Hello! This summer I’m ramping up my efforts to expand my surface design portfolio to start pitching it to art directors. Last month I shared an updated collection.
Today I’ve got some new designs to share with you!
My new collection of surface pattern designs—Feeling Stitchy—is a compilation of fiber art motifs: crochet, quilting, embroidery, and knitting. These crafts make me feel grounded. They calm me in times of stress. They also spark joy because all of my grandmas and great-grandmas taught me how to do one or more of these crafts. I also included an illustrated owl pattern that I based on a 1970s pot I found recently at a thrift shop. The owl pot reminded me of a brooch that my great-grandma had, so I included it in my collection. These are some of my “glimmers”.
What the heck is a glimmer? It’s a relatively new term in the polyvagal theory of psychology, coined by Deb Dana in 2018. Basically, a glimmer is the opposite of a trigger—instead of putting you in fight/flight/freeze mode, a glimmer makes you feel safe and secure. It might even spark joy. (You can read more about glimmers in this USA Today article.) My personal glimmers are the objects I most enjoy drawing.
Feeling Stitchy Pattern Collection
This collection is the first collection I designed totally (or mostly, TBH) in Procreate. I have been using Procreate as a sketchbook for my daily pattern sketch practice. I wanted to see what it was like using a digital sketchbook for planning. I enjoyed this process a lot!
Step 1: Planning in Procreate
First I sketched a bunch of pattern ideas onto layers in a single document. I made each layer a different color so that I could tell the pattern ideas apart. I had about 15-20 initial ideas. All of these ideas were inspired by embroidery, crochet, and knitting stitches, quilting, and other fiber arts.
Step 2: Making art in Procreate
Once I had my ideas ready, I started drafting art tiles from them. I copied the sketch layer from my idea document into a new document and played around with brushes, color palettes, and textures.
I checked to see if my repeat worked by tiling my designs in Procreate. If it was close enough I exported it as a .PSD document for step 3.
Step 3: Finalizing art and colors in Photoshop
Once I finalized my artwork in Procreate, I brought it into Photoshop to finalize repeats and colors.
Recoloring layers is super fast and more accurate in Photoshop. Procreate has some wonderful color tools but they aren’t always totally accurate. I also have a faster workflow in Photoshop from 20+ years of use (yikes…I’m old!).
Choosing the Color Palette
I chose to offer these designs in two different colorways: bright and neutral. I gravitate towards bright colors, but neutral colors are HOT HOT HOT right now. I chose colors that would work well for home decor, quilting, and apparel. My neutral palette was inspired by 1970s colors and my bright palette pulled from current trends.
I am super happy with how this collection turned out! Stay tuned for another collection dropping soon.