Adobe Illustrator for Pattern Designers: Turn Your Hand-Drawn Art into Repeating Digital Patterns | Casey Sibley | Skillshare

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Adobe Illustrator for Pattern Designers: Turn Your Hand-Drawn Art into Repeating Digital Patterns

teacher avatar Casey Sibley, Pattern Designer, Artist, Maker

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction & Class Overview


    • 2.

      My story: how I started my business and how I make a living as a creative


    • 3.

      Drawing & photographing pattern elements


    • 4.

      Starting a new document in Illustrator


    • 5.

      Placing images in your document for editing


    • 6.

      Vectorizing and cleaning your artwork


    • 7.

      Creating custom color palettes


    • 8.

      Recoloring your artwork


    • 9.

      Cleaning artwork edges


    • 10.

      Starting a layered pattern


    • 11.

      Building your pattern tile


    • 12.

      Testing & exporting your pattern tile


    • 13.

      Pep talk! Small steps every day...


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About This Class

Are you a maker, designer, or artist interested in transforming your hand drawn and hand painted artwork into repeating patterns for textiles and products? In this class, Casey of Casey D. Sibley Art + Design will teach you the basics of using Adobe Illustrator to create seamlessly repeating surface patterns from your original artwork.

Whether you plan to build a career as a surface pattern designer by licensing your work to other companies, or you want to build your own product line adorned in your pattern work (or both!), you will enjoy this crash course in creating repeating patterns that retain the hand rendered quality of your artwork. 

You'll learn how to:

  • Prepare your artwork for digital manipulation with Adobe Illustrator 
  • Digitize your artwork while retaining the hand-rendered quality that makes your work unique
  • Clean and recolor your digital images 
  • Transform your digitized artwork into a dynamic repeating pattern
  • Create a pattern tile that is ready for printing on textiles, paper products, digital wallpapers...the sky's the limit!

While prior experience with Adobe products is helpful, it is certainly not required to take this course. We will review my preferred tools and techniques for pattern development in a clear and concise way that will allow you to jump right in and start developing your very own pattern. 

You can also use this class as a resource when you're working solo and think "Wait, what was that tool she used?". 

With the growing popularity of on-demand printing services, there are so many products that you can personalize with your art. Whether you plan to create custom products for personal use, or build your empire of stylishly patterned collections to sell to your customers, this class is the perfect place to start!

Meet Your Teacher

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Casey Sibley

Pattern Designer, Artist, Maker


Hi! My name is Casey Sibley, and I'm a designer in Lansing, MI. I used to run a wholesale business selling my line of handmade homegoods and accessories adorned in my original pattern designs to shops across North America. More recently, I've been sewing my heart out and designing women's sewing patterns for home sewers.

Over the years, I've taught myself to grow two businesses from scratch by practicing my craft and learning from others who came before me. I'm here to share what I've learned about sewing my wardrobe, creating pattern collections, and building a line of products.

As a full-time designer and creative business owner, I love the work I get to do every day. If you're starting or growing a creative business with the dream of being your o... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction & Class Overview: Hi. My name is Casey Sibley, and I'm an artist and pattern designer living in Reno, Nevada. I have a line of handmade home goods and accessories adorned in my original patterns, and I've built a livelihood around my creativity. For as long as I can remember, I've loved to draw, paint, and make things with my hands. Several years ago, I started teaching myself how to design patterns for textiles, with the help of online videos, a lot like this one, and by just studying the work of other pattern designers that I really admire. These days, there are endless opportunities to make custom products very easily and very quickly, and I've built an entire product line around my textile designs. My style is colorful, organic, whimsical, with a hand rendered quality that I like to maintain in the digital pattern repeats that I'm creating. I decided to create this course to share with you what I've learned over the years about building seamlessly repeating patterns. Whether you plan to make patterns for personal use or if you want to build your skill set as an artist and a pattern designer, this course is going to go over all of my favorite techniques for creating seamlessly repeating pattern tiles using Adobe Illustrator. This is an intermediate level class so some understanding of patterns and Adobe Illustrator is helpful, but it's definitely not required. If you are a beginner, the lessons are very step-by-step so that you can follow along very easily as well. The purpose of this course is to show you one technique for repeating patterns from your own artwork. So, some familiarity with drawing or painting in your own style is required. I will not be going over drawing or painting techniques in this course. By following the lessons in this course, you will learn my preferences for drawing or painting your pattern elements separately, uploading those elements into the computer, and manipulating them digitally to create a seamlessly repeating pattern tile. 2. My story: how I started my business and how I make a living as a creative: My professional career began in architecture. But after several years in that field, I really felt like I was missing my calling as an artist, and I was longing for the creative freedom and autonomy that might come with being my own boss. I started out by selling paintings and art prints online, mostly to friends and family at first. There were a lot of starts and stops in the beginning, but I was very enchanted by the idea of being a creative business owner, and I really wanted to see if I could turn this into a career and support myself with it. In 2012, I discovered how easy it was to have my original patterns printed onto fabrics. So, I began creating textile collections to be used in a line of sewn goods. That's how my business, as it is now, was started. So now, I continue to create artwork for my own products, as well as, doing some design client work and creating artwork for other companies products. The majority of my business currently comes from wholesaling my handmade products line with retailers all over the country. I have managed to turn my passion for creativity into my career, and that has been the most rewarding and challenging and empowering thing I've ever done for myself. So, if you've ever wondered if it was possible to turn your passion into your career or to make a living doing something that you love, yeah, it's possible. It's very possible. If it's something that you feel called to do, if it's something that you're feeling passionate about doing, you should definitely give it a shot. You should definitely go for it. 3. Drawing & photographing pattern elements: In this first lesson, I'm going to chat a little bit about inspiration, and what to consider when you're starting your pattern design. I like to work small at first, making lots of little sketches, and I like to switch up the medium that I use each time. So, sometimes I'm working with gouache, sometimes I'm working with watercolor, sometimes I'm working with pen and ink, or markers. This just helps me stretch myself creatively and maybe uncover something that I wasn't expecting. For the pattern that I'm building in this course, I used Posca paint pens and Strathmore watercolor paper to start building the pattern elements by hand. If you're feeling stuck about where to start or what to draw for your pattern, start doing some quick warm-up sketches, draw loosely and quickly without being too precious about what you create early on. I like to do this a lot. It helps me really warm up and get the creative juices flowing, and it keeps me from feeling too stressed out or overwhelmed early in the process of design. One thing that I like to do if I'm feeling creatively stuck is give myself a daily challenge. So, this may be a week, 30 days, even 100 days, or longer where I commit to drawing or painting or doing something creative every day for at least a few minutes a day. Over here, I have a few pieces from a 100-day challenge that I'm actually currently doing now, and I was really trying to play with color and pattern development in these pieces and really work small as well so that it didn't get too overwhelming. I used the Posca paint pens for these and this is also Strathmore watercolor paper that I just cut into little four by six pieces of paper, and this one in particular has some nice layering qualities that I really love. I also really like the tropical vibe of this piece and some of these other pieces. So, I think I'm going to use these as my inspiration for this course and for the pattern that I'm going to build for you guys. I'm also thinking about the end product that I want to create with this pattern. So, as I'm looking at these pieces, I'm picturing this on maybe a makeup bag, which is a product that I actually have in my line, or even a shift dress, which is something I don't have in my line, but it's always fun to think of different uses for the patterns that you're creating. So, I really like the direction of these and will use these for the class. Once I had the concept and the design direction of my pattern hashed out by hand, I like to go and redraw all of the pattern elements individually and this just makes it easier for upload to the computer and manipulation in Illustrator later. Now that I have each of the elements redrawn, I'm simply going to take a picture of them with my cell phone. The cell phone cameras now have such great quality, so that's been my preferred way to photograph pattern elements. I prefer to photograph my work with a camera instead of scanning because sometimes scanning can warp your images especially if you have a lot of texture in your images. So, if you're doing a lot of texture paint layering and with these I use the Posca paint pens and so sometimes those can have some texture in them that may not translate as well to a scanned image. Photographing with your cellphone also makes it easier to photograph your work on the fly if you don't have access to a scanner right away. You can also use a DSLR camera or any other point-and-shoot camera, whichever you prefer, just something that makes it easy to get the image from your camera to your computer. I usually set up next to a window. It doesn't have any harsh sunlight coming through with very nice, bright, even, natural light. You can also use a piece of white poster board, or foam core, or even a white sheet of paper, to help reflect some of that sunlight from the window back onto your piece if you set it up on the other side of your artwork. Position your camera over the artwork and get as close as possible without cutting off any of the artwork in the photo. You want to crop out as much of the tabletop as possible while you're taking your photograph. Continue this step with each of the pattern elements that you drew. If you're using a camera that's not on your phone, simply connect it to your computer, upload the images, and save them in an easy to find location. Since I am using my phone to take photos, I prefer to use Google drive to save my images. I have my Google drive folder connected to my computer so that it automatically updates and I have everything backed up. Then it's really easy for me to find those images on my computer and download them for editing. If you are using Google Drive or a similar cloud storage system, you will need to be connected to the Internet to do this. In the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to import your images into Adobe Illustrator and begin cleaning them up. 4. Starting a new document in Illustrator: Now that we've got all of our images redrawn that we want all the different pieces of our pattern created, and we've taken pictures of them and we've brought them into the computer. Now, we can begin building our file in Adobe Illustrator. The first step in doing that is to create a new document. With Illustrator open, you're just going to go to Create New or you can go to File and New. This dialogue box is just going to ask us basically how big we want to make our document to start with and all the different qualities of that. We can always change this information later but it's always good to start with a pretty good idea of where you want to end at. I'm going to call this Tropical Pattern. Then, for the width and the height, I'm going to do 18 inches. I always default to 18 inches because it's half of a yard and many of the sown products that I make for my business are sized based on how many I can fit into a yard, so 18 inches is a really good place for me to start when trying to decide on things like size and scale of my pattern. It's also easy to get a larger repeat with an 18 inch width and height. That way, you're not seeing too much of the same elements in your pattern repeated over and over again. But again, we can always change this later but I always start with 18 inches, and you may have a different number that you want to start with that makes sense for the product that you're going to end up making. So, 18 by 18, the orientation doesn't really matter here because we're doing a square. We're going to stick with one art board to start. For this lesson in this entire class, we're only going to be working on one art board but there may be projects in the future where you want more than one. But again, you can add more as we go along. We don't need to worry about bleed here because our pattern tile is going to butt right up against the next one so we don't need any bleed, and then, we're going to stick to RGB colour mode. We can change this later if we want to but I always start in RGB. I think this looks good for now. We've got it named, we've got our size in there, we've got the color mode and we're going to click Create. This square is your art board, and this is what we're going to be focusing our attention while we build our pattern tile. You'll notice that the background here, this is the canvas space, this is white. If you've just opened up Illustrator for the first time, this may be gray. If you want to change that to white, you can just go up to Illustrator CC, Preferences, User Interface, and then right here Canvas Color. If you click on Match User Interface Brightness, it's going to change that to gray, which that may be what your default is set up. If you want to change that to white, you can change that to white. Then, we're going to click Okay on that. Now, we've got your space set up for starting to build your pattern tile, and in the next lesson, I will show you guys how to import your drawings and start cleaning them up in Illustrator. 5. Placing images in your document for editing: Now, we're ready to start importing the drawings of the pattern elements that we drew earlier. So, I'm going to navigate now to where I have that saved. I'm going to go to File and Place. I have a folder called Original Drawings, so I'm going to grab one of those. As you can see, I mean, you can see my table in the background of this photo, and it's a little bit dark, but I think we've got enough contrast between the element and the paper space that it'll be really easy for us to start cleaning this up, and I do always encourage you to draw your elements separately if you can, and then come in and clean those up later, but just having a lot of white space around that makes it really easy to clean up. So, I'm going to place this drawing, and you can click anywhere. It brings up a little thumbnail and it tells you how many you can place. You can place multiple at a time but for now we're just going to place one at a time. Click to place that, and you can see it's pretty big, so we're going to zoom out. Command and minus will allow you to zoom out, and we're just going to scale that down. So, as this is selected, if you hover your mouse over one of the anchor points at the corner, it's going to bring up a little double arrow icon here. So, we're going to click on that anchor and we're going to hold down the Shift key to keep the proportion of our drawing the same. You can see that proportionately scaled the whole thing, and if we didn't hold down the Shift key, it can go crazy, so we don't want that. I'll just command Z to undo that. So now, we've scaled this down. I'm going to zoom back in and if you have an item selected and you zoom in, it will center that item on the screen. So, I'm just pressing command and the plus sign to zoom in. You can also press Command and zero to bring your art board front and center on your canvas. So, I've got that selected. The next thing I want to do is crop this image. So I'm trying to get out all of that table space because I really want to minimize the number of colors that are in this document early on, the number of colors that I definitely don't want in there. So, I'm just going to crop this then as close as I can get to get all of that table space out of there, and then I'm going to click Apply or Enter. Now, I've got my drawing in there ready to be cleaned up. So, I'm going to bring in the rest of my drawings just the same way using the same steps, and in the next lesson, we will start to clean up these images. 6. Vectorizing and cleaning your artwork: Now that I have all of my drawings imported and cropped, I can begin cleaning these up, and how we're going to do this is, we are going to convert these jpegs that we imported into vector art using the Live trace tool. Now, this is totally my personal preference. I really liked the live trace tool, I think it helps to retain some of the hand-drawn and hand rendered qualities of my work, I do a lot of hand painted and hand-drawn things, I also do some stamped artwork that I will bring in and so I think that the live trace tool really helps to retain those hand rendered qualities which is what I prefer. Some pattern designers really swear against using the Live trace tool. But it really does come down to your personal preference and this is the way that I have found this as most comfortable for me to design patterns and I really loved this tool. So, to start, we're going to choose one of our drawings, click on that and we're just going to do the image trace. Now, there's a couple of options, you can image trace directly from the toolbar up here and you want to click down there's several different options you have here. What we are going to be focusing on is somewhere in the 3 to 16 color range. So, they have these already defaulted as color options. So, if you feel like you want more than 16 colors in your drawing, you can bring up the image trace window. So, you want to go to Window in the top toolbar here, come down to image trace, and that's going to bring up the image trace window and here you can start to specify how you want this to trace your file. So, we are going to do color and it goes up to 30 here. I don't think we need that many colors for this and actually I think we could probably do closer to six, but let's just come down, yeah let's come all the way down to six colors and see what happens with that. So, we've got six colors selected and we can preview that, and this is just saying that it's going to proceed slowly so, we'll do a little preview. Takes it a moment so be patient. Okay, let's just zoom in a little bit here, I'll do Command Plus and I think that's pretty good. I think six colors is plenty we might even be able to do less but for now I'm going to say that that's good and that I'm happy with that. So, let's click off of that. Now, we've got this transformed into vector all. But we need to expand this so that we can actually edit it and start to delete certain parts like the background and anything over here that we don't want. So, we'll click on that and click expand and now it has actually turned it into an editable group of shapes. If you click off of that you can see it's still- like we can go in here and individually delete these pieces. So, there's two ways that you can do this. You can keep this item grouped and you can double-click to go into group isolation mode, and you can start editing it that way. Let's go ahead and just ungroup this, because sometimes getting in and out of the group can feel a little bit awkward, if you're not familiar with working groups. So, I'm going to ungroup this, and I'm just going to go through and start deleting parts of this drawing that I don't want. So, all of these beige pieces there's really nothing within this actual leaf motif that is beige. So, I'm going to start trying to select as many of these as possible to make this go a little faster. One way to do that is to pick one of the shapes, this beige we're going go to select Same, Fill & Stroke you can do fill color. I always do Fill & Stroke just to be sure even though these don't have a Stroke on them but Fill & Stroke. You can see it selected all of the different pieces within this that are the same colors. That's why we're going to delete that. Same thing. So, I'm going to keep doing that until I get all of those background pieces deleted that I don't want, and I want to be careful not to accidentally select anything that's a part of this and just select things that I don't want. Then over here, this has turned this little strip into the same color as this and it's touching this leaf so here's what we're going to do. We're going to zoom in and we're just going to trim that off. We're going to use the eraser tool. You just start to trim close to that, so I have to be perfect. It's still a little bit more. If you zoom in really close and you want to reposition your artwork on the screen, you can hold down the spacebar, it brings up this little hand and then you can click and drag. That's a really easy way to move your artwork around. So I'm just kind of like, roughly trim this little leaf up over here, and make that a little pointy okay. Then I'm going to use the direct selection tool. This is the little white arrow here, and I'm just going to select this and it's just going to select the points that are on that shape I'm going to delete that, and then I'm going do the same thing for this one down here. Zoom out just a bit, being careful not to select anything else in the drawing and that is our first cleaned element. Now, we're going to do some work later on refining some of these edges, but for now we are happy with this. I'm going to do the same thing with the rest of these drawings to get them cleaned up. So, I'm just going to move this guy up to this. Well, also you want to make sure that you group these elements back together so that you can move them altogether. So, you're going to do a click and drag to select the whole thing you can also use the lasso tool and that will allow you to draw a circle around the pieces that you want and be a little bit more precise in what you're grabbing, and then we're just going to do command G. You can also do right-click and group, and that is going to put those items in a group together. So, now when you move this they all move together, and you won't accidentally choose part of this and edit it, so that one's done I'm going to do the rest of these now. So, for this drawing here, I drew this not really knowing what I was going to do it then add in a background on here. I'm not going to use this yellow checkered background, but I do want to make sure that I capture all of the information in this drawing. So, I'm going to do a higher color range on this one. So, I think I'm going to try 16 colors and see how that works. Okay, and I'm happy with that I think that captured enough of information in the drawing, where I was able to get the leaf color but also have enough the separation between these elements that I can easily delete the rest of these yellow pieces in the background. Okay, so now we've got all of our drawings vectorized and they are ready to be recolored. So, in the next lesson, I'll show you guys how to create custom color palettes and start recoloring these in a really quick and effective way. 7. Creating custom color palettes: Welcome back, we are ready to start coloring these objects. Sometimes, you may bring your artwork in and it may be colored exactly how you want it. In my experience, that's rare. A lot of times, I do want to go in and start tweaking some of the colors. So, this lesson, I'm going to show you guys how to create a custom color palette and start recoloring your different motifs very quickly and very easily. So, I'm going to start with these yellow leafy the patterns here. This yellow, when I imported, it came in much more brown than I had anticipated and much more brown that I want and I'm going to bring those up to be a little bit more of a punchy bright yellow-green. I want to retain some of the variation in the drawing here. So, you can see, even though these look like they're pretty monochromatic, pretty much the same color, we do have some slight color variation in here and I want to retain that. So, I'm going to create a range of colors between a green color and a yellow color and I'm going to show you how to do that now. To start, I'm just going to go to the rectangle tool, or you can press M and I'm going to draw a box. So, I want this to be a square although it doesn't really matter that much but if you hold down shift, it'll let you create a perfect square as you drag, click and drag. So, I've got that selected and I'm just going to go in here by double-clicking on this fillbox in the left hand toolbar and see what's available. Okay. So, I have this nice green already selected. You can slide the slider around here to start picking your colors. You can also use Pantone colors if you've bought a Pantone swatch. I haven't, I always go intuitively with the color picking. So, I'm going to start. I'm just going to pick this lime greenish yellow color. I can always adjust this later. So, I've got that, and then I'm going to duplicate this a couple of times and the reason for that will make sense in just a moment. Okay. If you just click on this and you hold down the Alt key and click and drag, it'll create a copy for you. So, I've done that. I've duplicated that three times. I'm going to make this middle color a little bit different color. So, I'm going to go maybe a little bit more yellow here. Okay. Then in this one, I'm going to go light on that. So, let's do a lighter yellow. Actually, what I'm going to do is I'm going to use my eyedropper tool here to make this the same color as this one and then I'm just going to take that, have that selected and now that's the same color and I'm just going to take that and make it a little bit lighter. So, I'm going to go somewhere in here with that. So, the color shift is pretty subtle. So, what I'm going to do now is I want to blend these colors between the three and see if something comes out of that that I like a little bit better. So, I'm going to select all three of these and I'm going to go up to Object, Blend, and Blend Options first. So, I want to do specified steps, you can do smooth color, that's just going to create a very subtle gradient blend all the way from that green to the light yellow. It's going to create a lot of boxes. We don't really need that right now. We just want to do a few steps and get somewhere close to six colors so that we can start matching it, start recoloring the six colors that we already have in these items. So, I'm going to do be specified steps. We've got three here. So, I'm going to do two steps between each box. So, that's actually going to end up giving us seven colors but we will delete a couple of those as we go along and decide which colors we actually want to use to recolor these. So, click "Okay", and then we're going to go back up to Object, Blend, and Make. So, now you can see we have a very nice gradient blend between those three colors and I'm really happy with that color range right now. So, I'm going to select that and it's grouped item and we're going to need to expand it similar to how we expanded our items earlier. So, let's go to Object and Expand, click "Okay". Now, we've got a group of boxes here. So, we're going to want to ungroup those and this is a really great tool just in general for getting a range of colors that may be you can't really pick on your own through the color picker, but we can start to pick out colors that we really love out of that and to get a nice range that we want to apply to our recolored object. So, I'm going to just slip this back in, Control-Z or Command-Z. We're going to create a color palette from this. Now, this is seven colours. We only need six, and really we might even go less than that eventually but for now, let's just put all of these into the color palette. So, we're going to select all of those boxes and we're going to go to our swatches panel. My swatches panel is in the right hand toolbar in my Illustrator panel. If you don't see that, it's a little rectangle with what looks like little squares inside of it. But if you don't see that, you can go up to your windows tab in your top menu and scroll down to Swatches and that'll open that window for you. Right now, we have a lot of colors in here that we don't need. So, I'm just going to select these and I just shift and selected these folders, I'm going to delete those, those are default color palettes that they bring in. Click off of this so that it doesn't recolor your boxes over here. So, we're going to go back to our Swatches panel. I'm going to leave the black and white. You're probably not going to need those but I always leave black and white just as a personal preference. So, we're going to select that first one, shift to select all of those, and we're going to put those in the trash, yes, because we don't need those. We can always come back and add colors as we need. So, we're going to go back over here to our colors that we just created, we're going to select all of those and then we are going to click this little folder to create a new colored group. I'm going to call this one yellow leaves. Click "Okay". So, now you can see we've got that whole range of colors in our swatches panel and we can actually get rid of all these, I'm going to get rid of all but one because we need, because I'm just going to use it as the square for the next color palette but we're going to change the color of that one. So now, we've got a whole nice range of this green and yellow that I'm going to use to recolor this. Then you would do the same thing for all of the different elements that you want to recolor. So, for example, like this purple, I really want this to be more of a pink-purple, a little bit more poppy. So, I'll create a color palette for that and I'll just go around and do the same steps to create color palettes for all of these different elements depending on how I want to recolor them. So, I'll do that now and I will meet you guys on the next lesson where we will start recoloring our artwork. 8. Recoloring your artwork: Welcome back and now we're going to start recoloring our pieces. So, I have created a custom Swatch palette for each of these individual elements. I'm going to actually make my Swatches a little bit bigger just so that I can see them better. So, if you want to make this a little bit bigger you can go up here to this little quadruple line looking menu icon. We're, I'm just going to make them a large thumbnail view and that just helps me see a little bit better of the range up close. As I'm looking at this, I definitely want to reduce these a little bit because the more colors you have in your drawing the more issues you may run into when you're having these printed. If you're doing digital printing, like digital textile printing with spoon flour or any digital printing with a printing company for paper products, the number of colors you have is not really that big of an issue. But if you're going to be doing any screen printed, fabrics or anything like that, you want to reduce the number of colors that you have. So, to do that right now we have seven colors for each of these five things. We've got 35 colors in this document. I want to reduce these down to about four colors per color palette. So, let's start with our greens. We have a pretty subtle transition between each of these colors, so I can definitely get rid of some of these. I'm going to keep the darkest one, I'm probably going to get rid of this guy and start picking a few in-between there. I'll probably get rid of that one and I think I'll get rid of that one. So, now I've got just four colors there that I'm going to use to recolor these items here. So, I'm going to continue doing that for the rest of these and pick out some of the colors that look a little too similar to one another and deleting some of those to get us down to a more manageable color palette. What I'm trying to do here is have some colors that have a little variation that's noticeable because it will lend itself really well to that hand rendered quality because when you're painting by hand, and I used paint markers to create these drawings, but when you have that visible difference between tones, it really does maintain that look of a hand-drawn element because that's something that happens naturally when your hand painting or handwriting. This works especially well if you're doing watercolor or gouache or any paint that has a little more transparency to it in places. So, this is really nice to maintain that quality. If you did want to have a color variation but have a little less noticeable variation, then you would want to keep these colors pretty similar with a more smooth gradient. But for us I want to have this look a little funky when we get done. So, I want that transition to be a little bit more in some places. So, we've got all of our color palettes down to four colors each and some of these could even go less, but I'm not going to go there right now. Okay. So, let's start with our little yellow leaf patterns. So, I'm going to move in here. So, I'm just Command and plus to zoom in and get this to a place, I'm going to scooch it over here. We're going to use the color wheel tool to recolor these. So, I'm going to select all of these at once because I want to do them all the same and I want these to be, I'm not going to group these together, but I want to be able to recover these at the same time, so that it's consistent across all of these elements. So, I've got these selected, I'm going to go up here to the top toolbar and I'm going to select this little pinwheel icon that says, Recolor Artwork. That's going to bring up a dialog box in it. This currently has three colours in it, so that's good. We're just going to click on the yellow leaves pattern or the yellow leaves color palette that I created for this. You can see it automatically redistributes those colors to these new colors. You can see right here I really want to make this correspond with the lightness and darkness of the new colors, and it looks like it's got it flipped. It's pretty subtle and it's hard to tell, but I think I actually want to drag this color up here and drag the dark color down here, and that looks a little bit closer. I really like that. Since it only has three colors here, I'm going to add another color from our custom color palette by clicking on this little icon here below our colors. So, that brings another that more green color in there and I may try to just play around and see how that looks to have it in there, that's cool. Let's pull this down, and pull this down. I actually really like that. So, maybe I don't even use this really light color here. I think I'm just going to leave that like that because I like how it has that dark green here deeper and then as it goes to the top of these pieces, it really lightens up a little bit and there's enough of a color variation in there that it feels more dynamic. So, I like that. I'm going to click, Okay. I'm going to move on to some of the other pieces. So, I'm going to do this purple. This one I really wanted to color correct because I want to make this a little bit more, not quite fuchsia, but I want it to have a little more pink in it. So, I created a custom color palette and I'm curious to see how this starts to play out on this as I recolor it. So again, we're going to recolor this piece using the same technique. To do that we're just going to go back up to the color wheel, recolor artwork and click on the purple leaf color palette that we created. That's a little bit splotchier than I wanted and it's actually not showing all of the color since we've only got three colors in this artwork. So, I'm going to click this little plus sign here for a new row to include that color and I'm going to continue with the process of dragging these around and trying to see if I can get it to a place that I like. Okay. That's getting closer. I like that there's more of the dark in there. I think I like this as it is and I may come back in and manually correct this in a moment and darken this a little bit. But I'm pretty happy with this and I'm going to click, Okay, on that one. Then I'm going to do these guys next. So, you can see this one has a lot more color in it. That's probably because on this one we had all of that background information, so I did extra colors there. So, this is going to be a good example of how to reduce a lot of these colors to just a few colors. So, we're going to click on the green leaves palette, and it automatically reduces that's. So, we're going to need to rearrange some things to get this a little bit more consistent. That's getting a little closer. I'm really liking that better. So, I ended up using only these three colors out of that pallet. So, we've dramatically reduced the number of colors in there and we still got some of that variation between the colors and it still has that hand rendered quality. Click Okay. That's nice. I like that little bit lighter pink coral color. Yeah, I'm going to keep it there, okay? So,now we've recolored all these elements and as you can see they have a little bit more saturation to them. I've really come in and gotten these colors closer to where I want them. I might play with these just a little bit more and meet you guys back on the next lesson where we will start cleaning up some of the edges of our elements. 9. Cleaning artwork edges: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to start cleaning up some of the edges of your drawings. So, when using image trace command to convert your drawings to vector elements, sometimes we do get a little bit of rough edges and it just really depends on the clarity of your photograph, but sometimes information gets into the drawing that doesn't really need to be there. So, you may get bumps here that you may not want. So, I'm going to show you a few techniques for cleaning that up quickly and then we will move on to actually creating our patterns. So, let's start here. This is a pretty good example. So, this one, I've got this all grouped together. I'm going to actually just double-click that to go into group isolation mode and you can see it's bumpy along here, so in some cases, you'll have little nodules there that you can just delete, but in the case of this piece here, it's just got a really rough edge and we want to smooth that out. So, one technique for doing that is to use a smooth tool. Now, on your tool palette, this may actually default as the pencil tool, but if you just click and hold, it'll show you all the different options for tools within that one tool. So, we're going to choose the smooth tool, and then this allows you to start coming in and start drawing lines along here to start to smooth that out. That works pretty well, but if you have some pretty drastic bumps in here like this, I'm just going to smooth this around here, you can actually go in and delete those anchor points individually. To do that, you're going to choose the direct selection tool, this is the little white arrow here in your tool palette, and that will allow you to select individual anchors. So, the anchor points are the points between the lines that create the outline of your shapes and objects. So, we're going to use individual anchor points, and we're going to start deleting those, and it's going to start to smooth things out for us. That's looking a lot smoother there. Those are a couple of ways that you can do that. So, I'm just going to keep moving around and finding places. I'm zoomed in really close here, so some of this is not really going to be that critical if it's bumpy unless it's just really bothering you. So, I'm going to zoom out. Having those rough edges too, in some cases will again lend itself really well to the hand rendered quality of your work. So if that's something you want to retain, you may want to keep those bumpy elements in there. So, I'm just going to smooth these, some of that out, just to keep it from being too jagged on the edges. So, I'm going to continue going around to do that, clean up all the stuff that really stands out to me, and then we will meet back up on the next lesson to start building our pattern tile. 10. Starting a layered pattern: Now that we have all of our pattern elements vectorized, cleaned up, recolored, we can start building our pattern tile. So, what I like to do first is just I'm going to scooch everything off of here, for now. Eventually, we're going to use the Illustrator pattern tool, but to start, I like to try to lay out a general idea of where I want all of my pieces to fall. So, I'm going to start with the biggest pieces first. I'm trying to just lay them out in a way that balances the composition and the colors and all of the different elements. What we're going to do today is a tossed pattern and so it's kind of a random dispersion of all of the pattern elements and there's not going to be any symmetry to this, but it's just going to be a nice flowy tropical pattern. So, I'm going to start with the bigger elements. As I move through this, I'm going to be duplicating a lot of these elements to fill in the pattern. To do that, you'll just click on one of the elements, hold down the Alt or the Option key, and then click and drag and that'll create a copy of your element. Then, you can rotate this if you hover over one of the anchor points at the corner here of your object, you can rotate this pretty easily, we can also flip this, so if you right-click, go down to transform and then reflect, it will mirror that item and you can choose whether you want to do horizontally or vertically. So, I'm going to do a combination of those things. I'll also be kind of stretching and scaling these to make them look a little different. I'm going to try to get as much mileage as possible out of the few pattern elements that I drew. So, this kind of saves me work on the front end of drawing the pattern elements and makes work a little bit easier as we started building this pattern. So, I'm going to continue to do that. Now, that I've got the biggest elements that I had, I got those placed in kind of a scattered way that I like, now I'm kind of coming in with some of the smaller elements and starting to fill in some of the holes. I ended up deciding to sort of make this really big and work with the smaller selection of items knowing that I can go back later and scale this pattern down. I think I want to go a little big with this and then now, I'm just going in and filling in some of these holes so that this is a nice dense pattern with some layering and a lot of flow. I can also send items to the foreground and the background pretty easily by right-clicking and going send to front or send to back and that allows me to control the layering a little bit more in the drawing. Okay, so I've gotten this to a point where I feel like I can start bringing it into the pattern tool in Illustrator and manipulating it a little bit further. I've decided not to use these little blue leaves over here. I think I kind of like the colors that I have currently working in here so I'm just going to move these guys out of the way. I'm not really interested in using those. I'm going to focus on what I have here. So, it still needs some editing, it still needs a little bit of work, but I'm going to move over to the pattern editing tool to start doing the rest of that. Before I do that, I would make a couple of more tweaks. I'm just going to bring this to the front. Yeah, I'm going to take that over to the pattern tool now and start creating my pattern, a repeating pattern tile. So, in the next lesson, I'll show you how to do that. 11. Building your pattern tile: In this lesson, we're going to start using the Adobe Illustrator pattern tool to continue and finish building our pattern tile. As you can see here, I've got all of my elements placed in a general location of where I want them, and I let some elements hang off of the edge here because once we start using the pattern tool, you'll see that it's nice to have that overlap, and since all of my elements in my pattern tile are overlapping, I want to continue that throughout the entire pattern repeat. So, to start building the pattern tile, let's zoom out just a little bit here. Let me go ahead and delete these guys because I decided not to use these, and I don't need them anymore. I'm going to just select all of these pieces, and go to object, pattern, and make, and sometimes this can take a little bit of time so just be patient with it. Okay. So, what this tool does is it gives you just a preview of how your pattern tile is going to do a repeat, and it sizes the pattern tile by default to the edge of your artwork. So, you can see here this blue box represents the edge of the pattern tile, as the pattern tool recognizes it. So, we're going to actually shrink that down to 18 by 18 inches, because we know that's close to what we want for our actual finished pattern tiles, so we'll do 18 inches enter, and give it just a moment. Okay. You can see that it has skewed it everything closer together, so now we need to do the opposite direction. So, for the height we're going to do 18 inches as well, and press enter. Okay. So, you can see now that it's starting to look more like a seamless repeat. So, now we've got our tile sized to 18 by 18 inches, we're just going to start manually re-positioning these things to make our pattern tall or look a little bit more cohesive. If you zoom out, you can see that we have a little bit of banding in here. So, we have a band going across here, across the top and the bottom, and that's just because we need to fill in some of the information here on the top and the bottom of this tile. Then on the sides, it's not bad. I'm pretty happy with how this lined up. I might scoop some of these elements around just a little bit to create a little bit more space visually in between those, select these two little red bed motifs. I might scoop those over just a little bit to make that appear a little bit more balanced. So, now I'm going to spend a little bit of time adjusting some of the things within this space here, and trying to fill in some of these gaps. Now, this process can be a little memory heavy on your computer, so if it takes a long time just be patient with it, let it do its work, try not to go crazy because then you might crash your machine or it'll just get really frustrating. So, just try to be as patient as possible as you as you move these pieces around. Okay. So, I'm going to start trying to fill in some of these gaps here. Okay. So, let's zoom out a little bit, and see what we think about this. So, I think that looks pretty good. If I wanted to spend more time on this and really keep going, I probably would try to create a little bit more staggering here because it does seem to be a little bit of a line of this purple leaf, but for now I think I'm pretty happy with this, and the repeat is pretty seamless, and I'm going to save this one. So, I feel like all the holes are pretty much filled in, and things are are pretty spread out pretty nicely. So, I'm going to save this. Oh, and I want to make sure I rename this. So, I'm going to call this tropical pattern. One thing that I'm not going over in this lesson, but there's different options that you can do as far as how you want this to layout when you first create your pattern. Today, we're just going to stick with the simple grid, but you can do brick by row, brick by column, and you can play around with different ways of organizing that to see how it works. We're not going to go into that right now. It just takes a long time for those to load, but you get the basic idea, and it's basically the same system for organizing all of your pieces in the pattern. One other thing that I do want to take a look at is they have options here for your overlap. So, you can choose if you feel like it's overlapping funny, you can switch the overlap of that. I want to see how the up and down, the vertical overlap would change if I did the bottom in front. So, let's just click that really quick and see what happens. So, yeah. I mean, there's really not much change in that, but I think I'll leave it there, and do the bottom overlapping on top. Okay. So, we've got our pattern named, we're doing a grid pattern, we've got our 18 by 18 inch tile, and we are doing a bottom overlap. Okay. I think we're ready to save this. So, just click done, up here next to the little checkmark, and that will save your pattern tile. So, that brings us back to our original pieces of artwork that we were rearranging. So, we don't really need those anymore, but I want to hang on to those, and I'm just going to create a new layer. So, we're not really going over layers in depth on this class, but I just will say that I don't use layers that much in my pattern work except for when I finish, and I just want to bring in that final pattern tile. So, I'm going to create a new layer. You can bring up the layers window by clicking on this little double stacked diamond looking icon in the right hand toolbar, and that'll open up the layers window. If you don't see that, then you can go up to the window tab in the top toolbar, and scroll down to click on layers. This just allows us to put artwork on different layers that we can lock, and that way we can preserve some of the artwork we've created beforehand, and not mess with that at all. So, I've got our original stuff on this layer one, which I'm going to call original, and then I'm just going to turn off that layer by toggling this little I icon. Then I'm going to click on layer two, I'm going to call this pattern tile, double-click on the layer name to rename it. We'll make sure that that layer is selected, and I'm going to close the layer panel, and I'm going to go up to my swatches panel. So, now you can see we've got our tropical pattern thumbnail up here as a pattern. All we have to do to bring that onto the art board is click and drag, and we can place that anywhere, and you can see it's got all of this information, and a little bit extra on the exterior. So, in the next lesson, I'm going to show you guys how to create your seamless repeating pattern tile from this, and export it directly from Illustrator. 12. Testing & exporting your pattern tile: We are now ready to finish our patterned tile. So in the last lesson, we brought our finished pattern tile onto the art board and we just clicked and dragged this thumbnail onto our art board and as you can see the edges are rough. It's got little bits and pieces of information from the edge of the pattern tile. So, if we zoom in here, you can see there's a little line here, this represents a box that doesn't have a fill or a stroke. That represents the edge of our pattern tile that was created in the pattern tool. So, we're going to resize our art board to match perfectly with that and that's going to help us when we start to export this as a complete pattern tile. So, what I want you to do is click on this and ungroup it and then you're going to just select that path and then we're going to edit this art board, so to do that we're going to come over here to our toolbar on the side, on the left-hand side, and we're going to select the art board tool and this is going to take us into an art board editing mode. So you can see, our art board here has like a marquee around it where we can edit this and we can custom drag this however we want, but what we want to do is just really easily and really quickly make sure that this is the same exact size and placement as our tile boundary. So, I'm going to zoom in just a tad here and I'm going to hover my mouse over that line that we have selected and I'm just going to double-click on when it says intersect, I'm just going to double-click. So now, our art board has resized perfectly to that tile boundary. So, to get out of that, just click the selection tool and now we're back in our regular mode and now we can export this as a pattern tile. But before we do that, we can also test our pattern tile in Illustrator. So I'm going to move this over to the side just a little bit and if we decide to draw a box, if you go over here to the rectangle tool, click on that and then make sure that the swatch for our tropical pattern is selected and then just draw a box, pretty big box that's going to be bigger than the size of our pattern tile and you can see there that our pattern is perfectly repeated inside of that box that we just drew. So now, to export our actual pattern tile, all we have to do is go to File, Export, Export As. For today, I'm just going to export it as a jpeg, you can export it as a PNG or whichever you prefer and depending on where you're uploading this and where you're sending this pattern tile, they may have different requirements but for now we're just going to export as a jpeg. I'm going to leave it named tropical pattern and what we're going to do here is use art boards. So, what's this selected, it's going to make sure that it's going to crop the artwork to the exact boundary of the pattern tile that we created. If we had this unchecked, Illustrator would export a jpeg of all of the artwork that's in our canvas right now, including all this crazy stuff out here. It would just crop to the bounds of the artwork that's existing on that canvas. So, when I say use art boards and range doesn't matter right now we just have one art board, but if we had more than one and we wanted to specify which one of those we would choose a range and choose one, but for now we're just going to choose all, make sure that you're saving it in the place that you want to save it. I'm going to save it here in my pattern class folder and I'm going to export that. Now, a dialog box comes up and again it's going to want you to specify the color mode, we're going to keep it RGB for now but you can specify CMYK here too, if that's something that you need. So, RGB and the quality at 10 is good. We're going to keep it at 300 pixels and for anti-aliasing this just means that it's going to smooth out the lines of your drawing. If you turned off the anti-aliasing, it's going to look pixelated or it's going to look like little boxes that make up your drawing. So, we want this to be smooth, so we turn the anti-aliasing on and where you have an optimized for art and there's another option to optimize for type, but since we have no type and all artwork we're going to do for art and with the resolution, 300 pixels per inch is a pretty standard resolution for our high res image. Some platforms where you're going to be uploading your work will specify 150 pixels per inch, but that's easy to change after the fact. I like to export it initially as a high resolution image. So, we're going to keep it at 300 pixels per inch and click okay and it may take you just a moment to export. Okay, so we've done that and the way to check to make sure that that exported correctly, there's a few ways to do that but if you want to do that in Illustrator and let's go up to file and place and we want to find our tropical pattern and it names it tropical pattern 01 and the reason that it does that is because our art board was named zero one, and you can change the name of your art boards as well when you're in the art board editing mode, but by default, it'll just number them and then when you export, it will append that number to your file name. So, there's our pattern tile. Let's place that here. That looks pretty good and so we can duplicate that by Alt or Option click and drag and you can see that our tile lines up very nicely and it looks great and that is how you create a repeating pattern using Illustrator and your hand-drawn art. Thank you so much for joining the class. 13. Pep talk! Small steps every day...: I spent a lot of time before I started my business daydreaming about being my own boss one day. Then I would immediately dismiss those daydreams as silly and unrealistic and I did that for several years. I know now that it's not unrealistic, It is very possible. I made it happen by continuing to put my work out there, taking small steps every day, and really learning as much as I could about the industry that I want to be successful in. There are going to be days when it feels really hard. You may even build frustrated things are not moving along as quickly as you would like them to, or maybe you're comparing yourself- really bad idea - to one of your peers who seems to be just blowing it out of the water. You may even have people in your life that discourage you from building a business or pursuing your creative dreams or even being in a creative field. But you have to work through those things on your own. You have to learn to push through and motivate yourself and continue putting one foot in front of the other. I also want you to know that you don't have to have this enormous online following to be a successful creative. There's so much pressure to be perfect and popular online immediately and it's just unrealistic and actually very limiting. I have managed to build a business that I love, that makes money, that allows me to continue pursuing my creative dreams, that allows me to be my own boss, and it's not just because of the people that follow me online. As grateful as I am to those people, I can honestly say that a lot of the success of my business has been from things like consistency and putting work into the world, building in personal relationships, and continuing to develop my personal style. Those are the things that are the most important, those are the things you should be focusing on. Beyond teaching you a new skill or showing you a new way to do something creative, I hope that I can share what I've learned along the way and potentially empower you to take the next step in the direction of your creative dreams. So, I hope that this is helpful for you, I hope that you learn something new, and I hope that you leave a little bit more inspired.