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Digital Pattern Design and Print:
Chelsea College of Art and Design

A wise man once said: “Learning is of two kinds: the one kind being the things we learned and knew, and the other being the training that taught us how to find out what we did not know.” I decided review this course based on the fact that I knew nothing about Adobe Illustrator, and for those of you who are super confident in Photoshop but fail miserably at Illustrator will know what I mean. It would also be great to combine Illustrator with Photoshop thus enhance my existing skills, whilst at the time and gaining insight into printing process of these digital designs onto commonly used silks and cotton fabrics.

As always the case when intermingling with a bunch of like-minded peers for the first time, there is always the buttock clenching excitement of expectation and surprise of introducing oneself. The course is led by the knowledgeable Kenny Taylor, ‘Digital Textiles Specialist Technician & Digital Designer’. Characters aside, once the course gets going it is skills-focused from the very outset.

Over five days, from 10:00 – 16:00, it gets pretty intensive, with guidance and practice using industry standard software, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. One will gain practical experience and confidence in exploring the endless possibilities of pattern designing that is used in the textile industry, or for personal enjoyment.

You’ll be able to create dynamic shapes and graphic patterns, or design new twists to established patterns.

I guess the most satisfying aspect, is the application of printing your design on silky-smooth lightweight cotton fabric (60gsm), about a metre long, on the final day. And since they are by designed by the sweat and blood of your own industry, they do feel more polished and luxurious than any paid for commercial brand.

The level of entry to the course is beginners and intermediate. Under Kenny’s easy-going style of tutelage, and handing over nuggets of killer information about this or that technique, he is supportive of individual needs and conscious of not alienating anyone or going over topics hastily. The morning re-caps of the previous day’s topics is like breakfast to the brain, ensuring things are sinking in mentally. As with all software training, there is ample time for trial and error whilst landing some pure shots of instinct with keyboard and mouse anytime you want.

All in all, the course structure and guidance has the ability to transform beginners to advance, and intermediates to experts.

Chelsea College of Art is a temple of learning, and with priest-like Kenny’s at the Alter, students can be certain to attain a sense of enlightenment, just as student’s said their goodbyes on the final day while swamping Kenny with tributes. 
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