Watch All the Sessions from Our First Surface Design Symposium

Presented by Spoonflower and Craft Industry Alliance and featuring Keynote Speaker Bonnie Christine

Edited: Jun 30, 2023
A illustration in a sketchbook shows next to the final surface pattern design

Photo courtesy of panelist Amarilys Henderson

Curious how you can be a surface pattern designer? Want to learn more about the business side of this creative pursuit? Would you love to hear from pattern designers about how they found their own personal style or about their favorite design programs?

We partnered with the Craft Industry Alliance and invited some very talented surface designers, industry leaders and artists to join us for a full day dedicated to all-things surface design.

The virtual event on August 5, 2020 was a huge success and we are excited to be able to share the recordings of each session below. 

Keynote Speaker

Bonnie Christine headshot

Bonnie Christine

Bonnie Christine is a surface pattern designer, educator, and creative entrepreneur. In this session, learn how Bonnie transitioned from a dreamer to a doer, achieving her biggest dream along the way: becoming a surface pattern designer. Sharing her strategies for tackling goals, creating a signature style, and achieving financial stability as an artist, this is the perfect presentation for designers at all stages of their careers.

Artist Panels

Stand Out: How to Market Yourself and Your Work

Moderated by Theresa Rizzuto, Spoonflower’s Director of Social Media

Getting your artwork noticed is key to building a successful career as a surface pattern designer. It’s up to you to market your artwork, creating an audience for your work and showing potential new clients that there’s demand for what you have to offer.

In this session, you’ll hear from four artists who have experience marketing their work successfully. By the end of this 45-minute panel you’ll learn:

  • How to build an engaged following on Instagram
  • Why a newsletter list is important and how to gain new subscribers
  • How to get comfortable with self-promotion
  • Tips for leveraging your audience to create new opportunities

Hear four successful artists explain their marketing strategies and come away with actionable ideas for your own business.


Stand Out: How to Market Yourself and Your Work

Liz Kohler Brown

Liz is an artist, designer, and author. After earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from East Carolina University in 2013, she followed her passion of creating art and teaching classes around the world, online and in person.

Gia Graham

Gia is a designer, illustrator, lettering artist and Skillshare Top Teacher. Over her 20 year creative career, she has worked in corporate graphic design, run her own stationery business and now licenses her art to product-based businesses.

Amarilys Henderson

Amarilys brings the dynamic vibrancy of watercolor to everyday products. As a surface designer, Amarilys has had the pleasure of seeing her work on a variety of surfaces, from paper to porcelain …and now fabric!

Misha Zadeh

Misha is a Seattle-based creative entrepreneur. She has degrees in graphic design and visual art, and currently creates products on her own, and through licensors, in the housewares, textiles, and paper goods markets.

Licensing 101

Moderated by Abby Glassenberg, President, Craft Industry Alliance

Licensing can be a great option for growing your surface design business. When you license your artwork to another company, you retain the copyright and the ability to license it again to a company in a different industry. You also earn a percentage of wholesale sales and get paid quarterly. But how do you make it happen? And what do you need to look out for when signing a licensing deal?

In this panel discussion, you’ll learn from the experts. Three artists with years of licensing experience will cover topics including:

  • The key components of a strong portfolio
  • How to connect with companies
  • What the licensing process typically looks like
  • How licensing can fit into a surface design business

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear a broad range of experiences and ask your questions live!


Licensing 101

Jeanetta Gonzalez

Jeanetta is a Los-Angeles based designer and illustrator. Her multidisciplinary studio specializes in surface design, illustration, lettering and graphic design. Her uplifting artwork uses bold colors, patterns and textures.

Stacie Bloomfield

Stacie has been creating artwork for brands since 2009. Her illustration business, Gingiber, has products sold in over 800 stores and has licensing deals with major brands. She teaches creatives how to leverage their artwork into careers.

Annie Chen

Annie is the artist behind LEMONNI, an alter ego that represents her love for colours and patterns. Her style is often described as whimsical, playful, and reminiscent of the 60s. Annie is based in Vancouver, BC.


Trends, Color Palettes and Developing your Personal Style

Janine Vangool

Janine is the publisher, editor and designer at UPPERCASE where she publishes content inspired by design, typography, illustration and craft. She has also designed four collections with Windham Fabrics.

Lilla Rogers

Dubbed a “colourful, creative, juggernaut” by UPPERCASE Magazine, Lilla Rogers has been a respected pattern and illustration licensing agent, representing artists from around the world, for over 30 years.

Cat Coquillette

Cat Coquillette is an artist, entrepreneur, and educator. Her company CatCoq’s aesthetic is rooted in an appreciation for culture, travel and the outdoors. She also inspires her students to channel their natural curiosity and reach their full potential.

Jo Kalute

Jo is a Kenyan-born Australian print maker and multi-disciplinary creative. Her work is largely inspired by her African heritage and everyday living.

Design Classes

How to Create a Half Drop Seamless Repeat in Procreate

In this class we’ll be creating a half drop pattern in Procreate. You’ll learn about the benefits of half-drop repeat patterns and I’ll show you my step-by-step methods for making them using only Procreate.

We’ll talk about how to even start a project like this, I’ll share with you some of my illustration tips and tricks and ways to arrange everything and not get lost in the abundance of all the elements. Also, the pattern swatch that we’ll be creating is going to be editable, so we can make adjustments as we go and we’ll be able to recolor it once we finish.

Instructor: Di Ujdi

Di Ujdi is an illustrator and surface pattern designer living in Belgrade, Serbia. As an artist, Di Ujdi is known for stylized illustrations and bold floral patterns. She is proud to be a Skillshare top teacher.

Prepare with our Procreate 101 blog post!


How to Create a Seamless Repeat in Illustrator

Learn Surface Pattern Design and turn your hand-drawn doodles into repeating patterns in Adobe Illustrator CC.

Instructor: Esther Nariyoshi

Esther Nariyoshi is an Illustrator and Surface Designer based in Michigan. Her art is characterized as whimsical, modern, and elegant. Her artistic point-of-view is influenced by multiple vastly different cultures she has lived in.

Links and downloads for Esther’s class

The Spoonflower Seller Handbook

Do you sell your designs in the Spoonflower Marketplace or are thinking about joining our growing community of independent artists? In this series, learn how you can promote your work and stand out in a marketplace that’s growing by the minute.

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  • Such a cool panel you\’ve recorded there. Have to watch the rest tomorrow though, it is already midnight in Germany and work is calling tomorrow…

    Marie | September 7, 2021 at 5:57 pm
  • This is excellent information. Thank you Spoonflower for organizing this panel of talented artists!

    Tiana Harris | September 7, 2021 at 12:39 am
  • I too could not watch at the scheduled time. Where do I look for the recordings of the sessions?
    Thank you for hosting this information,

    Carole Lynne robb | August 6, 2021 at 9:28 pm
    • The recordings will be posted here by Wednesday of this week.

      Thank you,

      Amy | August 9, 2021 at 8:21 am
  • Where are the recordings for the sessions I signed up for?I was told they would be posted shortly after the symposium.

    Dawn Khoury | August 6, 2021 at 5:22 pm
    • The recordings will be posted here by Wednesday of this week.

      Thank you,

      Amy | August 9, 2021 at 8:21 am
  • Thank you for putting on this symposium. I attended all 5 sessions and they were wonderful! Thank you to all the speakers, the information you passed on is invaluable.

    Karen | August 5, 2021 at 10:28 pm
  • I was looking forward to all of these workshops, and signed up for all of them. I received links and put the dates in my calendar. I don’t understand why we registered when after 2 sessions I was unable to log in. I was told that the 3rd workshop was at capacity. I tried the keynote speaker’s session & was unable to get on. So I didn’t bother trying for the last one. I was truly bummed out about not being able to experience these live. Do you have any suggestions for us in any future events like this? How early should we log in?
    Thank goodness you will have these available on video. I do appreciate all of the efforts to present this symposium and your presenters, of those I saw, were top notch.

    Louise Bodenheimer | August 5, 2021 at 6:42 pm
    • Hi Louise, Thank you so much for your feedback. I’m not sure why you experienced the issue with the Zoom link, but I have passed this along to the team for future events.

      We will be posting the videos on this page at some point next week and are so glad we are able to provide this resource to artists!


      Spoonflower | August 6, 2021 at 10:14 am
  • Hello, I signed up for several but never received an email link- who do I contact? Thanks!

    Michele | August 5, 2021 at 11:05 am
    • Hi Michele, I would recommend checking your email account’s spam folder for the email link or trying to sign up again.
      We also will be posting the recordings on this page at some point next week.


      Amy | August 5, 2021 at 3:51 pm
  • I’m excited to attend today’s symposium when I can. Glad to know there will be recordings afterwards for anything I miss!

    Kristine | August 5, 2021 at 9:39 am
  • Is this online ? I don’t see what city this is in!?

    Jessica Johnson | August 5, 2021 at 9:23 am
    • Jessica, this event is 100% virtual. You can sign up for sessions on this page. We will also be updating this page next week with recordings for each session.

      Amy | August 5, 2021 at 3:52 pm
  • I signed up for licensing but I am unable to attend.

    Barbara L Dainoff | August 4, 2021 at 12:21 pm
  • How long will the recordings be available?

    Lorna Bennett | August 3, 2021 at 9:32 am
    • They will be available forever here on this page shortly after the event.


      Amy | August 3, 2021 at 10:16 am
  • Do I need to sign up
    to view the recordings?

    Ro Jones | August 3, 2021 at 7:53 am
    • The recordings will be added to this page shortly after the event. You do not need to sign up.


      Amy | August 3, 2021 at 8:44 am
  • Looking forward to it!

    Celina Baginski | August 2, 2021 at 6:23 pm
  • Will these be recorded and accessible at a later time? I have an already scheduled appointment and the session I want to see the most is at the same time. Thanks!

    Jackie L Anderson | August 2, 2021 at 3:01 pm
    • Hi Jackie, Thanks for your interest! These will be recorded and posted to this page shortly after the event.


      Amy | August 3, 2021 at 8:45 am
  • This page lists the time zone as CET (Central European Time) but the individual registration pages list the time as ET. (Eastern Time.)

    Carol Soderlund | July 16, 2021 at 12:21 pm
    • You can change the times on the registration page by clicking on the time zone (in blue)

      Kari | July 27, 2021 at 11:55 pm
    • Thanks for your interest in this event! This blog page has both CET and ET times listed. We are working to see if we can update the registration pages to also include CET, but in the meantime, you can use the schedule at the top of this page for the conversions.


      Amy | July 21, 2021 at 9:18 am
  • Super Epic opportunities, many heartfelt thanks to you all and for making this event possble!

    Paola Giulia De Giovanni | July 16, 2021 at 10:20 am
  • I am not available li e on this date but am looking forward to the recorded event

    Donna Dalrymple | July 16, 2021 at 10:18 am
  • Thank you so much for offering these Webinars!!! I LOVE YOU guys for doing this!!! I feel like a little fish just learning how to swim and I don\’t know which way to go!!! I look forward to everything!!!

    Holly Zeleny | July 13, 2021 at 8:34 pm
  • What a wonderful idea Spoonflower!! Thank you for arranging this event, I’m looking forward to the recorded sessions so I can take my time and absorb all of the lovely inspiration that is sure to flow!

    Cindy Shake | July 12, 2021 at 6:09 pm
  • Is there a way to sign up for all the live events in one place or do we need to click each individual link? Thanks!

    Kalli | July 8, 2021 at 5:51 pm
    • Hi Kalli! You have to sign up for each individual session you want to attend so you are sent the corresponding webinar link. There is not a way to sign up for all the live events at once.

      Take care,

      Amy | July 9, 2021 at 8:02 am
  • Will the recordings be available to everyone or just to those who signup?

    Kathy Howard | July 8, 2021 at 1:25 pm
    • Kathy, This page will be updated with the recordings for everyone to view after the event. You do not need to signup unless you plan to attend the live event.


      Amy | July 8, 2021 at 1:39 pm
      • Thank you!

        Kathy Howard | July 8, 2021 at 11:31 pm
  • What a great idea!

    Manon Jodoin | July 8, 2021 at 12:50 pm
  • Wow!
    Wonderful opportunities!
    This could literally be life changing!
    Thank you!

    Eejee | July 8, 2021 at 10:53 am