Meet Cara Cummings

50k+ art prints education full-time creative immersion course 2020 intermediate user side hustle united states

 I had been a non-profit executive for many years, and had a side business as a painter, and occasionally taught painting and photography classes. In January of 2020 I decided to take my art business full time and part of that commitment was to invest in myself/business early on. The timing was both challenging and perfect in that it was hard to start a business, but a great time to dive deep into education.

I had a lot of experience as a botanical painter, and I wanted to do more with that skill. I thought there might be a place for my work on surfaces, so the immersion class seemed like a perfect place to explore that idea.

I was just starting my business and not making any money yet, so I had to really think about how I was going to invest the money I had saved in order to start. 

As someone who has spent a lot of time in school, and taken a lot of classes, I can say that Immersion not only offered an incredible amount of really good content, but it was also taught so well! I went into Immersion thinking I knew Illustrator pretty well, but once I got going I let go of all of my bad habits and learned SO much. In the matter of two months I had acquired a new, marketable skill, and all for a very small investment. 

 What I love the most, is that when I make art, I think about it from several perspectives. I know now that I can take one idea and do so many different things with it. I did not know that I would ever like to vectorize my art, but with the right approach (and mindset), I can use my fine art skills and make completely new things that are beautiful in a completely different way than what I used to create.

I have been making my art into cards and other products for years, but since taking immersion, I have been able to take my products to a whole new level – and I am just getting started. Being able to hop into Illustrator and know how to make the things that are in my mind is so freeing. I am now using the energy that I used to waste on anxiety to create new art.

I also teach botanical painting, and with what I learned in Immersion, I now have a new perspective on art-making, which allows me to offer more to my students in terms of how they approach, and directions they can go with their work.

My confidence has definitely increased since being in Bonnie's courses, and I am following through on things more than ever --Including submitting to an open call in Uppercase Magazine, where I was featured in the January-March 2022 issue!

 The Immersion course is an amazing way to learn surface pattern design, for sure. If you want to do that, there is absolutely no reason not to take it. If you are not sure if that is what you want to do, but you have a creative business, the skills you will learn in Illustrator are reason enough to enroll. I use the skills I learned every day. Literally. 

 When I took Immersion for the first (and second!) time, I assumed I would seek out fabric licensing deals, but I haven’t even gotten to that yet. I am using my skills in my business in so many ways, I have not had time to pursue licensing yet. I am hoping to add partnerships into my business in the near future. In the meantime, I am growing my botanical arts membership and taking time to explore my next body of work.