ABSPD Surface Pattern Blind Date


    We absolutely love to hear from our students and what great things they are up to and so we were thrilled to hear from these lovely students about their surface pattern ‘blind date’! Read on to find out all about this fun meet up, about the students themselves and some really great tips for you all!


    “After meeting on Module 1 of the ABSPD course, the support and camaraderie was so great amongst the students that a number of us wanted to meet. A few students were close enough to Glasgow to be able to meet there, and as a native of the city I was delighted. We agreed that the break between module 1 and module 2 would be a useful time to meet.

    We wanted to combine meeting with an opportunity to see some interesting surface pattern. We started our trip at the Timorous Beasties showroom, an essential trip for anyone interested in textile design and surface pattern visiting Glasgow, and home to the avant-garde Glaswegian textile designers. We then went to the Left Bank restaurant, which has some beautiful wall hangings, hand painted, and Timorous Beasties wallpaper. We finished our day with a visit to The Lighthouse, which is Scotland’s only Centre for Design and Architecture. There we were lucky enough to see an exhibition of artisan furniture with some contemporary surface design by the Glasgow based design studio Bespoke Atelier.

    The conversation throughout the day was effortless, and whilst we talked a lot about design, our career aspirations and what led us to start the course in the first place, we also just got to know one another a bit better. It went so well that we’ve tentatively agreed to meet once module 3 has finished to either visit the textile degree show at Glasgow School of Art of do some drawing together at the botanical gardens’.

    Tips from the students:

    “One of the most important aspects of the course for me has been the encouragement and motivation to work off the computer again. My work has developed with painting, collage, sewing and printmaking as a basis rather than drawing directly into Illustrator as I had been. The first two modules of the course helped to give me more confidence in my work and the focus to start developing a style and now, in Module 3, I really feel that I am gaining the knowledge to market and sell my designs. The support and feedback of the group has been vital on this journey and being able to meet face-to-face with fellow students Jane, Fiona and Rebecca was a fantastic opportunity to talk patterns all day and come away with new ideas and greater clarity.” Julie Anson

    “As a mature student I have found these courses very valuable. The weekly bonus technical workshops have been invaluable for learning Illustrator and Photoshop. There is a wealth of information on every aspect of surface pattern design and I would advise students to take their time and study everything that is sent through. For me joining in with the Facebook group has been an eye opener, all of the students who participate are very helpful and supportive towards each other, it’s fantastic, a whole new family. I personally have struggled with keeping up, but am happy with the knowledge that I have now got the information and can study at my own pace. I had a lovely day with Julie, Jane and Rebecca and am looking forward to meeting again. If you get the chance to meet up with fellow students I’d say go for it.” Fiona Ashford

    “I would advise other students to post work on Facebook – even if you are unsure or under confident. I found it really nerve wracking putting myself out there at the start of Module 1 – but I’m so glad I pushed myself and I’ve meet some wonderful people in the process.” Rebecca Fleming

    “My advice for new students is to work as hard as you can. The courses provide so much useful information that you’ll progress a lot over the six weeks if you put in the hours. Complete the briefs that you wouldn’t normally be drawn to, as this will push you creatively. Don’t be scared to participate fully in the Facebook group as this is also where you’ll learn, meet good friends and sometimes have a bit of a grumble and laugh about life.“ Jane Kirkpatrick

    About the students:

    Julie Anson


    As a mature student, I gained a First Class degree in Art and Psychology. Since working as a PA for The Jane Goodall Institute, I have been freelancing as a graphic designer/illustrator, working mostly on design for educational books. I had taken a textile design module at University and at the back of my mind felt this was where my heart lay. When I found the Make It in Design website and saw the ABSPD courses, I jumped at the opportunity!

    Social media links:


    Fiona Ashford


    I have a foundation degree in Textiles and Surface Pattern Design, and graduated from Newcastle College in 2013. I was looking for a way to improve my technical skills and understanding of how to get my work out into the world. That’s how I discovered ABSPD. I would like to license my designs and manufacture my own range. I am still trying to discover my style, as I enjoy using a few different mediums, including water colour, pen and ink, and stitch. I have produced some of my designs into silk scarves and linen cushions. I also create textile items which I produce under the label of ‘Mill Town Molly…from lovely old stuff’….using vintage and surplus fabrics combined with my own prints.

    Social media links:


    Rebecca Fleming



    I have a degree in Graphic Design from Falmouth University, Cornwall. As soon as I came across ABSPD, it was an easy choice to sign up for all 3 Modules! It was exactly what I was looking for- learning Surface Design with the freedom and ability to work from home, at my own pace.

    I wanted to learn the technical side of making repeat patterns and also learn about the business side of it all. I’m still fine-tuning my style and brand – Wolf & River, but I love combining organic shapes with abstract and geometric. I plan to convert my outdoor workshop into a screen-printing studio and start manufacturing my own products.

    Social Media Links:




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    Jane Kirkpatrick

    I have a degree in Fine Art Printmaking, graduating from Glasgow School of Art. A fabric screen printing day course led me to realise my passion for textiles and surface design. This led me to take modules 1-3 of ABSPD to enable me to build a more commercial portfolio whilst still retaining some of the more fine art aspects of my work. My style is still evolving but my work usually contains elements of the following: bold colour, mark making and abstract shapes and repeats. The following pattern was created on Module Two and is not only one of my favourites but also reflects my style at this time.

    Social Media Links:





    A huge thank you to Julie, Fiona, Rebecca and Jane for sharing their meet up with us!

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