Textile Design Lab

Five Days to a Better Business

In this five day mini-course we are going to cover ways to improve the organization of your business and enhance your productivity.


Most commercial artists or designers are not in it for the money. Let’s face it, there are other professions that can earn you a bigger payday and are less competitive. However, having a love for what we do does not mean that we shouldn’t aim to run the most profitable and efficient business possible. In this five day mini-course we are going to cover ways to improve the organization of your business and enhance your productivity. The end result will be having the insight and know-how to run a more profitable design business through gaining insight into some of my go-to tools and techniques, as well as those from other members of the Pattern Observer team.


Here’s our course schedule:


Lesson One: Getting Organized

Lesson Two: Staying Productive

Lesson Three: Efficient Communication

Lesson Four: Making the Most of Your Sketches

Lesson Five: Using Creative “Leftovers”


Five days to better business. That’s our goal!

Course Reviews

  1. Lauren says:

    Insightful Course
    Excellent guidance on running the business side of things efficiently as well as generating the most out of the creative sketch process and “leftovers” from a collection. Seeing the way others keep things organized and breaking down the creative process offers helpful insight.

  2. Great course!
    This course is just what I needed. So many tips that I can’t wait to adopt within my business.

  3. Frankie Zek says:

    you should take this class
    Loved how straightforward this course was. It has a lot of interesting tips on how to get organized and how to make the most out of your work and time.

  4. excellent!
    Its an awesome short course and save me a lot of time and sweat. Thanks for making this course. Organized and detailed. Just what I needed as a starter in the design field.

  5. Ana Alvarez says:

    Really useful.
    I’ll be more productive from now on, sure. Lessons about the most of sketches and leftovers are very helpfull, indeed.
    Thanks a lot, Michelle.

  6. Some good tips here
    I especially found the lesson on redesigning the same motif into different patterns for multiple clients useful. That’s a great way to get the most of your artwork, for sure. Plus, seeing how you use Photoshop (I’m a big Illustrator user) to create designs was insightful and provoked some inspiration.

  7. AFBrown says:

    This was an informative course that helps you think through creating processes that will help you serve clients well.

  8. Jacqueline says:

    Such a great little course
    Five days to a better business is quite a huge promise, but Michelle and her team share so much information and processes to achieve more, that they do live up to the promise. A great course for any designer!

  9. Lesson 4 rocks
    I agree with so many other students that lesson 4 is very informative and useful. It actually never occurred to me before that one might want to “squeeze” everything out of one sketch. This is quite novel, and I think I am going to make use of it, and learn how to appreciate my own work and time more. Thank you, Michelle!

  10. Lesson 4 is Fantastic
    I don’t want to give an overall star rating because I skimmed over the file organizing sections. I LOVED Lesson 4. It was so cool to actually see your process of working with single sketches to produce different pattern variations. I have SO MANY sketches that I’m going to use to create patterns and this lesson was so motivating to me. Thank you, Michelle!

  11. I especially loved Lesson 4 which got me the most excited to learn how to create more abstract patterns from leftover sketches. I do need to be more organized with all the files I’m accumulating and I will refer back to this class time and again.

  12. Heather Ota says:

    Five Days to a Better Busines
    This course is fabulous! Not only will you learn how to optimize your time and become more organized, you will also learn how to optimize your artwork and use everything you create which equates to more time spent creating!

  13. zoew says:

    This course was phenomenally helpful!
    This course holds so many tools to effective design practices. Day 4’s lesson on how to rework the same sketch has changed the way i’ll design forever. To be able to create so many different designs from one sketch was something I had never considered possible before. I actually ended up with 9 different designs from 1 sketch just from playing around. The quality of teaching is so high.

  14. Thanks for sharing
    Really helpful when you are just starting up your business or to get a better organization if you feel you’re not being as productive as you wished you were. I especially learned a lot of lesson 5. Thanks Michelle!

  15. TerryS says:

    Great Advice
    Knowing how you organize your workflow/product is really helpful! Since I am just starting, I wasn’t aware of all the steps I should keep track of. The systems shared in this course will surely help me be more productive and professional! 5 Days to a Better Business was well worth the time – thank you!

  16. Useful and interesting information
    Very helpful in organising workable desktop files. Also the section on creating three designs from one sketch in photoshop was a good starting point in the creative process of generating various designs from line artwork.

  17. Great mini-course
    Thank you for sharing the Team’s tips for organizing design files. I use a similar system but this encouraged me to take it more seriously and really guard my time. As a freelance graphic designer for 15 years, I have a pretty strong work ethic but I fell into the multi-tasking funnel and recently found myself not being very productive, even though I seemed to be working at the computer a lot. I am looking forward to trying ASANA to help make the most of each day. I also enjoyed watching Michelle work her magic to create three different patterns!

  18. Good information
    Very valuable course, great information on getting organized. I also really liked the section on working one sketch multiple ways. Highly recommend

  19. Useful information
    Thanks Michelle for the great tips on organising the files, managing time and productivity. It’s awesome to know that I can create three different concepts from the same sketch or illustration to develop multiple collections – lots of fun! I highly recommend this mini course to be productive in your business.

  20. Great mini course!
    I loved learning these techniques. Michelle is a fantastic teacher and breaks things down so easily to see what needs to be understood.

  21. Arwen says:

    Lots of Great Ideas!
    I thought this was a really helpful training that covered a wide variety of subjects to increase productivity. Thanks for introducing me to Asana – I love list making and this is a great way to keep track of everything.

  22. anna garriga says:

    Thanks Michelle!! Nice to see how to get the most of our sketches, useful information and very well explained.

  23. Susan Brand says:

    Lots of useful information in a short amount of time
    The title rings true. In five days, this course covered several ways to organize workflow and also to use “leftovers” from previous projects. Love the walk-through of using gone sketch to achieve 3 different directions.

  24. Vickie says:

    Loved the ideas presented on how to organize and the examples of how to use one sketch to make different prints.

  25. Loved it – especially seeing how Michelle turned out 3 amazing prints from a single drawing!

  26. great tips
    I’ve found this course very helpfull! It really changed my working method. For me the file organizing tips and also the asana app turned out to be a big time saver. As a result I have a better overview on everything which feels great and makes working more fun.
    Thank you everyone for this great class!

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