Hi, and welcome to the forum!
As you can see, there is very little activity here now, but the Library (collection of old threads) and the Search function could still be useful to you.
Regarding patterns and design, I'd guess that many bear-makers would refer you to favorite books (Ted Menten; Jennifer Laing; etc.). I'd also say it is helpful to play with available patterns that you can buy. Maybe try the pattern once as is and then think about what you might like to change: shorter legs; longer feet; different proportions to the body? That can be a nice intermediate step to taking the plunge and drawing your own pattern.