My 23 year-old self began working in the fashion industry as a Design Assistant and was given the task of completing a CAD illustration project to present during a meeting with a major private label client. Specific projects like these are normally composed of 5-7 sketches in 5 different color-ways (keep in mind, that is a total of 25-35 digital flats that have to be completely rendered). What should have taken 45 minutes, no longer than an hour, resulted in me suffering for half of the day. Of course, the Senior Designer took a mental note and brought it to my attention.

Fortunately, she took me under her wings and gave me a full-on Illustration/Photoshop lesson: I learned shortcuts, techniques and methods to help adjust my speed and before you know it, I was quickly able to complete huge assignments in 20-35 minutes (big hip hooray!).

Tools, methods and consistently practicing will eventually lead to stronger computer skills and quick thinking solutions when Adobe or Excel decides to be your enemy for a couple of minutes (let's face it, computer programs WILL malfunction whether we are prepared or not).

Other than my Senior Designer's willingness to be my professor for an hour, there are a couple of sources I use for on-the-spot or after work hours when I'm dealing with technical issues:


I first heard about the website through a professor who was teaching an e-portfolio course at FIT. Lynda is a great learning platform where visitors have access to videos, on-the-spot experts and quizzes based upon a financial package you decide to invest in. It's convenient in the sense that the visitor can access the videos and quizzes from their desktop, tablet or mobile phone (on/offline) and it's perfect for the person who desires to learn many traits- you can take a course in coding, focus on photography or practice your Illustrator/Photoshop skills.

Financially, Lynda offers two packages: basic and premium. For $19.99, the 'basic plan' gives you access to all the videos for each course they provide whereas the 'premium plan' extends their offer by allowing you to take quizzes and view videos offline for $29.99. Either way, you can begin your free trial by clicking here.

When watching videos from the website, visions of the instructor's computer screen are more crisper, cleaner and enhanced. It makes it easier to follow and you do not have to constantly pause just to read a section of a tab. Instructors give suggestions and tips while explaining the process and the videos include pop ups of information from short cuts to definitions. 

This website works best for the designer that does everything: the blogger, website builder, film maker and illustrator. To learn more about Lynda, visit their website here.


I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and was captivated by a page a couple of my designer friends liked involving the scarf-based company known as Printed Village. The brand allows graphic artists/designers to submit illustrations of patterns based upon an inspiration for the current season and giving a lucky contestant the chance to win $500 (plus a 3% royalty) and have their creation sold at major stores including Anthropologie, Nordstrom & other boutiques.

With a overflow of submissions, the creators of Printed Village created a YouTube channel to publish videos on how to form repeat patterns and other cool tricks on Illustrator/Photoshop such as developing brushes or using various tools to design.

I have seen a couple of videos the company has recently published and their focus is definitely on perfecting your ability to repeat a pattern. Printed Village makes designing illustrations easy and understanding with its step-by-step process but one key factor that makes them different is that they inform the viewer on how to combine each Adobe program's capabilities to make the illustration process easier to create.

To watch more Youtube videos from Printed Village- click here.

If you're a designer who loves to learn, grow and become a better CAD artist, my suggestion would be to like Printed Village on Facebook and look out for their latest design contest. Win or lose, you'll have your work displayed on their page, check out patterns from other artists and develop the ability to have an eye for creating repeats- it is a very necessary skill to have as a fashion designer.


Two websites, plenty of opportunity to practice and perfect your Adobe skills.


Thanks & Best,