My Surface Pattern Design Journey

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We recently started using Skillshare and love it. You can read about it on Dylan’s blog here. A few months ago Dylan saw Leah Goren’s Illustration & Inspiration: Keeping a Sketchbook class and showed me because he thought it might be something I’d be interested in. Leah Goren is an illustrator and surface pattern designer. Well, Dylan was right. I really enjoyed watching her class, and I really love all her work and her style. So for Christmas I asked for some new sketchbooks and some gouache paint to experiment with.

I really didn’t take advantage of the classes on Skillshare, but now that I knew there were these kinds of classes on there I was anxious to enroll in more. The next one I took was Elizabeth Olwen’s Introduction to Designing Repeat Patterns in Illustrator class. I also love love love her style and the colors she uses. That class was very inspiring. She went over the basics of surface pattern design, how to create a repeating pattern, and how to create your own collection of hero, secondary, and blender patterns. Below is the collection I made while taking Elizabeth Olwen’s class. I drew it using the Wacom tablet Dylan had hanging around.

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Everyone at worked loved my patterns so much that we even got them printed on canvas and hung them up at our coffee station. I also have the patterns up for sale on Spoonflower mostly for personal purposes because I’d love to have an apron or skirt with one of my patterns on it.

This past month or two I’ve really been experimenting with illustration using different mediums such as gouache, watercolor, or digital illustration using the Wacom tablet. I feel like I’ve been missing out on this area of design, and I’m really excited to learn more about it and develop my own style. So follow my journey, and if you have any advice or constructive criticism let me know! I’d really love it if one day I could see one of my patterns for sale in Anthropologie