Hi folks!

Pattern Camp is right around the corner -- June 6-7, 2015!

The classroom opened today, and the new Pattern Campers are heading in and taking a peek around before class begins in 11 days.... 

Once you register + log into the classroom, there are Illustrator and Photoshop primer videos to watch + practice along with, 4 video interviews to watch -- with Lisa Congdon, Sarah Watts, Carolyn Gavin, and Josephine Kimberling!), a private (amazing!!) Facebook group to join, and more.

Then class will begin promptly at 8am on Saturday June 6th, and you will be whisked off into pattern-obsession-land, where you will learn to create your own beautiful digital repeating patterns and never look back. :)

Full course details are over on the Pattern Camp website, if you'd like to check it out and see if it's for you.

There's still time to register if you'd like to join us!




After 3 months of waiting and keeping this a secret, I'm so thrilled to finally announce today that I have a brand new licensing agent: Jennifer Nelson of Jennifer Nelson Artists!

Jennifer and I serendipitously began chatting back in February. I wasn't looking for a licensing agent. She wasn't looking for any new artists for her brand new agency (yet). And yet, sometimes things are just meant to be! Jennifer and her 5 amazing artists kept popping up all over my Instagram and Facebook feeds. Her name came up in random conversations I was having with people. She started commenting on my blog posts and liking my Instagram photos. I started paying attention.

I was newly pregnant and started thinking "hmmmm, I wonder if now would be a good time to consider working with a licensing agent?" I've been happily running my own ship for years, doing everything myself, and I started to think that it might be sort-of awesome to have some help, since I have absolutely no idea what life with a baby will be like! So, one day after Jennifer left a comment on a blog post of mine, I decided to take a shot in the dark and email Jennifer to see if she might be looking for any new artists at any point (thinking I'd get some vague "thanks for your interest, I'm not really looking for anyone new right now" kind of answer).

Jennifer's almost-immediate answer: "When can we chat?"

I was shocked!

And then there was lots of excited and happy conversation back and forth, and I ultimately decided to jump on the Jennifer Nelson Artists ship. And I couldn't be more excited about it! I mean, look at this incredibly talented pool of artists I'm joining. What???! I'm still a little stunned! Here's the brand new Jessica Swift page on the website. Doesn't it look so pretty??!

This is Jennifer:


She is excited, kind, passionate about art + her artists, easy to talk to, encouraging, smart, and I am SO thrilled to have her as a new partner. And she's already sold and licensed some of my work before we even made this public announcement, which means we're off to a good start! 

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So, that's my second big secret for May 2015! 

It's been so hard to sit quietly these past few months, keeping secret the news about the baby growing in my belly or this exciting new partnership, and having these 2 big pieces of news out in the world now feels GREAT.

If you're interested in working together to get my work onto products that you or your company manufacture, Jennifer is the woman to talk to! You can contact her here and find out lots more about Jennifer and the agency on her website (plus, she'll put together a special gallery of my work for you, depending on what you're looking for -- I've got almost 900 pieces of artwork in the gallery! You can imagine how long that took me to get my jpegs together one by one.... oy!)

Here's a new piece I created recently that's in the gallery:


I think it would make a sweet journal cover, or a card, or something like that. Don't you?

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I'm excited to see what wonderful paths this new partnership makes possible in my career. My work and my life feel wide open in this brand new and unknown way right now, and it feels good and right. Baby Swift is kicking away in my belly at the moment, too, so I guess he approves as well. :)

I am so grateful to Jennifer for believing in and loving my artwork, and I'm ready to make some magic together! Bring it on, world!






Last Thursday I popped over to Chicago for a few days for some good ol' sister time. One of my sisters lives in Chicago, but she and her husband are moving to Denver in August, so this was my last chance to visit them while they're still there. Plus, my other 2 sisters were going, along with my niece, nephew, and brother-in-law, and we don't often get so many of us together at once! We were just missing my brother, who lives in LA and was moving into a new apartment with his girlfriend. The 5 of us haven't all been together in a few years now -- 5 siblings with busy schedules is a lot to coordinate! 4 seems to have been the best we've been able to do for a while.

My sister Britt is pregnant, too! She's on baby #3, so even though she's only 10 days ahead of me (isn't that crazy?), she looks more legitimately pregnant. I still sort-of just look chubby sometimes. Haha! My niece and nephew have named their new baby brother "Charlie Taco", which I think is THE cutest thing ever. I tried to get them to name my baby, too, but the best they could come up with was 'Crankenstein'. Ummm, I'll pass on that one!


I love Chicago! The weather was awesome, and we took my niece and nephew to Navy Pier to ride the ferris wheel and the carousel, which they loved.
Here we all are (minus the brothers-in-law):


LOTS of swinging of children happened:


This girl made us laugh so much:


She was SO BORED with the carousel. Her shirt said 'I'm an awesome mess', and when she got off the ride we heard her mom ask her "are you ok?" I get it, girlie -- it's not the most exciting ride in the world!

Have you ever been to David's Tea? Oh my gosh, a rainbow wall of tea obviously satisfied my color-loving heart big time:


I wish they had one in Portland!

On our last day, we went to a Cubs Game! I probably don't seem like the baseball game type, but I really love them actually. 
Here we are, soaking up the sun in the crowd:


Jack got a Cubs jersey to add to his growing jersey collection:


He is SO CUTE!

What happens after the kids go to bed?


Camera shenanigans, obviously.

I love my sisters (and my brother) so much and wish we all lived closer! It'll be nice when my sister Jill moves back to Denver, because then all 3 of them will be in Colorado. It seems like everyone is slowly making their way back to our beautiful home land.... who knows, maybe Ryan and I will end up back there one day, too. Time will tell!




Congratulations to Stacy Lynn Mullins and Jenn Taylor, the winners of the 2 free spots in the upcoming session of Pattern Camp!

The next session of my popular online pattern course, Pattern Camp, is starting in just a few weeks on June 6th. 
The classroom opens next week on Tuesday May 26th! 

This is going to be the last Pattern Camp session in 2015, because of my big announcement last week (Baby Swift is coming!). If you've been thinking you'd like to take the course, now's a great time to jump in and join us, because the next one won't come around until sometime in early 2016.

You can take the course over the weekend of June 6-7 (8am - 4pm PST both days) and learn how to create your own repeat patterns in a fast-paced, intensive way, OR you can take your time and work through the lessons at your own pace over the course of a month. Your choice! Both are super fun, and one way of doing the course is not better than the other. You'll also get to join the private Pattern Camp Facebook group, which is one of the highlights of the course for many people. truly, it's a spectacular group of creative people.

Sound like your kind of thang? Want more details about Pattern Camp? Click:



From a recent Pattern Camper:

"Jessica Swift's pattern class was fantastic. I wasn't able to do the class with the group because of deadlines and other obligations during the weekend class - but it worked out great to do this when I could fit it in. Of course I am just finishing up the day before it closes….thanks for putting a deadline on it - you are right if it was unlimited time it would have been very easy to keep thinking 'oh I'll do it tomorrow'!

I am an illustrator/designer and have been wanting to learn how to correctly put together more complicated patterns forever / I have read online how-to guides but just was never able to stay focused and retain the process. Your online classes were perfect - broken into little chunks so could be flexible of how many to do in a day. I also really appreciate the downloadable step by step pdfs. Truly you have created a great program that really takes into consideration many different learning styles. Thanks! So excited to start creating some pattern collection out of unused illustrations and sketchbook doodles." Heidi Schweigert

Hope to see you in class!



SURPRISE!

Guess what? Ryan and I are having a baby! I finally feel like it's ok to share the news.... I've been keeping it a secret since January! I'm 20 weeks along -- already half-way! Hard to believe. We found out that the baby is a boy (!!), and he's due September 28th. A Libra baby!

It's been such a strange few months... at first I was exhausted and didn't want to do anything except lay on the couch and watch tv and sleep. I had an aversion to vegetables and to cooking (which, if you know me at all, you know I am a vegetable LOVER, and I love to cook!). I had zero energy for making art. Also, Ryan and I spent the first 4 months of the year thinking we were moving to Los Angeles in June for an ICU medicine fellowship for Ryan's work, which added a whole layer of stress and worry.

In the last month or so I've started to feel like my old self, with more energy, no more weird food issues, and a growing belly (and other parts of me)! The body-becoming-bigger part has felt challenging -- I've become a runner in the past couple of years, and it's something I've grown to deeply love, cherish, and need (and my group of running friends is seriously the best!), and it's been hard to feel myself slowing down and not able to do what I could before in that regard. But it will all be worth it once our sweet baby arrives, right? I'm still running and working out, just slowly. ;)

Also, it turns out that we're not moving to LA. I know! It was a big deal decision that we made in early April, not an easy one -- but it feels right for our family. Ryan decided not to do the fellowship and to instead look for a job here in Portland as a hospitalist, and I'm thrilled to say that with hardly any effort at all on his part, he's gotten himself a wonderful job at a hospital close by, and he'll start over the summer! It's all working out. 

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So, that's why I've been a bit quiet on my blog and on social media recently! I've been growing a person. Crazy! That, and another secret reason.... which I'll reveal next Thursday! I know, I'm full of secrets. How mean! This one I've been keeping since February, so I'm itching to share the news on this one, too. So keep your eye out for another announcement on Thursday May 21st! It's another exciting one. 

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That's what's going on around here lately! Big stuff, big stuff.
xo
jess



Good morning! 

This week I'm giving away 2 FREE SPOTS in my upcoming Pattern Camp online course, June 6-7

To enter is share on social media about the upcoming session of Pattern Camp -- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest -- and include one of these images here and the hashtag ‪#‎patterncamp‬, so I can easily track and find your entry.

Here are some details about the course:

WHEN: JUNE 6-7, 2015. Registration is OPEN!

WHERE: Right here in a private classroom area of the Pattern Camp website.

COST: $239 USD

FOR MORE INFO + TO REGISTER: www.patterncamp.com

HOW IT WORKS: The course is taught online; lessons are video + written. The intensive portion of the course will run over the course of a 2-day weekend. The lessons will be released throughout the 2 days of the course, so everyone can work through the same material at the same time.
You'll be automatically entered to win when you share about the course, and the 2 winners will be chosen and announced on Monday May 18th.

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Good luck, and thanks for helping me spread the word about the course! :)



I'm working on some new patterns today and thought I'd share one of them with you today as we head into the weekend! This one is called 'night swim' -- I'm excited to develop a collection for it to belong to! I don't use a lot of this shade of blue, so that feels pretty fun, too -- working with different colors is pretty much my favorite thing.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!
xo



Hi guys! Just a quick reminder that you can get $30 off your registration for Pattern Camp through tonight at midnight PST when you use the code GETMETOPATTERNCAMP.

The regular price of $239 will be in effect beginning at midnight, so if you're thinking of joining in, making sure you sign up before the end of the day/night!

Also, I don't think I mentioned this before, but this is going to be the last session of Pattern Camp in 2015, so if you're hoping to learn from me how to create your own pattern designs before the end of the year, now is the time!

Remember, if the 2-day intensive weekend doesn't work with your schedule, you can work through the course at your own pace, too, and you won't miss a thing. (More details about the course and how it works here.)

And if you're ready:




Just think, you could be starting to create your own portfolio of stunning patterns before summer hits! :)
xo





Lately I've had the urge to paint a bit differently than I normally do. I'm not sure why, but painting on paper has been calling to me. I've also been working on hand-lettering lately, so that's making its way into my painting, too. It's fun to experiment! I'm trying to just let myself play and not worry about something being totally my style or not.... I mean, it's all coming out of my hand/heart/head, so it's my style in some sense, right? 

So yesterday I painted the above, just for fun, to see what came out. I'm realizing that the more I work with computer-generated color, the harder time I have working in real-life color....being able to infinitely edit and create what colors I want on the screen is so different than creating color palettes with paint! I think I'm a little bit rusty lately -- I haven't painted much this year so far. So I'm trying to be patient with myself about that, too! It's ok to be rusty. The key is to start, and then to just keep going. 

I wasn't totally happy with the colors in the painted version, so I brought it into my trusty Photoshop and doctored it up a little bit:


I think it's a little bit nicer that way. :)


These two pieces, above and below, are also on paper -- I think they might look nice framed in white frames, no? I'd like to create some pieces that are just about color and shape. Abstract. I think it might help me not overthink things. One of my painting professors in college told me once that the work I was creating in her class had no content and was too decorative (she was cranky!), and that comment has stuck with me for years, helping to shape the belief that whatever I'm creating is never good enough. But I've also grown a new belief over the years, that art is many different things, and decorative art also has a really important place in the world. Think about how dull our surroundings would be without decorative art all around us!

Sometimes I think my paintings don't have to have any deeper meaning than that they are a wonderful way for me to connect to myself, to get quiet and listen, to play with color, and to create. Creating, whatever it is that you're making, is like magic. Creating something from nothing. Is that not enough? It seems like it is to me! Sometimes my paintings do have deeper meanings than that, and that's great, too. But sometimes it can just be about the paint, and the feel of it, and the joy of putting color on a surface, smearing it around, and seeing what happens. It can be a spontaneous interaction with the present moment. I mean, isn't that really what we're all after anyway? Living in the present moment, not getting caught up in all the other stuff -- the worries, the doubts, the comparisons, the to-dos...


Anyway, those are my rambling thoughts for the morning! I'll share more of my explorations in paint as they happen. :)



Registration is officially OPEN for the upcoming June session of Pattern Camp!

First you've ever heard of Pattern Camp? Read all about the course here
(Here's how it works.)

Wondering if the course is for you? I can help you decide!

Also, as a thank you for being a reader of my blog, you can use the discount code GETMETOPATTERNCAMP to get $30 off your registration, today through Thursday May 7th. (Discount code expires at 11:59pm PST on May 7th).

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If you've been dreaming of learning to design digital repeat patterns, make your dreams come true this year. Jump in. Invest in the course and come play with me (and hundreds of other creatives)! You'll become an official Pattern Camper and will also get to join our private community of pattern-obsessed people. Sounds fun, right?

If you're ready to register or want to learn more about the course, go ahead and click here:



And if you have any questions at all, please send them my way. I'm here to help!
 
Hope to see you in class!
xo
jess




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