For the love of pattern…

Well, that has got to be the fastest 5 weeks ever! Module 1 of The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design has ended and what a fantastic experience it’s been. It really is amazing how much you can learn in 5 weeks.

Having looked at various sources of inspiration, different mark making, drawing techniques and colour in the previous weeks, week 4 and 5 of Module 1 focused entirely on pattern, encouraging us to look everywhere for inspiration. It also challenged us to think about our signature look, something which is key to becoming a successful surface pattern designer, after all, no one likes imitation or versions of someone else’s work. Whilst it’s good to be aware of other designers out there and be inspired by their work, originality is key and is something I’ve always strived for. But trying to find your own look is not as easy as it sounds. I think it’s going to take a few years before I’ve really nailed my “look” as Claire Wilson Designs but at least I feel like I’m heading in the right direction.

Bringing together all of the things we had learnt in the previous weeks was very satisfying and encouraging – there really are no such things as mistakes, everything will come in handy one day! Something I doodled in week 1 which I didn’t particularly like actually turned out to be quite worthwhile when I used them to design a Mother’s Day card for the latest Tigerprint Competition. Feeling encouraged and inspired by the ABSPD course, I thought I’d enter a few designs, after all, what do I have to lose?

From black inky doodles in my sketch book to a finished design for a Mother's Day card - embrace the things you don't like, you never know when they might come in handy!
From black inky doodles in my sketch book to a finished design for a Mother’s Day card – embrace the things you don’t like, you never know when they might come in handy!

It was also refreshing to think about pattern off the computer too, working in a less controlling and precise way with cut out paper shapes and layering them up onto a background. This was quite challenging and it didn’t come very naturally to me but after a happy accident with my background paper, I soon relaxed into it and discovered a new technique that could prove to be very useful going forward.

Experimenting with layers and shapes...
Experimenting with layers and shapes…

We also learnt about the importance of creating co-ordinating looks; designing a collection of patterns that can work together, using colour palettes we’d created in week 3. This was a great exercise and I’ve found myself going a bit pattern crazy since! Visualising your designs on real products is also important and key to selling your ideas to potential buyers, so mocking products up was a lot of fun and made me feel excited about my work. I’d love to have some products like this available for sale one day. Watch this space…

Loved creating these mock ups to show how my designs could look. Hope to make these a reality one day!
Loved creating these mock ups to show how my designs could look. Hope to make these a reality one day!

So as a final note on ABSPD Module 1, I’d just like to say a big thank you to Rachael and Beth for creating this fantastic course and for sharing their knowledge and experience with us. It’s been a great experience and I feel like I’ve come quite a long way in a relatively short period of time. My new colour and pattern filled eyes are well and truly open and I’m seeing inspiration and ideas absolutely everywhere! The camera on my smart phone has never been so useful and walks with my Springer Spaniel, Bertie, will never been the same again! It’s also been great to be part of a creative community again, sharing ideas and designs with likeminded people from all over the world and all different walks of life. I hope this continues as we all progress and try to find our place in this pattern crazy world!

As well as trying to keep up with the activities on the ABSPD, I’ve also been working on some special bespoke gifts and a brand new wedding collection, which is now available from the Weddings section on the website. The Rustic Floral wedding collection features beautiful hand drawn flowers and stunning typography, printed onto a kraft board effect background, making it perfect for couples wanting a contemporary floral design with a lovely rustic flavour. The whole stationery suite is available, with prices starting from a very reasonable £1.75. Why not drop by and have a look!

Brand new wedding collection, Rustic Floral...available now!
Brand new wedding collection, Rustic Floral…available now!

Enjoy your week everyone…I hope it’s a good one!