Meet Colleen Rothbauer
Do you ever feel like you’re waiting for your life to finally begin? Like you’re stuck in the prologue? Every single day is a challenge on repeat, but you’re just not getting anywhere.
That was my feeling for as long as I can remember. Like I was a casual bystander waiting for something to kick in. I kept thinking - you’ve got a decent career, two kids, a marriage - what are you waiting for, this is it!? Yet the silent yearning of my soul got louder by the day, making my rare quiet moments filled with heartache.
Due to the first lockdown in 2020, I was given time. Precious time to escape my hamster wheel and feel what I had been longing for: freedom, creativity, growth.
My old thought - “you’re 42, it’s too late to change route!”, turned into “you’re 42, you’ve got HALF of your life still ahead of you!”
So, I vowed to follow my heart and trash the hamster wheel.
Coincidence - or fate? - led me to discover Bonnie and surface pattern design shortly after. I had no drawing experience, yet somehow it clicked and made my heart sing. I kept doing research, started learning Illustrator and marked Immersion 2021 on my calendar.
By the end of 2020, I had a business plan for my own design studio and left my job. I felt quite proficient in Illustrator and was able to create patterns, but knew near to nothing about creating collections, the surface pattern design industry or marketing as a creative. Plus, I felt alone on my journey, had no one to exchange ideas with or ask for advice. Like I was speaking a new language that nobody understood.
On the last day of the enrollment period, I signed up for Immersion. It was the missing piece in my puzzle and gave me what I was lacking - knowledge about the creative design process and how to build a portfolio, industry insights, success stories to keep me going, feedback on my designs, and an encouraging community that spoke my language.
Plus, what was important to quiet down my imposter syndrome and perfectionist tendencies, mastery of Illustrator and knowledge of industry requirements. I now know how to work and deliver my designs in a professional way, I'm not just "winging it".
The "Tilda O’Hare Design Atelier" is still in its infancy, but I’ve never felt such peace. Everything up to this point feels like the preparation for what is starting to unfold. So many questions have been answered in Immersion, so many doubts eliminated, so many dreams nurtured.
Yes, Immersion is an investment. But if you don’t invest in yourself, who will?