I love to design surface patterns. Here’s a selection of them.
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.
Here’s a selection of examples.
I’ve been drawing, painting, tearing and scanning a variety of textures to experiment doing some digital collage.
I spent quite a long time retouching the scan of the torn paper strips and now I’m layering and arranging them into colourful collage textures like this:
I’m looking forward to experimenting with some more varied colour combinations now I’ve thoroughly explored the monochrome palette options. There will be for sale within my stock image offerings asap.
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 as many times as I want in the future. Here’s an example:
I’ve had no sales so far but then I’ve done zero promotion. I’m looking into setting up the usual suspect social media stuff for Quirky Mundo to see if I can drive some more traffic to my selling sites.
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.
I’ve recently been converting my hand drawn patterns into vector versions, as demonstrated here:
And the vector version of it as a seamless repeating pattern:
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 do love the scanned lino print texture. I sat and printed multiple versions of an uncut A4 lino sheet to get an authentic and convincing effect.
Of all the patterns I’ve drawn recently I think this one is my favourite. It’s hand-drawn and was composed as I went – no photoshop involved other than to clean up the scan. I also learned an important lesson about keeping my scanner dust-free as it took absolutely ages to clean up. I’m now the proud owner of some cleaning wipes for exactly that purpose.
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 that the graphic design option was going to work out. Which it did, for many years, until it didn’t any more. In hindsight I think it was actually the circle pattern that I was happy with, more than the graphic design elements that surrounded it.
Hindsight it a wonderful thing and all that… 😉