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Pattern Camp

Pattern Camp Levels I and II are online Skillshare courses which will teach you the technical and creative process behind designing repeating patterns. The courses available to anyone, anywhere in the world, anytime, for self-paced online study.

If you dream of learning how to create your own unique digital pattern designs but are unsure of where and how to begin, Pattern Camp is for you. The two courses will teach you the skills and give you the confidence to begin designing your own beautiful and original repeating patterns using Adobe Illustrator – even if you don’t consider yourself a “real artist”, even if you think you’re bad at drawing, and despite whatever other excuses might be holding you back. As you work through the lessons in this course you will fall deeper and deeper in love with the pattern design process; get ready for pattern design obsession!

Pattern Camp Level I is perfect for beginners to jump right in, even if you don’t have any experience with Illustrator. Experienced designers will also be at home in this course as we’ll cover a lot of different techniques and I’ll show you exactly how I create my own patterns. Pattern Camp Level II is for those who are comfortable with the foundational principles of pattern design taught in Level I and are ready to learn how to make more complex types of repeating patterns.

While a basic understanding of Illustrator is helpful, please don’t let being brand new to Illustrator stop you. I will walk you through the process step by step, from setting up your workspace in Illustrator all the way through creating your finished repeat. The videos are clear and detailed for beginners to easily follow along. You can learn how to use Illustrator AND how to design patterns at the same time – hello, multi-tasking! :)

Pattern design is incredibly useful to know how to do and has many practical applications – create a tiling background for your website or blog, design and print your own stationery, calendars, and other paper goods, upload your designs to Spoonflower and have fabric printed, and so much more. Limitless possibilities await you.


  • Use Illustrator – from setting up your workspace to specifics of how each tool works
  • Digitize hand-drawn artwork
  • Create artwork directly in Illustrator 2 ways – using the Pen Tool and using a Wacom tablet
  • Use the iPad Pro in your design process
  • Collect inspiration and use mood boards
  • Create your own color palettes
  • Easily edit colors using the Recolor Artwork Tool
  • Create a repeating pattern tile
  • Resize, export, and save your files


  • Create layers in your pattern designs – add complexity and visual interest!
  • Create textured backgrounds and texture within your motifs
  • Use the eraser tool in Illustrator to your advantage
  • Create and use grids to measure and create precise designs
  • Create diagonal repeats
  • Create both simple and complex half-drop repeats
  • Create a faux half-drop repeat
  • Lay out your repeats manually vs. using the Pattern tool (how and why)

At the end of Pattern Camp Level I you’ll have all the technical skills you need to create your own repeating patterns and to begin building your portfolio. At the end of Pattern Camp Level II you’ll have even more skills and know-how for creating visually interesting and engaging repeats! The obsession will have been planted; practice and play will help you grow the seeds and to see how they blossom in your creative life!

By enrolling in the courses you’ll also be invited to join our private Facebook group which is full of inspiration, support, creative camaraderie, and more.


  • Adobe Illustrator (a 7-day free trial is available here)
  • Sketchbook or loose paper
  • Black pen and pencil
  • Camera, smartphone, or scanner
  • Wacom tablet (optional)
  • iPad Pro (optional)