Star Wars, doodles & vases

Hi I’m Lisa Kirkbride, one of the UK finches based in the north east of England. I'm taking over the blog today to share my process.

I love vibrant colours, graphic shapes and pattern so I thought I'd show you a piece I have just completed for my Surtex portfolio which ticks all these boxes.

This pattern started with some repetitive vase doodles I did one night whilst my husband introduced my daughter Lily (11) to the Star Wars films – starting at the beginning or the middle film depending how you look at it - I had plenty of time to draw! I love to doodle with Sharpies or Graphik pens and I created this pretty, interlocking vase design which I thought would make a great pattern for gift wrap or stationery.

I scanned my sketch and used it as a guide to trace over in Adobe Illustrator using my Wacom Cintiq (my favourite toy!). The Cintiq allows you to draw directly onto the screen with a Wacom pen which feels fairly close to drawing on paper. I spent some time looking at colour trends and palettes and then selected a range of colours I was happy with and started to create all the quirky, interlocking vases.

Working on layers, and the limited palette, the pattern started to take shape.

When I felt the design was complete, I tested the repeat to make sure the pattern looked balanced and I made a few adjustments to rectify any problem areas. I also experimented with some different background colours to see if I could give the pattern a bit more "pop".

... And ta dah! -  the final design. The pattern took a couple weeks as I dipped in and out of it but I'm really pleased with the result. I'll now look at how I will apply it to mocked up products and most likely create some co-ordinates to complement it. I hope you enjoyed reading about my process.

Piñata Party Pattern Process

The pattern shown here is now available for sale as fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap on Spoonflower!

Hello from Courtney Beth Keller! I'm sharing my process today in creating a pattern design. The pattern concept I am working with comes from one of Spoonflower's weekly contests: Piñatas! For those who are unfamiliar, Spoonflower is a website that prints custom fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap. Each week they hold a pattern contest which are open for popular vote, and I find the topics are often very inspiring and propel me in my creative process. Below, I will share the wandering path that is my creative process, including a bunch of spitballing and trial and error. In the end, you can see my entry for the contest and a mockup on a paper lantern as I envision what my pattern might look like if used on a commercial product. 

First, I begin by sketching some of the elements that piñatas make me think of: 

I scan  my sketches and using Adobe illustrator, I select my favorites and then colorize. This is really just the beginning - I could play with color for days on each pattern I create. I'll share a variety of examples below, and you can see how I will try many different layouts. This process is a wonderful one that can end up resulting in happy accidents, but also allows for much deliberate experimentation in order to create the desired result. 

Once I find the sweet mix that I like, I often create a mockup using the pattern design on a three-dimensional object. It helps me to envision how it might be used, and is always inspiring to see my pattern appear on a realistic texture and shape. 

My Piñata Party pattern will be available for purchase as fabric, gift wrap and wallpaper(!). I hope you've enjoyed this sneak peek into my creative process! Cheers, Courtney Beth Keller of One Little Printshop