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Should I take Bonnie Christine's Immersion? An Alumni's Opinion

If you're anything like me, you bleed creativity. You may have even wondered how you can monitize your art. One thing leads to another, you click on one Instagram ad, and then suddently this wavy haired white lady is everywhere telling you that she can help you monetize your art through licensing patterns and she's going to teach you the ins-and-outs on how to do it. Because she did it. And now she runs a multi-million dollar empire. Her name is Bonnie Christine.

Bonnie Christine in a Green Floral Dress Against A Green Background Smiling.

Bonnie has a humble back story of being really freaking broke and having kids all while trying to persue her dreams of becoming a fabric designer. She's really, really relateable. And she's sweet as pie. She has a very calm charm and almost earthy teaching style. She comes off as a bit of a hippy, states that she's a Christian (but doesn't beat you over the head with it), but is also into the woo-woo like mindset/affirmations and PEMF mats. She's also a vegan (but again, doesn't beat you over the head with it).

You do need to know that before becoming a fabric designer, Bonnie was living in a world of fabric. Her mother owned a quilt shop that she worked at. So Bonnie learned and knew the industry before ever trying to become a designer. She even got her first licensing deal at quilt market--which she had access to because of her mom and her mom's shop. That isn't to say she didn't work hard, but it is something to keep in mind when hearing about her successes.

Bonnie's Immersion course is an immersive experience into Adobe Illustrator. You'll get a mammoth textbook in your welcome packet, as well as access to the course modules and an active community. Everthing is hosted on Kajabi which is a stellar interface. The production value of the course is one of the best I've ever taken. You will leave the course with a solid understanding of Illustrator that you can take out into the world, however, you will not learn it completely. You'll learn the portions that are specific to surface pattern design. Your homework for the course will to be to create your first fabric collection and all that it entails and you'll get feedback on that collection from the robust community.

Immersion is an investment. At almost $2000 it's no small chunk of change. It's also an 8 week long class. I work full-time outside of the home, and it was a STRUGGLE to keep up on all the lessons in real time. I also missed out on almost all of the live Q & As, they're at 3 p.m. EST, but playbacks are availible. I also paid an extra $50 to be placed in a Study Group, and honestly, that was the best $50 bucks I've spent. I've gained new friends and colleagues that bump ideas off of one another a whole year after Immersion ended.

There is A LOT to this course (I don't think I can even describe it all here) and it provides you with the groundwork to start your pursuit of surface pattern design. Let me break down some pros and cons for you.


A tailored tutorial of Adobe Illustrator specific to surface design (you do not learn the entire program).

Bonnie KNOWS people. She has friends in high places like Amy Porterfield, and Stu McLaren. During my time in Immersion, she brought in high-profile experts like these to teach us what they know.

Amy Porterfield sitting with one arm up and smiling.
Stu McLaren in a Green Shirt against a Yellow Background Smiling.

Bonus classes from Bonnie's friends, Mastermind participants, and former students that provide an entry point into other aspects of the surface pattern designer's toolbox.

Inspiration and motivation. Bonnie and her team are beyond excellent at providing motivation and inspiration. They are true role-models in the industry.

90% of everything you need to know about the surface design industry is included in this course.

You have lifetime access to your version of the course, but not the community, and

Graduation from Immersion allows you the opportunity to purchase your way into Bonnie's membership called Flourish. Flourish is also hosted on Kajabi and includes access to a library of lessons and continuing education as well as a community of fellow alums.


The cost. The price is steep. It could probably be a thousand dollars cheaper, but Bonnie is a surface design and business genius and you get what you pay for. Bonnie does offer scholarships for Immersion, but there is only a handful, and when she's teaching 2,000 students at a time, you'll need a really good story and reason to get one.

You don't learn the entirety of Adobe Illustrator. It's an intensive in how and what Bonnie uses in the way she designs.

Depending on the type of artist you are, you're better off using Adobe Photoshop to create patterns. Sarah Watts teaches a class on this for those that have a more painterly art style.

If you are a fine artist, Immersion is not for you. You'll learn the ins and out of the business of surface pattern design, but you won't learn a way that actively translates your art into patterns while retaining the textures and nuance.

If you aren't computer savvy, or have never opened an Adobe product, Immersion may feel impossible to you.

Despite all the hype and motivation, you will not come out of Immersion making millions like Bonnie. Immersion is a point on your journey. You're still going to have to get out there and figure out how to make a name, and some cash for yourself. And by yourself, I mean YOURSELF. You'll have to be okay with pitching to companies and art directors, hearing lots of crickets, and being rejected, possibly many times, before you get a yes. This business is about the marketability of your art, who you know, and the immense amount of grit required to keep knocking on the doors of the companies you want to do business with.

This might be a triggering opinion, but if you aren't already an artist and making art, don't take Immersion. Bonnie will show you how to make patterns from found objects and mark making, but honestly, unless you have an eye for design or artistic abilities, Immersion can't help you. Spend your money on learning the principles and techniques of art and design FIRST. This way you'll know if Illustrator or Photoshop or Affinity Designer is the right platform for you. I recommend Skillshare to learn about all of these different programs and to learn how to create art. Skillshare helps me grow as an artist and designer every time I log in. You can sign uep for Skillshare with my affiliate link here.

Only you can decide if you have the time, money, energy, and grit that is required to take Bonnie Christine's Immersion Course and then take your work out into the world and try to make a profit. I can say that I would be lost if I hadn't taken it, and would never have known where to begin on my surface design journey.

Lisa Vanstone concentrating while working on a Mac at a desk surrounded by plants.

I have to give Bonnie some credit though, because I've had a lot of wins since I took Immersion almost a year ago. Here's what I have done since starting Immersion:

  • Learned Adobe Illustrator with enough competence that I feel I could teach others how to use it or how to troubleshoot.

  • Opened a Spoonflower shop - AND MADE SALES!

  • Have not only gotten better at my art, but am actively refining my style.

  • Have created a website and Instagram to showcase my work.

  • Have shared my work publically! (This was a huge deal for me.)

  • Am actively mastering different design layouts to create interesting patterns as I learn about design trends.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! If you have any questions drop them in the comments and I'll do my best to provide an answer.

Overall, I am so grateful for my Immersion experience. Would I take it again? 100% Bonnie lit a fire for surface pattern design in me, and I'm loving this path that I'm on. It's been A LOT of really hard work, but I'm also having a lot of fun and can't wait to see where this journey takes me.

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