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:
Improving a skill requires constant effort. As an illustrator, I’m always trying to find interesting ways to tell stories through drawing. After a long gap without producing art, I finally felt inspired again and started a series of illustrations in late May. I was motivated and happy but in less than two months I felt trapped and had to stop again to reorganize my plans. What happened?
I’ll tell you the truth. I’m addicted in social media.
I need to draw, post on Instagram and see the reaction of people immediately. I even started to post videos everyday sharing not only the completed drawings but also the process and each part of what I was doing. The result? In one month I got stressed and bored. Every time I was not producing fast enough, I would feel guilty and on my videos I would repeat just “I’m stuck, I’m stuck, I’m stuck”. So annoying! Not having time to reflect about my work led me to make a lot of mistakes and bad choices. In the last week of July I chose some very strange colors and did some really weird patterns. Not proud!
Making these mistakes helped me realize I needed more time. I decided to draw 2 months in advance, so in August I started to draw for Canadian Thanksgiving , October 12. That was a great decision. I finally got time to breathe and see a full collection finished before I started posting. It’s been challenging to stay away from social media and don’t see interactions everyday, but I believe this will be very important to start producing good quality artwork.
I recently finished reading On Writing, from Stephen King and it’s a great book! Here is something he said that was important for me (on drawing on my case)
Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you
I think I opened too much of my process and the truth is that most people are not interested, except for my artist friends. That limits too much my potential and reach. Also makes me insecure about my choices and I feel very inconsistent, as I rush things to show in public fast. I also notice I don’t give myself time to review my work.
If you are in the creative career, either writing, painting, music, anything artistic, I really recommend this book. I’ve never read other books from Stephen King because I’m not into suspense stories but I really enjoy learning about his creative process and where he gets inspiration for his projects.
I also watched the September Issue again. I love this documentary about Vogue and Anna Wintour. I really love Grace Coddington participation, Anna and Grace are both really inspiring women in very different ways. It’s great to see how they prepare the fashion editorials, how the teams plan the stories and what happens in the edition room. I like how they take their job very seriously and how sometimes hard decisions are made to keep the magazine aligned with their ideals. One thing I noticed is that they started the plan for the September issue about 5 months before the launch! I didn’t know they start so early.
All this helped me regain my focus. I finished my fall illustration series and I’m ready to start the Halloween series. I will post on Instagram only in September but if you are reading here you can see my fall illustrations before everybody! Just visit my portfolio page –> here.
That’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading and we keep in touch!