Drawing patterns is an old dream and I did my first course on the subject in 2018 (with the lovely Elizabeth Olwen on Skillshare).
I got way too busy with other things, time passed and I forgot the little I learned.
I enrolled in a course by Ana Sanfelippo at Domestika and it is exactly about what I wanted to learn: tell stories with patterns.
1. Chose the theme
I was inspired by a short scene in the movie Gosford Park. I love the bedroom furniture and ladies style.
If you want to read my full analysis of this bedroom click here.
2. Define what to draw
My drawings were divided in 3 categories:
Characters: the ladies who socialize in the bedroom Elements: the furniture and window Miscellaneous: small objects of the room and wallpaper details
3. Decide where to use the patterns
Early on I decided I wanted to apply the patterns mostly for decoration. Fabrics, wallpapers and art prints are my main goal.
4. Search for references
I always like to get extra references for my projects, so they feel very unique.
For this project I also got inspired by:
Chinese scrolls and vases
French Toile de Jouy fabric and wallpapers
5. Draw the elements
This part took forever but it’s so important! I drew all elements by hand in my personal style, then digitalized all elements on Illustrator. It was a very long and exhausting process but now that I’m done I understand how important it is to draw each element very carefully.
Slide to see before and after!
6. Pattern creation
For this collection I drew 10 patterns, but in this first moment, I’m publishing just 3:
Brick / Toile inspired
7. Have fun with mockups!
I can’t finish an illustration without testing on a mockup. That’s how I adjust colors, proportion and other small details. When I worked as an architect, I couldn’t live without 3D models and mood boards.
I guess my brain still works the same, I need to see it in the real world!
8. Print fabrics and licensing!
Ok I’m not there yet! I’m still waiting for my fabric samples to arrive, but we will get there and I’ll be here updating you ASAP!
In the mean time check this super cute video I did for my my Instagram, speaking about my pattern process.
Gosford Park Scene: NBC Universal / Video Music: Spring @iksonmusic
If you love it and would like to see more, please check my portfolio page:
If you’ve been visiting my blog for long enough you know I’ve been working to make our house more cute and cozy. I did a whole analysis of what was going wrong on this post and after putting on some though, I decided to take action.
In November I finally decided to buy a new table and chairs for our dining corner. The table was easy! Most tables from regular furniture stores are way too large for our space. We narrowed the search in just two stores, Structube and Ikea, the only ones that had smaller sizes. After a bit of consideration between a rectangular or round table, we opted by the Docksta from Ikea and we love it, it fits well in the space and it’s very neutral. I was not sure about the white at first but the table just disappears in the space. That’s exactly what I wanted.
But the chairs took a bit more effort… I wanted something delicate and modern at the same time. After getting to the conclusion that upholstery was the way to go, I visited many stores and check dozens of models. It had to be compact, light and allow me to create a fabric cover (I’m planning to sew them in the future). We finally opted by the model Polly from Structube in light grey.
Structube has amazing products but since the pandemic they’ve been facing some very slow deliveries. I was aware things could take longer but it was a lot… We ordered in November and received in March.
All the wait was worthy!
Notice below how our “dining corner” is so compact. The table and chairs fit perfectly and the set doesn’t look bulky. I can’t believe we finally have four chairs and it doesn’t feel it’s out of proportion. We definitely need to pull the table to use that chair in the corner but this just happens when we have visits, so no problem at all.
I’m specially happy about the metallic finish of the legs, the brass tone is very subtle and makes a nice contrast with the grey fabric. I also really like how the light grey goes well with the darker color of my sofa. Having a neutral base was really important and I like the contrast of the cool furniture with the warm tones of the house.
Spring is here and I’m happy to see the sun coming in through our new curtains. They made a huge difference and the room looks way bigger. The linen curtains made everything more cozy and since we are not allowed to make large holes in the walls, we used a pressure rod.
The wooden coffee table was a present from one of our friends and I love to keep it decorated and change the objects from time to time. It really helped organize the structure of the space. With more beautiful things to look up, there is less attention to the carpet. It doesn’t bother me so much anymore.
In the pictures above you can see the two pillow covers I knitted last winter (the gray and the graphite ones). After finishing, I simply stitched my work to some pre-made cover from Ikea and it looks awesome. The crochet napkin on the table is also my work.
I decided to always keep something over the accent chairs to help blending the orange color with the rest of the room. I crocheted this throw (it’s not ready yet!) and combined with a lumbar pillow, it makes a nice set.
The side table used to be green and I painted with white and brass spray, it looks way better and it’s not fighting with the rest of the furniture anymore. I noticed flowers and plants with round edges goes better with this decoration. Sharp and pointy ends fell more tropical and casual and it doesn’t give the cozy effect I’m aiming for. During the spring I’m using these hydrangeas from Pottery Barn, but I might change when the summer arrives.
My idea is to keep the neutral base and start changing the colorful pillow covers according to the seasons or events. Did I mentioned I started designing fabrics? I’m developing my very first pattern collection and it’s inspired by the movie Gosford Park. My idea is to print and sew covers for the cushions and also print some art for the walls above the sofa. I also thought about some textiles for the table, like a table runner or even a table cloth. Keep one eye on my portfolio for new illustrations and patterns.
Did you like the progress? Let me know in the comments!
While their style is completely different from what I want for my own brand, seeing what they’ve done really opened my eyes. I never thought too much about developing an identity. It goes way beyond the logo, it’s more about the feeling you have when you use the website or visit Instagram, is also what kind of impression you have when you receive correspondence.
Being aware of that, I started to research color palettes, fonts, textures and overall feelings I wanted to express. It’s been a lot of research and planning and it’s an ongoing project.
The key words for the studio communications and design are elegant, delicate and modern.
Montserrat is my brand typeface
I chose Montserrat because it looks clean for printed publications but also friendly for Internet in general. I also really like how many apps have at least one variation of Montserrat in their library. It makes easy for me to keep using some of my favorite tools, like WordPress & PicCollage.
A lettering logo
Since I’ve been working with lettering lately, it just makes sense to develop a logo based on my handwriting. I participated in a hand lettering course by Martina Flor and one of the projects was to develop your own brand. I had a great time developing this logo and I’m happy to use it on my personal communication.
An updated icon
I’m going to keep the “studio doll” as portfolio picture for social media, promotional materials and other initiatives. She was redesigned as a digital icon and now I can apply to different contexts and colors.
I wanted to create a feeling of approachability. It was important to balance a modern and delicate side, so the brand has a mix of warm and cold tones and vibrant accent colors.
To make sure I was able to achieve the aesthetic I was aiming for, I studied texture and color combination with a few mood boards. I wanted something feminine, professional and efficient.
I also didn’t want my communication to appear not caring or impersonal.
The new style will be used on my business cards, promotional postcards, documents like invoices or meeting notes and envelopes.
Social Media Application
I created templates for my Instagram stories and other social media applications. The goal is to have a consistent communication in all my online channels and always refer to my brand name. I usually don’t sign my pieces when they are lettering works. Also there are some occasions when my signature is not visible on a picture.
Having a brand template also helps protect my creations.
Studio Wall Application
The new lettering can be used to decorate the studio walls and reinforce the brand image. At this moment I actually don’t have a dedicated studio but I like the idea of having a place, specially if in person meetings become normal again.
There is much more to develop in the future, like photography guidelines and illustrations that are made specific for the brand. It’s an ongoing project and so far I’m very happy about it. How about you? Leave me a message!
Discovering the best tools for working with digital illustration and social media is a process of trial and error. After many years exploring I got a basic set that works well from sketches to published work. Check it out:
1. Light Table
Forget about transfer paper and use any paper you like! It’s so thin and easy to move around you can use anywhere. I always create my first sketches on it.
Scanning drawings is way more precise and clear than taking pictures. I have a Multifunctional Canon Pixma now, but I want to upgrade in the future. The scanner is great but the printer I use mostly for documents, not for graphics.
3. iPad + Pencil
One of the best investments for digital work. I tried many tablets in the past but I adapted better with the iPad. If you plan to work on procreate this is the tablet to go. (it also supports Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop).
4. Paperlike Screen Protector
I love the precision of the iPad and pencil but it’s still slippery, specially when writing or doing something precise. Using a matte screen protector adds a bit of grip and feels better than working on glass.
Having a flexible tripod is great for recording time lapses or having your hands free when meeting people online. An essential tool for a digital illustrator.
Although you can do most things on the iPad I still like the comfort of having a computer to create mockups, update my website and do some last details. It’s light and thin and I carry everywhere.
Record time lapses, update social media, have meetings and publish everything.
In the above picture you can see my whole set of gadgets (just missing the scanner). It’s super compact, fits in a backpack and it’s light to carry around. I always have with me when I’m travelling
I hope this might help if you are just starting! Please feel free to comment if you have questions.
I used to create all my videos on Windows Movie Maker and edit all my pictures on Photoshop. I felt like a dinosaur.
Now I do most things directly from my phone and it’s awesome and super easy. Create amazing content for your Instagram and Blog in no time and for free! Check my 6 favorite apps:
Make vídeos on your phone, add music, filters and crop! The free version has a watermark but works pretty well
Keep the colors of your feed consistent by using always the same filters. This app makes magic with my pictures
Add frames for your images and give your feed some air. It makes anything looks pretty! I use everyday!
Test how your wallpapers will work on phones or iPads, create mockups easily!
Organize everything, book posting times, share plans with a team and access from your computer (if you need)
Cut out photos, add text, create animations, add stickers and more. The free version has a watermark but it’s still pretty cool and easy to use
Bonus: Procreate Pocket
If you like to doodle and sketch on your mobile, for U$ 4.99 you can have Procreate Pocket on your phone. For me it’s Photoshop in my hands. I use for everything, for color studies, quick sketches and to retouch pictures.
I love practical things! How about you, what is your favorite app?
Many people start social media accounts and have no idea how to organize their posts or how to create a consistent presentation. Social media is everywhere and we are naturally attracted by high quality images and good quality content. In the last 5 years I improved the quality of my Instagram feed and I would like to share my tips.
All creators can benefit from a beautiful and organized feed. If you don’t know where to start, here are my tips.
1. Give a nice presentation
It can be the most beautiful drawing in the world, if your picture is dark, blurred and missing details, nobody will notice you.
2. Learn to use colors
Images in black and white are captivating but colors transmit emotions. If you don’t want to add color to your artworks, at least use colorful frames from time to time.
3. Try different techniques
Experimenting something new will boost your creativity and improve the quality of your work
4. Use your imagination
Copying other works and drawing from observation are important tools for learning but creating something new and showing your own vision of the world is what really makes your work pop
5. Give some air
Too many pictures in the same style can get a bit tiring. Alternate the way you show your creations, zoom on details, show your work space and make things more attractive.
Bonus: Show your face
People love to see who you are! From time to time show your face, your process and your opinions. Make it personal and really connect with people. It’s a social media space, not just a portfolio, so be social.
Did you like these tips?
Share with that friend who is just staring in art!