To create the elements that make up my patterns, I use a wide range of techniques. Pencil sketching, doodling, painting, printing, markers, pastels, scraping, scattering, splattering, photography and scanning. My most satisfying designs usually begin with some kind of organic, artistic process. Here are a number of examples.
I opened an etsy shop to sell my patterns as printable craft papers. It’s a surprisingly time consuming process but I figure once each listing is up there it’s done and can be used repeatedly in the future. Here’s an example.
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.
I love the pattern making tools in the latest version of adobe Illustrator, they are an efficient way to create complicated and accurate 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 going down the stock image route is that I can get out all my old illustration experiments. I’ve always had problems settling on one creative style so there are a few of them. Here’s a pattern I made from a loose doodle style made with watercolour and fine liners. I like the light-hearted brightness of this one.
Here’s an inverted version of the lino textured concentric circle pattern.
It’s my definition of inverted because the white on blue version came first but it could be argued that this is the positive version really.
I love the scanned lino print texture. I printed multiple versions of an uncut A4 lino sheet to get an authentic and convincing effect.
I remember way back when I was doing a BTEC in Graphic design I did a project that needed a design for a Windsor and Newton Gouache box. I painstakingly painted a complicated circles pattern using said gouache. 27 years later and I’m back to drawing circles.
I was so happy with the result of that project that it was the turning point that convinced me to be a graphic designer. In hindsight I think it was actually the circle pattern I was happy with, more than the graphic design elements that surrounded it.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I have spent lots of time making colour charts for my different brands of markers. I find this oddly relaxing.
I also spend huge amounts of time working out colour schemes for my patterns.
I’m fortunate to have a small room set aside for my creative projects. Many a happy hour is spent tucked away in there with mountains of markers, paints, pencils etc. My cat often curls up on the windowsill next to my desk and keeps me company until she gets bored and decides I need a break. Then she’ll start stealing pens or munching on my kneecaps, in a bid for attention. It’s more charming than it sounds.