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The Creative Life – Listen to your Spirit!

Hi everyone! The last few months, I’ve been feeling disillusioned creatively¬†and today I think I’ve made a breakthrough.

Listen to your Spirit - Words by Fleetwood Mac, Design by Dreaming on a Star by Tina Devins 2016

Listen to your Spirit – Words by Fleetwood Mac, Design by Dreaming on a Star by Tina Devins 2016

I got up at 7.30am on my day off to finish this illustration. I know in my heart and soul this is what I want to do. You can have the wildest dreams but life can be harsh and put you in your place.

A creative life is a bittersweet life – the highs are ecstatic but the lows are deep and dark. I’ve wanted to give up so many times but something keeps calling me back.

To borrow another’s words, ‘I’d rather fail at something I love than succeed at something I hate.’

Listen to your spirit – what is it telling you?

This post is dedicated to other creatives – I feel your pain but I share your joy! ‚ô°

(The illustration was inspired by Fleetwood Mac and the boundless sea & sky and is available for sale in my Etsy Print shop. Thank you ‚ô°)

My first week as a student at Lilla Rogers’ MATS class!

On 13, Oct 2013 | 4 Comments | In career, illustration, inspiration, lilla rogers, MATS, my work | By Tina

Hi everyone. I’ve enrolled in Lilla Rogers’ MATS class (Make Art That Sells – Part A) and have my very own student card! The first week is over and I want to tell you how I’ve been getting on and show you what I’ve been doing!

Dreaming on a Star's MATS Student Card!

Dreaming on a Star’s MATS Student Card!

The first week was all about Bolt Fabric. We learned to analyse different styles, what makes a great fabric design, how to make your designs stand out. There were interviews with Lilla’s artists and influential buyers in the Bolt Fabric industry. Lilla even spells out step by step how to approach a buyer.

The assignment for the week was to make a mini fabric collection (main print & two coordinates) based on Berries & Pyrex Casserole Dishes. Lilla broke down the assignment into simple steps. She emphasized having fun, because her motto is – People Buy Your Joy!

Unfortunately I had the flu for the first few days and I was panicking that I would get left behind. I managed a few scribbles whilst lying in bed but I really wanted to get stuck in. I kind of freaked out a bit, but I got some advice from my designer friends – look after yourself first, and everything else will look after itself!

So I took it easy, reading the course notes and a few days later when I was better, I started to draw a bit more and explore ideas about how I would approach the brief.

Dreaming on a Star - Berries & Pyrex Casseroles (MATS)

Berries & Pyrex Casseroles – Doodles

Lilla emphasized our Uniqueness and wanted us to put Us into our work – we all have a unique way of looking at the world.
When I was reading the brief, the idea of collecting berries reminded me of Harvest time. In Ireland, in Celtic times, an important Harvest festival, Lughnasadh was celebrated here. It was the gathering of the first fruits of harvest, namely berries.

I loved this idea and wanted to give the brief an Irish slant, but I didn’t want it too obvious. If you google Irish and Celtic symbols, you’ll see a lot of intertwining symbols. While these are very beautiful, they are ubiquitous in Ireland, so I wanted something less obvious.

Newgrange & Passage Tomb

Newgrange & Passage Tomb

Newgrange is a Neolithic structure in County Meath, Ireland. It was built over 5000 years ago and is thought to be a religious monument. The structure is aligned with the rising sun and its light floods the chamber on the winter solstice.

The tribal markings you can see on the ‘Doodles’ picture are Celtic symbols found on the massive stones in Newgrange. These are less obviously Irish but are beautiful. They are thought to explain the astronomical significance of the structure. (Also you may see there are quite a few geos in the design – those Celts were right on trend!)

Here is my finished piece:

Dreaming on a Star - Berries & Pyrex Dishes - MATS Bolt Fabric

Dreaming on a Star – Berries & Pyrex Dishes – MATS Bolt Fabric

L√ļnasa (modern Irish spelling of Lughnasadh – pronounced Loo-na-sah) is also the name for August in the Irish language.

I hope you like it. I enjoyed making it and learned so much in Lilla’s class. She offers loads of advice and tips. I’m looking forward to Week 2. ‚ô°

Dreaming on a Star’s Designs Licensed with Keka!

On 30, Aug 2013 | No Comments | In business, career, devices, illustration, Licensing, my work, shop | By Tina

Hi everyone. I have been meaning to write this blogpost for quite some time! In March this year I signed my first licensing deal with Keka – makers of fabulous iPad & Kindle covers (and soon clip-on cases for smartphones).

Dreaming on a Star for Keka

Dreaming on a Star for Keka

Read more…



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In business

By Tina

Busy, busy, busy bee!

On 08, Jul 2013 | No Comments | In business, career | By Tina

Hi everyone. I have somewhat neglected my blog and I apologise for this. I have been so busy with things, working on new collections, finishing up my Business Start Up course, adding new items to my Etsy shop.

I have also signed up for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. I’ve been sketching away and playing with the brief. Looking forward to sharing my designs with you very soon.

I managed to sneak in a 2 day break to the medieval city of Limerick. I love all things medieval – perhaps because all the old fairytales seemed to be about Kings and Queens in medieval castles. I’ll post up some pictures soon of all the lovely places I visited.

In the meantime you can have a peek at what I’ve been up to in May, thanks to Sam Osborne’s feature on me.

I apologise I haven’t posted any Animal Love Day‘s in a while. Once I get on top of things I hope to post more of my favourite creatures. Watch this space.¬†‚ô°

Dreaming on a Star - Month in the Life

Print, Pattern and Philosophy!

On 10, Jun 2013 | No Comments | In career, inspiration, my work, Print & Pattern, thank you | By Tina

Hi everyone. Last week my work was featured on ¬†the esteemed¬†Print & Pattern blog – the world’s no. 1 blog for surface pattern design.¬†I was so honoured to be featured alongside all the amazing artists. I have dreamt about this moment for years and being featured made me take a little walk through memory lane!

Print & Pattern

As you may know I graduated with a degree in Interior Architecture Рa creative but tough design discipline.  I loved it, but as the years progressed I realised designing an entire building from structure down to fixtures & fittings was a massive undertaking. Your concept amounted to about 10% of the design, the other 90% was trying to make your concept work. Spatial planning, ergonomics, restrictive planning regulations, feasibility studies, construction, etc all needed to fit in with your concept. There seemed to be very little creativity at the end of the day.

I had a bit of a crisis after graduation. Not only was it the start of the Recession but the building industry in Ireland had collapsed. I lost my confidence as a designer after a disastrous final year.  (I had also planned on studying Production Design for TV & Film after my degree but this course was discontinued.)

I wanted to get my design mojo back and I wanted to figure out what exactly I wanted to do.

I had always had a dream of seeing my designs on wallpaper or stationery. But it remained a dream. Surface Pattern Design was unheard of in Ireland. I had travelled and lived in other countries but I never came across the actual name for it before.

I had never thought that there was a dedicated profession for this type of design. I thought perhaps wallpaper was designed by an interior designer, stationery by a graphic designer and textiles by a fashion designer.

And then one day I heard of the Print & Pattern book, bought it and then followed the amazing Print & Pattern blog. It was a revelation to me. This is it! Surface Pattern Design. There’s a name for it!

Print & Pattern Book 1 and 2

Print & Pattern Book 1 and 2

Around this time I had started an Art & Design course. I couldn’t get full time work in Interior Architecture and my part-time work wasn‚Äôt particularly creative. I also needed to build up my confidence. My illustration tutor Eva Byrne was an amazing mentor. She encouraged and supported me, and inspired me to¬†reach for the stars.

So I finished the course, did the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design course (seen the ad for it on the Print & Pattern blog!) and worked away on my designs. All the while dreaming that one day I would be featured on the Print & Pattern Blog! 

Print & Pattern Blog Feature

Print & Pattern Blog Feature

I was over the moon to be featured! I was excited and honoured. Incidentally the Buzzy Bees pattern you can see above came from a papercut design I did for Eva a few years ago.

Dreaming on a Star Papercut


I finally feel like I am on the right course! Maybe I am being overly philosophical (or pompous – forgive me, if it sounds that way), but it feels like a rite of passage.

I would like to dedicate this blogpost to all my tutors and mentors that believed in me, that gave me encouragement and support, that never thought a dream was too big or too outrageous! (I’m thinking of my woodwork tutor, Danny McGeever who didn’t bat an eyelid when I wanted to make a full size throne from a kids TV programme!)

Thank you all ‚ô°

Comparing Yourself to Others

On 14, May 2013 | 12 Comments | In career, inspiration, lilla rogers, my work, typography | By Tina

Hi everyone. I’ve been comparing myself to other designers lately. Not even my work, but at the reaction their work is getting from others. I’ve been questioning whether I have what it takes to make it as a commercial designer.

This is a recurring theme with creative people. The dichotomy is we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to others, but we need to in order to know what is marketable. If our stuff isn’t marketable, we won’t be able to pay the bills.

So I’ve been feeling a bit lost. I believe in my work but if others don’t, then I can’t really make a career out of it?

I’m not going to give up – I’m too stubborn for that. =) But lately I’ve found some inspiration that has let me see things in a different way.

Lilla Rogers, probably the most famous art agent in the world replied to someone on Facebook about exactly the same dilemma. She said, ‘It’s not a competition.’

Copyright Dreaming on a Star by Tina Devins

Copyright Dreaming on a Star by Tina Devins

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Happy Birthday Dreaming on a Star!

On 27, Feb 2013 | 4 Comments | In business, career, my work, typography | By Tina

Hi everyone. Today marks the 6 month birthday of Dreaming on a Star!¬†I’d like to take this opportunity to see what I have achieved in those 6 months. I’d also like to reveal some news about Dreaming on a Star!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

♡ Dreaming on a Star founded on August 27th 2012 (Website, Facebook and Twitter set up).

♡ Designs professionally printed on homewares, kitchen-wares and greetings cards. 

♡ Interest from established giftware shop to stock Dreaming on a Star products. 

♡ Number of sales made of products.

♡ Website has had over 4600 visitors (over 3500 unique visitors) and almost 10,000 page views.

Visitors to Dreaming on a Star

Visitors to Dreaming on a Star’s website

♡ Facebook page has 282 likes and Twitter has 282 likes. SNAP!

‚ô° Asked by Tigerprint to blog for their Youblog venture.

♡ NEWS: Asked by Decorque to guest blog for them. (Have a look here!)

‚ô° My work has been featured on several blogs and websites including Business Boom Collective, Card & Gift Blog and Artsy Fartsy Courier.

♡ NEWS: Dreaming on a Star was approached by a UK independent film to feature some of my products (apron, ovenglove, bags and Christmas cards) in their film (More news to follow).

♡ Finished Module 3 of the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design.

♡ Part of an outstanding online group of Surface Pattern Designers.

‚ô° Started a Start Your Own Business course and hope to grow Dreaming on a Star as a brand.


So this is what I’ve achieved in my first 6 months. I have lots of plans for the next 6 months, namely to print my designs on fabric and look into¬†manufacturing home and kitchenwares myself. At the moment,¬†I am working on small gift items ¬†that I hope to stock in my shop soon. I also want to get my work featured on more blogs. And my main priority is to get representation,¬†freelance work and to secure licensing deals.

So I have a lot to work on and I will be busy in the next 6 months! I hope you join me in 6 months time to see what I’ve achieved!¬†‚ô°



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By Tina

Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design

On 10, Oct 2012 | No Comments | In ABSPD, career | By Tina

Hi everyone. I am just finishing up Module 3 of the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design e-course. ¬†I still have lots of exercises to do, but the course itself is¬†finished. I did Module 1 and 2 earlier on in the year and I really can’t recommend this¬†course enough.

I have grown¬†in my¬†abilities¬†as a designer¬†and gained¬†confidence in myself.¬†I feel like I can take on the world of Surface Pattern,¬†whereas before I really didn’t know what to do.

The information gained is priceless, the student support network is crucial. I feel like this is only the beginning of a beautiful new world and I want to share it with everyone. Thank you Rachael and Beth for such an amazing course! ♡

For more information, click here.

Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design

Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design



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In career

By Tina

Excellent Article for Freelance Creatives

On 05, Sep 2012 | No Comments | In career, design | By Tina

Hi all. I would like to share an excellent¬†article that offers advice when starting out as a freelancer. It’s written by illustrator¬†Emmeline Pidgen. ¬†Click here for it¬†‚ô°

Emmeline Pidgen

Emmeline Pidgen



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By Tina

Module 3 of Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design

On 03, Sep 2012 | No Comments | In ABSPD, career | By Tina

Hi everyone. I started Module 3 of the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design today and am very excited by it. Hoping to learn lots and pick up lots of great tips. ‚ô°

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