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Art / Design / Illustration

Playing with Surface Pattern

Many moons ago, when I was not long out of University, I joined a small team of designers at a local studio which created patterns for wallpaper and soft furnishings. We designed mainly for the American market and it was my job to concentrate on patterns of a more illustrative nature. It took me a couple of days to get the hang of how to create a seamless repeating pattern but I was soon hooked and loving it.

Wallpaper and Border designs 2001
A few examples of my wallpaper and border designs from 2001

Sadly, my job at the studio was short lived thanks to the tragic events of September 11 but my passion for pattern has remained, if a little buried.

Over the past few weeks my love for creating surface patterns has been reignited thanks to Zazzle’s introduction of wrapping paper to the marketplace. I’ve already made a few simple patterns from old characters and elements but this morning I decided to sit down at the computer and try something new with flowers. Something more along the lines of the wallpaper designs I used to create only this time using vector.

Floral surface pattern 4 Colours
Flower pattern in 4 colourways

When I was working for the studio I painted everything by hand and each design was 50cm square. The whole process from initial sketch to finished design was painstaking. Using a computer is so much easier and I rather like how this has turned out. I must admit that I haven’t drawn the flowers or leaves myself. I’m still getting back in to the swing of pattern making so I thought I’d play around with some premade ‘commercial use’ elements for a while first.

I’m going to be making a lot more surface patterns but I just have one question that needs answering. Do I add my patterns to one of the Zazzle stores I already have, or do I open a new store just for patterns?

4 Comments

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These are lovely! I especially like the zebra one!
Maybe open a new shop if you are going to do a lot of them.

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Thanks Brenda. I think I will be opening a new shop… just need to come up with a name and get a few more designs done first

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Your patterns are wonderful, Lisa Marie!

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Thank you Boriana. Glad you like them… I’m a little rusty but I’ll get back in to the swing of things soon I hope!

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