Pro-Patterns: How to Build Scrapbook Patterns Like a Boss - Shannon McNab


How do the best digital designers create printed-patterned paper that flies off the digital shelves into hands of adoring scrapbookers? How do digital designers use Adobe Illustrator to build original vector art and transform it into patterns that turn heads? If you’re ready to know, you’ve come to the right place!


Pro-Patterns: How to Build Scrapbook Patterns Like a Boss with Shannon McNab will teach you the ins-and-outs of pattern design using Adobe Illustrator. From sketching on paper to building conversational patterns to finishing papers with the perfect twist of texture, Pro-Patterns is an investment into your future for digital pattern design.


Shannon is a professional surface designer with over 12 years of design industry experience and formal textile training and has focused the last 7 years on pattern design. She’s well known for her bold, yet playful pattern choices and complex repeats.


And with Shannon’s expert help, you’ll go from wondering how pattern design is created to building beautiful patterns yourself — like a Boss!


Workshop Topics

Week 1: Pattern Design Basics | Knowing where to start is always the key for great design, so you need to know what you’ll need for a successful pattern collection. Shannon will walk you through where to look for theme and color ideas, discuss the difference between conversational and coordinate patterns and why both are essential for great pattern collections, and provide some color tips for picking the perfect color palette.


Week 2: Drawing Pattern Motifs | Sketching can feel daunting, even for the most seasoned digital designer. Learn the tools of the trade, how to break down objects into simple shapes making them easier to draw, what settings are important when scanning your sketches, and some basic techniques for cleaning up scans quickly in Photoshop.


Week 3: Illustrator Basics | Get familiar with Illustrator by learning how to create multiple art boards in one file, using the layers and swatches palette to maximize your productivity, how to manipulate shapes easily with the transform and pathfinder tools, and the basics of using the pen tool.


Week 4: Patterns in Illustrator | Learn how to import and clean up your sketches in Illustrator, discover the basic method of creating a pattern repeat in Illustrator, and how to export a pattern tile to use it seamlessly in Photoshop.


Week 5: Creating Complex Patterns | Not all papers are simple dots and stripes, so Shannon walks through her method of creating a complex repeat pattern as well as a non-repeating pattern. Then you’ll get to create your own complex pattern using your own sketches.


Week 6: Making Patterned Paper | Create patterned paper in Photoshop using files you exported from Illustrator and learn how to build a full collection in a single file. Then guest speaker Nicole Seitler of Sugarplum Paperie will demonstrate how to add texture to your papers.


Week 7: Design Your Collection | With everything you’ve learned in the last 6 weeks, create a cohesive 8-pattern paper collection.


Week 8: Feedback | Finalize your designs and prep them for critique, then receive your own in-depth critique directly from Shannon.


Workshop Includes

  • Over 3.5 hours of high-quality video lessons
  • Beautiful full-color PDF lesson handouts
  • Exclusive access to Digital Creatives Clan, Shannon’s private Facebook group for designers
  • In-depth critique of your finished collection from Shannon
  • Online gallery for sharing your work



Workshop Details

Instructors Shannon McNab
Duration Self-Paced with Immediate Access
Skill Level Advanced
Price $150.00 | $75.00 Retirement Sale Ends November 20
Recommended Software Adobe Illustrator CS5+ and Adobe Photoshop CS5+

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Reviews what students said:

 I enrolled into Pro Patterns to further my design skills — being self taught means I KNOW there is so much more to this that I don’t know. Shannon, without spending hours on it, did a wonderful description of the tools we were using along with an example of how they were used. It was the perfect amount of info. She was friendly, professional and her video tutorials were wonderful! – Pro Patterns Student
 I am an aspiring designer who needs to learn the tricks of the trade. What I like most about Pro Patterns was the amount of content. I think it equipped me with all the basics to build my skills as a pattern designer. Shannon also checked the forum frequently and responded to questions quickly. – Pro Patterns Student
 I am trying to create kits of my own which I may or may not try selling. This class gave me the chance to see what works, and what doesn’t, when creating papers. I liked everything about it. The videos were very well done and informative. I learned a great deal about creating patterned papers; including what not to do! Shannon has a wonderful way of explaining things and just making the whole process a lot of fun. Definitely ready for the another class!



Want to See a Glimpse into Shannon’s Teaching Style?

We understand that this is an investment of both your time and money, so you may still be on the fence whether this class will work for you. To help make your decision a bit easier, here’s a recording of Shannon’s Decrease Your Design Time webinar from April 2016, so you can see her teaching style in action. This webinar takes you behind the scenes of Shannon’s impressive, personal workflow and includes a 3-page Keyboard Shortcut Reference Guide with Shannon’s favorite must-know Photoshop shortcuts for designers.


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Frequent Questions

Can I complete the workshop using only Photoshop?

Unfortunately, no. Although we do begin and end the process of designing patterns in Photoshop, the bulk of the class will be completed in Illustrator. If you have not yet purchased Illustrator, we recommend downloading a free-trial version of Adobe Illustrator CC.


What other tools besides the Adobe software do you recommend for this class?

Students need to have basic sketching tools (pencil, art eraser, paper, and a good drawing pen) as well as access to a flatbed scanner for this workshop. A lightbox is also recommended.


Will Pro-Patterns discuss kit making as a whole and focus on how to create your own elements as well?

Pro-Patterns is focused solely on creating patterned paper to use in your kits. For basic kit design, we suggest Traci Reed’s Design Star self-paced workshop.


The skill level says Advanced, will this class make sense to me as a beginner?

No. This class is intended for digital creatives who are already comfortable using Adobe Photoshop and have at least a very basic knowledge of the Adobe Illustrator interface. For a more basic Illustrator class, we recommend Danielle Young’s Pocket Pop: Adobe Illustrator Basics.


Do you demonstrate how to use the Pattern Generator in Adobe Illustrator CC?

No. This class focuses on understanding the fundamentals of building patterns from scratch and does not cover the robust Pattern Generator toll in Illustrator CC. Shannon recommends that you have a strong foundation in pattern design before working with the Pattern Generator.


Have additional questions? Visit our FAQ center for quick answers. Or contact us directly at the Student Support center. Please allow up to 24 hours for a response. 

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