iPad apps for surface pattern design

You have the iPad. Now which apps should you use?

iPad apps for surface pattern design


Last week we took a close look at the iPad Pro, and used feedback from seven lovely designers to discuss the pros and cons of using one for your design work.

Today, Sarah Haffner and I highlight our designers’ favorite iPad apps and offer links to great resources for those of you who want to do your own research on this topic. Guys, we’ve included links to 19 articles in this post…it’s like we are serving up a super-sized blog post this week. Enjoy!




Designers recommendation: Adobe Draw

Adobe Draw is a favorite among illustrators. A big reason is because of the way it interacts with Adobe Illustrator and the ease with which you can transfer files over to your laptop. It has a clean interface and it’s pretty simple to get going with this app…great for newbie designers who want to jump right in.

Useful Articles:

Adobe Illustrator Draw Review by Matt Lawrence – This is the best review we could find of Adobe Draw. It gives a good overview of the pros and cons of the app.

Review Adobe Draw by Stayf Draws (Youtube video) – If you want a lot of detail, and specifics on exactly how the app works, check-out this video.

iPad Vector App Roundup by Brad Colbow (Youtube video) – I like this guy and how he presents his reviews. He is not a fan of Adobe Draw as you’ll hear in this video, but does offer some alternatives you may want to check-out. Continue reading “iPad apps for surface pattern design”

Should You Buy an iPad Pro?

Advice from Seven Designers. What they like. What they don’t like.

Should You Buy an iPad Pro?


Is it worth saving up money for an iPad Pro? Is it a game changing tool that will elevate your design work…or just a nice toy to have around to play with?

Today, Sarah Haffner (my partner in crime for this post) and I are excited to share with you what we learned after talking to seven surface designers who use the iPad Pro for their illustration and design work.

And next week? We’ll continue this iPad discussion by talking apps.

Enjoy…we hope you find this info helpful!



Drawing Motifs. There was a pretty clear split between designers who prefer to start their designs by marking on paper and designers who prefer to just jump right by doodling on the iPad. A lot of it seems to has to do with personal preference, habits and the designers unique approach to creating patterns.

“There is just a special kind of hand/eye/paper thing that happens that I don’t see on the iPad”. (Alana)

“My process actually differs quite a bit based on the type of artwork that I want to end up with.  Regardless, I always start with sketching either in my sketchbook or, if the type of pattern I’m creating demands it, in one of my iPad Pro apps.” (Jen) Continue reading “Should You Buy an iPad Pro?”

Selling on Etsy with Jane Bowns

 Tips and Juicy Details. Jane’s Journey Selling on Etsy.

 Selling on Etsy with Jane Bowns


Hi Guys! Today I’m excited to share with you the work of Jane Bowns. She’s an illustrator who is relatively new to the game and just recently launched an Etsy shop. In this interview you’ll hear how Jane got started and her tips for  setting-up an Etsy shop and promote products. 

Jane creates beautiful work…I should know, I have one of her adorable strawberry bags! Enjoy the interview!


Hi Jane! Please tell us a bit about your background as an artist and how you got into design.

I’m entirely self-taught, and learned to draw, screen print and sew the items I make through research, experimentation, passion and practice! I was into art while in school ( and my art teacher thought I had promise), but chose to pursue music instead. After studying music at college, I became a full-time guitar teacher. I love teaching guitar and perform locally in a band for fun.

I think drawing and painting are often linked with music in the general artistic sphere, and despite not studying art formally, I have always loved patterns, color and design. I probably inherited this from my Mum, who paints watercolors as a hobby.

As time has gone by, my interest in art, screen printing, sewing and design has increased. I taught myself how to screen print, as I love the colorful results of screen printing on fabric and cards, and just recently opened an Etsy shop to sell my wares. Continue reading “Selling on Etsy with Jane Bowns”

Part IV. How Vulnerable Should You be on Social Media?

I Embraced Vulnerability. And Started A Blog. My Story.

Part IV. How Vulnerable Should You be on Social Media

Welcome to the final part of a IV part series on vulnerability.

Through this series I’ve tried to share with you what vulnerability can mean to us artists as we struggle to define ourselves in the creative space and build small businesses that, let’s be real, are direct reflections of us and our hearts.

In part I of this series, Virginia (AKA The Happy Artisan) shared with us her concerns about diving into social media as someone aspiring to build a creative business.

In part II of this seriesMary Williams of Creating to Love shared with us what it is like as someone who jumped in and embraced vulnerability from the start.

In part III of this series, Lisa Hetrick of IndigoJade Creative and IndigoJade Art shared with us how she navigates social media as a business owner and creative who for years has helped small businesses tell their story.

And in this final part I share my story and how vulnerability led me to start this blog.

I hope you enjoy. Here’s to being vulnerable!


Okay guys, I’m finally doing it. I’m finally sitting down to write this blog post on vulnerability. I’m pushing that big old ego aside that has been telling me not to share, that has been dwelling in fear, and I’m diving in.

Before the Blog

I’ve never been a particularly outgoing person. As a child I adopted the approach to life that it was best to just blend in to the background…to not draw attention to myself. I learned to be a good listener versus a talker because that was safe. Continue reading “Part IV. How Vulnerable Should You be on Social Media?”

Life as a Freelance Designer with Michelle Parascandolo

Michelle Loves Being A Freelancer. Hear What It’s Like.

Life as a Freelance Designer with Michelle Parascandolo


Hi guys! Today I am excited to share with you the work of Michelle Parascandolo, a pattern designer and illustrator from New York City. I’ve followed Michelle on Instagram for a long time and love her illustrations and the colors she uses in her work. Her designs have such a wonderful boho feel. Today Michelle is going to share with us what it has been like to make a living as a freelance designer after working in-house as a graphic designer. Enjoy!

Hi Michelle! Please tell us a little bit about your background as an artist and how you got into surface pattern design.

I’ve always carried a pocket-sized note pad and pencil around with me everywhere. I like being able to jot down notes or quickly sketching out ideas on the spot. When I began thinking about college I knew without a doubt that I wanted to go into a creative field. I was interested in a lot of different areas of art and design, but wasn’t sure what to focus on. The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) offers a summer program for high school students, so I decided to enroll in classes with the hope that it would help me settle on a major. That’s where I discovered surface pattern design. I was immediately hooked! I ended up attending FIT for college and received a BFA with a major in Textile/Surface Design. Continue reading “Life as a Freelance Designer with Michelle Parascandolo”