As an educator, over the years I’ve heard the same digitizing comments over and over again, like a broken record.
These comments being the most popular by far:
- “I bought the software and didn’t have anyone to teach me how to use it”
- The next being, “the learning curve was too much, I don’t have time for that”.
- Then the follow-up comment is, “there are so many designs available, why would I spend the time learning how to create my own”?
If I translate what I’ve heard, it goes something like this…
- I purchased software without verifying that education was available to show me how to use it.
- I had no real foundation on the theory of how to create quality embroidery designs.
- Even though I’ve invested hundreds to thousands of dollars on software that’ll create custom designs, I got so frustrated with the results I was getting that I simply gave up!
This might sound familiar. I always argue that if someone knowingly purchased digitizing software with the intent of creating their own embroidery designs and fell short, it’s not that the individual couldn’t accomplish their goals. It’s that they kept getting bad results when they tried, so naturally, they got frustrated and gave up. It’s kind of like riding a bike. If you bought a brand new bike and just kept falling and scraping yourself without seeing any results, you’d naturally end up frustrated and give up on that too.
So how do you fix this and make it fun? You need a dedicated teacher that’ll help guide you towards seeing positive results! Going back to the bike example, most children have their parents help ease them into riding by holding their seat and keeping them balanced until finally… They’re riding on their own and having… You guessed it: fun!
When I first started digitizing 35 years ago, it was the same process. Back then, a digitizer’s career was built on the theory of the machine interacting with different materials alongside the top and bobbin thread. Now also keep in mind that this was all happening on twenty yards of fabric with hundreds of needles all running simultaneously. It was a lot of pressure, but thankfully I was mentored by a Swiss Schiffli Master.
The first machine I learned how to digitize on: a 1905 Schiffli pantograph, pictured above.
The first time I tried digitizing, I screwed up an order of over 1000 embroidery patches in my grandparent’s factory. If anyone had a reason to give up at that point, it was me. Although I was frustrated & embarrassed, my mentor took me under his wing and taught me the theory behind creating beautiful embroidery designs. Now at first, it was challenging. But as my skills grew and I began seeing more & more positive results, it became fun!
Sound familiar? We ALL need teachers. Are some teachers better than others? Of course, growing up, we learn that very quickly. A good teacher can make a student a better version of their current self, or coast along the mainstream and make someone want to give up.
It’s a fact of life that finding the right mentors and teachers is key to having success in any endeavor. Then comes the reality: you have to be willing to learn and practice to refine your skills, which takes time. I’ve never met a concert pianist who only practices eight hours a week… It’s more like eight hours a day. Now keep in mind, learning the beautiful art of embroidery digitizing isn’t going to take you 8 hours of practice a day… But you get the point? Practice makes perfect.
Now you might be sitting here reading this and saying, this guy said, “Digitizing is fun”! All I’ve heard so far is having to learn something and then have to practice it… where is the FUN in that?
The FUN is what you birth as a result of your hard work, the passion that went into it, the creativity that grows over time. The fun is built in small steps and in the end, has no limitations as to what you can accomplish. Think about it, once you’ve learned to digitize, the possibilities of what you can create with embroidery are literally endless.
From the very beginning, I was taught that embroidery is an art form and as a young man becoming a “Puncher” (now known as digitizing) was the equivalent of an artist sitting before a canvas. I really try to avoid debates with people who argue if “digitizing is a real artform.” You’re listening to a man whose entire life, and five generations of his family’s lives, have been dedicated towards embroidery and refining these skills.
- All that said, are some digitizing software programs better than others?… Most definitely!
- Will the key after purchasing the software be in finding a good teacher?… From personal experience, yes!
- Will you need to be dedicated to the learning process and put in some time to become good?… What worthwhile endeavor doesn’t require that?
Put all these together, and I guarantee the positive results you get will give you a heart-felt passion for the art of creating your own designs.
Now that’s where I come in. As the last Schiffli Master still alive & teaching in North America, it’s become my passion to pass down what I was taught by my mentor and assist you in creating an Embroidery Legacy of your own… one stitch at a time!
If you’d like to stop being frustrated and make digitizing fun, I’d highly suggest that you check out my fan-favorite Digitizer’s Dream Course now. Taught in 10 of the industries leading software brands, I’ll personally hold you by the hand and mentor you in learning the process of easily creating your own embroidery designs with digitizing. To avoid frustration, the course is broken into bite-sized sections that get you creating designs and seeing positive results right away! That’s why it works, and we have proven results… I take you under my wing and have you continually build on small successes.
Of course, don’t just take my word for it though… Here’s what some of my past students have to say about our education: