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Frivolous surface design

I summoned up the courage to press the button with the ‘2’ on it in the art department lift. This took me to the media suite, a floor with swanky Apples and film editing equipment. A guy asks me if I need him for anything and I inquire “Could you teach me how to make repeated patterns, please?”. The rest of the conversation went a bit like this;

“Sure, do you want me to show you now?”

“Uhm… how long will it take?”

“Five minutes”.

…and so began my world of easy pattern making. I didn’t even know of Adobe Illustrator before I walked in. I love it now.

Dandelions and Holly

Above is the first image I made. It’s actually two images, with the second partly inverted – (I repeated the diamond and the rain drops, but inverted the dandelion and the holly). I’ve been wanting to do something with the image of a blossoming dandelion head ever since they started appearing in the summer. I combined it with the holly, eventhough the two don’t exactly go together, because I am called Holly I’m getting into the seasonal mood at the moment. I also think holly leaves and berries provide some of the more geometric orientated shapes from nature. Not many things combine pointy triangles with happy circular berries. Again, the rain drops are a combination of the seasonal and the geometric and the diamond is purely for contrast.

I thought that if I’d simply make an amalgamation of autumnal symbols, it would have been lovely, but it wouldn’t have been anything different, you know? I enjoy the thought of mixing it up a bit.

As a repeating pattern

This is it repeated. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out as a pattern, I think that it delicately sums up how I feel about this time of year. It may be dark and often bleak or wet outside, but I’m starting to get my festive on, and that gives me energy. If I were to improve upon this pattern, I’d make it less sparse in the gaps, like add more raindrops, and I’d shift it further together so it didn’t look as tiled.

Diamond Acorn

This is what I drew next. Originally I had an acorn and a conker, but it wasn’t contrasting enough so I used the diamond again. 

Diamond Acorn repeated

I’m not sure what to say about this one, to be honest. It just kind of created itself. It’s not perfectly aligned, and I chose that pink background precisely because it didn’t really go, that’s the fun of experimenting 🙂 You can be so much more free when you know you’re not making something for a specific reason.

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

After that, I thought I’d better create a more – realistic – design. This uses the diamonds on their own in complimentary colours and I rather like it. It looks relaxing and subdued.

Here’s my list of things that I’d like to make patterns from next:

  • Foxes
  • City scapes
  • Harsh weather
  • Fish
  • Aeroplanes
  • Street lamps
  • Book quotes
  • Power stations
  • Petrol stations
  • Cups and mugs

Please let me know what you think of the patterns I’ve made and if you have any suggestions at all. I’d really appreciate some feedback and constructive criticism.

Thanks for reading!

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