksana)

Yesterdays work was not terribly picturesque so I thought I’d share a photo I created over the weekend where I put one of my patterns on the side of a building. Credit goes to Helen Bradley on Skillshare for teaching me how to do this. When you digitally put your patterns on something reasonable like wallpaper, pillows or notebooks it’s called a Mock Up. If you put it on something kind of absurd like a mountain, an elephant, or a building it’s called Pattern Bombing. You will be seeing lots more patterbombing! I did just google pattern bombing for that link and I think it might need a new name… any suggestions? or you think Pattern Bombing is ok even though it has a very unfun (my blog I can make up words if I want to) meaning as well.

This particular pattern bombing is not very pretty. It just shows I can do it. Isn’t that what the learning stage is all about?

I also found out I won a free years subscription to Skillshare! I am so excited! Oksancia.com held a contest on one of her Skillshare design classes and I was the lucky winner! Oksana and a few other skillshare teachers, who I will introduce over time, have been a huge help in my new journey and I’m looking forward to what else they have to teach me over on Skillshare.

That’s all for today. and that was NOT 15 minutes… I’ll get better at this :0)