I'd been feeling nervous about the whole thing for days: Would my drawings be up to par? Would everyone else be graphic design geniuses? What if I discover that after spending so much money on this three-month course, I just don't have the skills or motivation to follow through with this? Basically I was trying to snuff out my potential awesomeness and excitement for the class, but off I went with my tummy in knots and a small batch of samples in my purse.
Well I absolutely love this class. It couldn't be more perfect for me. Seven of us sat around a low table listening to our instructor explain all the topics we will and could cover during our time together. Even though the name of the course is Greeting Card Design, we'll also learn about:
stationery design * party supplies * gift wrap/bags * stickers * housewares * apparel * collections * branching into books * press releases * creating a catalog * trade shows * street fairs * freelancing * licensing * copyrighting * market trends * pricing * production * and then some.
It might sound overwhelming, but for three hours I couldn't stop smiling and thinking about all the possibilities this road could lead to. I ate every idea up. Our instructor, Joyce Wan, actually took this very course six years ago and today sells her products all across the country and other parts of the world. She was so sweet and completely willing to help us by covering any topics we're interested in. Plus, Wanart, her stationery and gifts business, is so stinkin' cute, I can hardly stand it. And I admire her ambition: she went way past cards and now offers invitations, magnets, baby apparel, tote bags, prints and even released her first children's book based off one of her popular card lines!
It took a bit for everyone to finally feel brave enough to show and tell, but eventually we did and I was comforted by the fact that we each had such different styles and possible markets, you couldn't really compare one to the other. Still, it was inspiring to see how others approached their designs and what direction we each wanted to take (if we knew at all at this point). We're a pretty laid-back class so it was easy for me to speak up, ask plenty of questions and feel like I totally belonged in this class. But I'll admit, it was a big relief when I mustered up the guts to lay my note cards out on the table and then received some really good feedback. "Phew!" I thought. "I don't suck." Not only do I feel more confident about the style I'm developing, but also have a better idea about where I can go with it.
So pat on the back for me for jumping my first hurdle and actually taking a step towards a life-long dream. Now to get started on homework #1!