A New Language

So, I’m learning a different language, and that is pattern drafting on Adobe Illustrator. I’m taking a course that is pretty good. Exciting in places (the exciting parts are where I imagine myself making adorable outfits from my own patterns that end up becoming wildly popular and profitable, and using the profits to buy myself ridiculous amounts of unique and overpriced jewelry. Ahem! …And donating to charity). When I’m not doing the daydreaming, the course is a wee bit maddening. I hate watching someone click and click and move lines around a screen, saying things like “That doesn’t look quite right to me”, “Now it looks good!”, “No, I need to just move it up a little more. There now!”. This isn’t learning to paint happy little trees with Bob Ross. This is creating sewing patterns digitally. Black and white lines. With math.

Sometimes my mind starts to wander, and I realize I have no idea what the instructor been trying to teach me for the past ten minutes. I am learning a lot, and I sure wouldn’t do as good a job trying to teach an online video course on any subject, let along digital sewing pattern drafting, but still, the monotony is driving me crazy. What is also driving me crazy is that I sometimes have the feeling she is explaining a really simple process, but my mind just draws a great big blank. I can’t make it make sense in my head. There’s just a blank space where comprehension ought to be. No lightbulb turning on. Just a weird staticky noise.

I’m going to figure it out eventually. I suspect I’m going to come up with my own mumbo jumbo way of making patterns that produces pretty good results, but I won’t be able to tell anyone for the life of me how I achieved them. It reminds me of my daily torture sessions, a.k.a. “high school Algebra”. I could arrive at the correct answer, but couldn’t explain how I got there, and certainly couldn’t get there by using the sole teacher-approved formula. So, I’ll just chip away at learning pattern drafting and hope there isn’t a pop quiz with an “explain your steps” question at the end.


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