Designing a pattern for a publication was one of my goals this year. I believe it is one of those steps that I have to take to see myself as a real patternist/designer. I have been watching "calls" for designs in publications for a few years now. Every time I would see one, I'd try to think of a unique idea, but then the old self doubting would take hold, and I wouldn't follow through. I mean, I'm not a "real" designer, I can't draw, I don't have good taste (this is always said in a Nina Garcia, of Project Runway and MarieClaire fame, voice inside my head)...the negativity goes on and on.
But this year I decided that I needed to take this business seriously if I wanted to really do more than recreational design and knitting. That meant making time, setting goals, and following through. It dawned on me that these were all skills I had acquired in my other career as a consultant, and in that role I was certainly no stranger to developing and sending proposals. And I realized that I could accept the fact that I wasn't going to win every one of those proposals - I had developed tough enough skin long ago to try to learn from the rejection, but not let one get me down so far that I couldn't write the next proposal.
It finally dawned on me that submitting design ideas to a publication was no different than submitting proposals in my "real" job. The same things are important - understanding what the "client" wants; meeting the design specs 100% (using and following each publications submission criteria and templates); tracking and meeting deadlines; and keeping enough in the pipeline that I'm not crushed when some are rejected. Past experiences often form the cornerstone on which we build new skills, but self-doubt can really weaken the foundation - if you let it.
I have been on a steep learning curve, but I am loving the process. Thank heavens for Ravelry, The KnitGrrl's Guide to Processional Knitwear Design (by Shannon Okey, Cooperative Press, Cleveland, Ohio, 2010 - www.knitgrrl.com) and the support of a great team at Knitcircus; everything has come together for my first published design. Here's a little sneak peak. I can't wait to show it to you next Thursday.
Bonus points to anyone who recognizes the stitch pattern from one of my scarf patterns. Hint