Meet Zhay Smith

advanced user art prints fabric fashion full-time creative immersion course 2019 united states

Believe it or not, I was a caregiver for my late husband before I started my journey with Surface Pattern Design. He was a big supporter of my talent and dreams and also the one who put Bonnie on my radar. I was trying to figure out what to do with my new life after his passing and the Immersion course came along at just the right time.

Even though I went to school for Fashion Design and had taken textile courses they weren’t completely focused on how to use Adobe Illustrator to design patterns and I wanted to learn. The only thing that held me back was the sticker shock! I wondered how much value I would get out of it since I was already proficient in the program.

All of those doubts about the course went completely out of the window once inside. I have since returned to the course three times!!! It is just that rich and I find myself coming back again and again. One of the best parts of Immersion is the community, there are kind people from all walks of life who cheer you on and support you all along the way. One of the most favorite skills I’ve cherished is how to express myself using this medium of print.

Since completing the course, I have created high-selling prints that have sold out time and again at retail. A highlight that let me know that I was heading in the right direction was seeing my fabric design walk the runway at Fashion Week Brooklyn. I have been fortunate enough to be a mentor, guest speaker on panels, and interviewed for an article, and featured as a 28 Black Tastemaker in 2021.

If you are on the fence, but you know that you’re the type of person who will put in the work, and learning this would feed your soul or help you accomplish your goals and dreams, don’t hesitate! It is SO worth it! Take the next step. I know it is a brave step. You’re learning so much more than a program or even how to make a print. You’re learning how to begin building or expanding your creative business and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Take the time to do some soul searching.

Even when I think I’m not doing a lot to move the proverbial needle, when I take a look back and see how much I have accomplished in such a short amount of time, I have to marvel at my personal growth. As I look into the horizon, I see great possibilities forming. This journey has taken me on an adventure. I can’t wait to create even more meaningful work and teach things I have learned along the way.