I use a range of techniques to create the elements that make up my patterns. Pencil sketches, doodles, painting, printing, markers, pastels, scraping, scattering, splattering, and photographing or scanning objects. I find that the most satisfying designs start with some kind of organic, artistic process.
I’ve been trying to use a variety of media to produce my background textures. I love the effect I can get if I scan pencil lines at very high resolutions. I produced two simple striped textures, one in pencil and one inverted to look like chalk lines on a blackboard. These are for sale in my image collection on Shutterstock.
I’ve been going through some more of my older hand drawn patterns and making vector versions of them. It is pretty time consuming but I really like the results. Here’s an example:
I love the pattern making tools in the latest version of adobe Illustrator, they make it fun to get complicated and interesting pattern repeats. I’m having a hell of a time getting the pattern tiles not to explode when the file is saved in a legacy version though. Stock agencies like Shutterstock want the file saved as an Illustrator 10 eps so it’s a problem I need to solve. I have some ideas on how to do that which will keep me busy.
I think this one will be good as a fabric pattern too so it will eventually end up on my Spoonflower collection too.
One of the fun things about deciding to go try going down the stock image route is that I can get out all the old illustration experiments I did and then discarded on my previous attempts to make a signature style. One of the problems I’ve always had is settling on one way of doing creative stuff. Now I don’t need to.
Here’s a pattern I made from a loose doodle style using watercolour and fine liners. I like the light hearted brightness of this one.
This is now for sale as a stock seamless pattern and as fabric on Spoonflower , fingers crossed other folks like it too.
One thing I’ve struggled with in recent years is the fact that I like working in different media and styles. I draw, paint, doodle, scan, retouch and vector away to my heart’s content but that doesn’t create a consistent style. Is this a problem I wonder?
I sometimes go fully old-school with acrylic paint on canvas.
One thing that has always been drummed into me is that it’s OK to have a versatility of styles as a graphic designer but not such a good idea as an illustrator. I’m considering stepping back from the process of finding a ‘signature’ style and allowing the natural variety back into my work. A lovely friend has suggest that becoming a stock illustrator / designer may be a way to accommodate this idea. The more I think about it, the more I like it. Hmmm…
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