design,  pattern design

A year of creative exploration: Part 1 Exploring Pattern Design

It’s been a good minute since I last created a blog post or even a newsletter. In the back of my mind there’s the niggling (and self-sabotaging) thought that no one really cares what I might have to say or show in the way of my artwork. But there might be that one person who, like me, enjoys reading about other artists’ processes and getting a glimpse of their daily life and how they work behind the scenes.

so why have I returned to blogging?

In writing this blog post it’s not that I have any earth shattering news or accomplishments to share, but I do feel the need to start sharing a little of what’s going on in my creative universe. A log or journal entry, if you like. Something that’s a little more permanent and mine, as opposed to posting to social media ( and FOR social media), which has changed so much. I feel a need to gain back some semblance of control as to what I create to share publicly, to give it more weight and respect in the longevity that writing about it on my own blog provides and, in effect, give my work the respect and acknowledgement it deserves, if only from myself.

I also used to really enjoy writing and blogging, not just about my own work but also in researching and studying the work of other artists and related subjects, which I believe I will do more of in future.

exploring pattern design

Last year, in 2023, and since my last post, I focused more on my pattern designing and some abstract artworks on paper. In exploring pattern design I decided to join The Textile Design Lab for a couple of months and took part in the Slow Design Challenge & the Summer of Creativity, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

We were guided to focus on developing one hero pattern during the month of August and were provided with a few themes to choose from. I was drawn to the lobster theme because I had long wanted to feature these creatures somewhere in my art and/or design work.

The first stage of the process required me to collect inspirational images for my mood board, which would guide me in creating my pattern. I wanted my design, and any collection that might (and did!) evolve from that, to have a light, summery and abstract style. It was pretty hard filtering all the inspirational images I collected! But eventually I did and created the mood board you see here below.

mood board featuring lobsters and other design elements used as inspiration
Mood board for Lobster Delight surface pattern collection

I began with creating mostly placement designs and illustrations finding it quite hard at first when I tried developing repeats from them and thought I would just stay with the placements. But eventually, upon trying several options I came up with my favourite hero pattern, as shown below.

a happy realisation

I was also happily surprised while doing the summer design challenge that I suddenly felt inspired again to transfer my ideas from that design to creating artwork, which I’ll show you in a subsequent post. This has been great as I’ve thus discovered a way to work through resistance that comes up in my artwork -working with a theme, creating a mood board and using that to guide and direct me.

A few of the coordinates I designed
And a few mockups

One of my ongoing dilemmas has been whether I should focus on one particular field of creativity ie. surface pattern designs OR artwork, but having seen how this project inspired me to create artwork and even embroidery (that’s to come!) it occurred to me that I don’t really have to choose! Why can’t I do it all?! And so it is that I have accepted these various outlets of creativity which I can clearly see complement and inform one another.

To view the full collection and if interested in licensing, please visit my website gallery.

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