About Marian

The Basics

Marian Blake is a baby boomer, a child born in the 1950s and grew up with limited possessions like most of generation. Not poor but not rich either. I was lucky growing up as the youngest of three sisters and as there was only 3 years, 3 months and a day between us, we ended up close. We are still friends and know we can rely on each other.

I graduated in 1978 from Aston University in Birmingham, U.K. and became an optometrist. It is a profession I followed for 40+ years and I have loved it, if not every day, most days. I retired from it in 2020.

I was never lucky to have kids of my own,  but I have 6 nieces and nephews and some great nieces and nephews. I’ve had the same husband for over 40 years and have had dogs as companions for over 20 years.

My Creative Journey

My “arts” journey started in the 90s with the cross-stitch craze. Twenty-odd years later I still embroider, mainly in traditional styles such as Stumpwork, Goldwork and yes Cross Stitch. I even quilt and I have a large cupboard full of my material.

In the early 2000s, we moved to France, husband, dogs and computer and I had a little time on my hands, so I branched out into book writing and creating images for my children’s books.  Using a calculator in Math(s) class and at university was a big deal and computers took up a whole building at my university and we were NEVER allowed in. PC’s and laptops have changed my life.

I loved the image manipulation – it was fun to recycle an old image into a new and sometimes, completely different image. Over the last 10 years, I have been using my creative endeavors to make journals, planners and notebooks which I sell on Amazon.

2020 saw another milestone; I created my first training program with Di Heuser on digital planner creation. It was a massive learning curve but I loved it. Not only did I learn how to research the topic and how to create digital planners, I also learnt how to video what I was doing and to edit those videos so they were understandable.

Why the Design website?

During my journey from novice to journeyman image creator, people have asked how I do things. This got me thinking, did I know enough to help other people? I took the plunge and created first an e-book and then a course called Creativity for the Terrified in mid 2020.

These were well received and encouraged me to dive deeper in course creation to help my customers quickly learn how to design for a niche and sell their designs, whether they are planners, images, patterns, “how to” or….. Along the way, I have used software including PowerPoint, Gimp and Inkscape to make designing as easy and inexpensive as possible.

I have created over 30 courses. Most can be purchased as an individual course, but there are some that are only available in my membership sections. My style is short bite size, no fluff videos so you can learn quickly and relearn quickly. I don’t like boring videos or videos that tell you how wonderful the teacher is. Long form video training is one of my pet hates.

So why the website? It is a place to keep all me courses together!

Please contact me if you don’t know how to create a design, I am always happy to help.