Textile Design Lab

Summer of Creativity

We’re heading “back to school” in this 6-week course!


This course begins on Monday July 11th, 2022. If you have not yet done so, please sign up here to ensure you receive the course emails.


Our Summer of Creativity course is one of our favorite annual events in the Lab! In past years we have covered a variety of topics from social media, to branding, to nurturing our creative spirit. We use this special time together to positively impact our creative lives and businesses, foster community here in the Lab, and have fun!!

For this year’s theme, we are heading “back to school” and will explore a new topic each week that relates surface pattern design to a different school subject like math, history, and science. And we’ll be doing so together, as a group-study, through a dedicated forum and live events.

The course will run for 6 weeks, from Monday July 11th-Friday August 19th, 2022. WGSN access is included as part of this class on a first-come first-served basis, with 290 spots available–so be sure to read our welcome email on July 11th and sign up early!


Our Schedule:

Each MONDAY we’ll announce our “class” for the week and a new video will be added to the Summer of Creativity course. These videos will introduce the subject as it relates to textile design, and a creative exercise or worksheet will be provided to help you connect to the subject and get started creating motifs and brainstorming pattern ideas. We will also be providing a short trend report, or what we’re calling a “study guide” on an inspiring trend that relates to our school subject for the week. A resource guide will be provided for further research and inspiration, including a Pinterest board and a list of books, websites, and inspiring artists currently relating to this field. Your assignment for the week is to begin designing a pattern based upon the trends in the study guide and using the creative work that you started on the worksheet. 

TUESDAY is a work day.

WEDNESDAY will be a work day, and during weeks 2 and 4 will include a live guest expert presentation at 1pm Eastern. We are so thrilled to welcome presenters Tracy Schifeling for Math week, and Kathryn Sanders of Western Sensibility for Science week!

THURSDAY: Work day and art critique. Please join us at 1pm Eastern for our weekly live art critique. This is a great time to get feedback on your work for the week.

FRIDAY: Community coloring hour. This is a time to come together as a group to chit-chat, reflect on the week, and continue working on your design. Depending on the week we may also work through a creative exercise together, watch a short video, or explore another trend that relates to this week’s school subject.


Our Topics Include:

Week 1: History – we’ll explore the origins of various pattern styles throughout history and across cultures. We’ll also look at the important topic of inspiration vs. appropriation and how to work with historical pattern references in an ethical way.

Week 2: Math – we’ll be explore geometry, the golden ratio, Turing patterns, and more. On Wednesday July 20th at 1pm Eastern, we will be hearing from Tracy Schifeling, a pattern designer and data scientist who will share her knowledge about the math behind repeating patterns.

Week 3: Language Arts – this week we’ll take a look at using text effectively in prints and graphics, creative typography, and textile design jargon. 

Week 4: Science – we’ll dive into topics including fiber composition, natural dyes, and the latest innovations in textile technology. Our guest presentation with Western Sensibility on Wednesday August 3rd at 1pm Eastern will focus on sustainability in the textile industry and eco-friendly printing practices.

Week 5: Electives – choose your own direction this week from a range of subjects including gym, performing arts, home economics, and more. 

Week 6: Study Hall – this week is all about wrapping up loose ends and polishing the work you have created in the course. You will have the option to either choose another elective subject or revisit your favorite week and develop a collection of patterns that builds on the first design you created.

Course Reviews

  1. Sandra says:

    Summer of Creativity
    Summer of Creativity is a treasure trove of techniques to take your designs to the next level. A valuable investment for your portfolio. From each interview, tutorial, and challenge I have added something new to my library of pattern making resources. Presented in easy to follow steps this is a course you really don’t want to miss out on!

  2. Best Course
    Thank you so much for an amazing Summer course. I can not say enough about what I’ve learned. I’ve been with TDL for a couple years and this was the perfect time for me to really sink my creative teeth into taking my designs to another level. Also after a decade of not doing fine art, this course really catapulted me back into pulling out my paint brushes, pastels, and paints. The textures courses were life changing and truely resonated with my personality and style. I look forward to more courses like this and I am so grateful to everyone at TDL for mentoring me and pushing me to new heights.

  3. Arwen says:

    Inspiring and helped get my creative kickstarted!
    I loved the variety we had during this course. I learned a lot from the tutorials and really enjoyed all the 1 hour challenges. Great!

  4. Natalie says:

    I love playing with textures. I mostly use Illustrator but this is great information to use in Photoshop to really enhance textured patterns. Thanks Chelsea!

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