Yesterday was the first official day of Fall. Can you believe it?! Where did all that time (and all of the sunshine) go?!
That got me thinking...It has been quite some time since I have written a blog post. This past summer has been very busy for me, as I have been working on several different projects off and on and have been traveling quite a bit. It has been an exciting season full of inspiration, travel, lots of fun, new experiences, and also design deadlines!
Here's a look into what I've been up to during the last couple of months - plus, a peek at some fun things that will be coming soon!
As I write this post I am sitting at a local coffee shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, enjoying a delicious caffè latte and soaking in the smell of freshly ground beans and the culture of this unique Midwestern city. This trip to Milwaukee is one of 8 trips that I have made during the last 2 months. It has been a busy, but very fun, summer - one chock-full of traveling, road trips, delayed flights, family visits, new cities, unexpected adventures, unforgettable time spent with good friends, plus so much wonderful design inspiration!
New Glarus, WI - Detroit & Ann Arbor, MI - Sandusky, OH - Four Seasons, MO - Lexington, KY - St. Louis, MO - Atlanta, GA - Milwaukee, WI
I made myself a promise several years ago that every year I would travel to at least 1 place where I had never been before - even if that place was just a short road trip away. Traveling is a wonderful way for me to keep learning and having new experiences, plus it is an invaluable way for me to gather fresh inspiration for my designs!
I love to explore new cities and see how others across the country - and around the world - live and spend their days. I love to see different landscapes and see the buildings, monuments, and historical locations that shaped the culture of each city or town. I love discovering hidden gems that are often overlooked, as well as experiencing the "tourist traps" that have made each community famous.
My experience at each of these destinations has been as unique and varied as the locations themselves. From spending a quiet and relaxing weekend exploring nature with friends at a state campground in Wisconsin to riding extreme roller coasters at Ohio's Cedar Point to exploring the bustling city of Atlanta, I have seen a lot of beautiful and interesting things in such a short time! Believe me, I have countless pictures to prove it!
I love to use the images that I take while traveling as inspiration for new textile and surface pattern designs. Sometimes the most unexpected thing, such as a decorative street grate or a line of bourbon barrels waiting to be aged, will yield inspiration for wonderful artwork!
I also took part in a wonderful course this August that was run by Make It In Design and Patternbank called "Summer School". Hundreds of surface pattern designers from around the world participated in this year's program. The ability to interact with designers around the world was very helpful and inspiring. Plus, I made some new design friends and industry contacts during the process!
As part of the Summer School program, we were supplied with wonderful trend forecasting and color palette information by Patternbank, along with 2 inspirational briefs and gorgeous supplemental images from Make It In Design. We then used all of this material to create 2 trend-based surface pattern designs. The experience was very helpful and a lot of fun! I participated in the advanced track and the two trends that I designed for were "Modern Pop Art" and "Treasured Summer Botanicals". You can see the two designs that I created for these trends below.
After completing the Summer School program, I decided to apply to become a Patternbank designer and I was recently accepted! Currently, I am working on adding additional designs to my Patternbank designer page so that I can begin licensing some of my trend-based artwork to larger companies and clients through their website. I am very excited about this new opportunity and am looking forward to growing my surface pattern design portfolio through Patternbank!
Additionally, I recently participated in another creative activity through one of my favorite design sites, Make It In Design. In September, they hosted a social media challenge for surface pattern designers called "Patternbombing" that was so much fun to participate in!
During the challenge, participants were encouraged to "Patternbomb" the world by adding some of their fun and colorful pattern designs to photographs from their travels or everyday life. Designers from all over the world posted their edited images to their social media accounts and tagged them using #patternbombing for others to see. I had a lot of fun digitally adding a few of my surface pattern designs to several of my own images - including buildings, rivers and even a NASA space capsule. It was a really nice creative exercise to imagine what the world would look like if it was a little more colorful and patterned!
Finally, I am working on adding some exciting (and super cute!) new products to my Studio Schmidt Designs Etsy shop! After receiving feedback from several designers and customers that my playful and contemporary designs would also be great for childrenswear items, I have decided to add some handmade baby items to my shop that feature a few of my textile designs! I have been busy this summer sewing product samples and getting feedback from a few new moms on the products.
The new baby assortment in my Studio Schmidt Designs shop will include baby caps, receiving blankets, baby bibs, washcloths, and burp cloths. I plan to add additional items and new prints to the collection in the future! Each of these new baby items will be made out of super soft 100% organic cotton fabrics that are printed with eco-friendly and baby-friendly water-based dyes.
I am very proud to say that all of the fabrics used in our new baby collection are both knitted and printed in the USA! In this global economy, sourcing materials for my products that are made in the USA has been a challenge, but it is very important to me that all of the products in my own Etsy shop be American made. I feel proud knowing that my products help support local businesses and employees in the American textile industry, as well as the U.S. paper and printing industries. Additionally, I value the uniqueness of the handmade maker movement and am proud to say that all of my sewn products are stitched by me in my Chicago studio! Therefore, no two items will be exactly alike. By purchasing a Studio Schmidt Designs product, you can help support the Made in America movement as well!
These new baby items will be launching during the month of October, so stay tuned for more information! I will be posting updates through my Instagram account, Facebook page and email newsletter soon.
Hello there! I'm an Atlanta-based surface pattern designer, illustrator, and maker. I would describe myself as a color enthusiast, creative entrepreneur, baker, lover of life, and fan of all things festive! Traveling to new places - whether near or far - is one of my favorite things to do. Please join me as I explore life and embark on new creative adventures!