Esther Van der Drift

UX Designer | Fashion Illustrator

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Birds of a feather

This project is part one of a 3-course session From Pattern to Portfolio: Build Your Own Pattern & Portfolio!Be sure to also check out part two and part three.

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Some of my fondest memories as a child are the times when I would sit very still in front of the window or on the porch and watch little birds hop around my parents' garden. Occasionally me and my younger brother would find a bird's nest with tiny eggs. Most of the time the eggs were already cracked and the baby birds had left the nest, but we treasured those eggs all the same. For my first pattern I wanted to relive some of those magic moments.

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Before I started working on my moodboard, I wrote down a list of words related to bird nests. I knew that rather than illustrating finished bird nests, I wanted to "build" my own from separate motifs. I used my list of words to guide my image search.

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I got a little carried away once I started sketching. I drew lots of eggs, feathers, twigs and leaves and filled up 5 pages in my sketchbook. It was surprisingly easy and relaxing to draw these elements without thinking about the final arrangement.

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I liked the color palette I had going on in my moodboard, so I picked most of my colors directly from those images. I chose some neutral shades and a bright blue and green as accent colors.

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------------------------------------------------------- M O T I F S -------------------------------------------------------

Rather than choosing a couple of my sketches to digitize, I ended up doing all of them. I figured it's better to have a few extra elements to play around with than having too few. I especially like how the eggs and the twigs with the budding leaves turned out.

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--------------------------------------------- F I N A L   P A T T E R N ----------------------------------------------

I found placing my elements to be a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. For my first attempt I combined several different elements to create 'nests'. There were a lot of gaps in my pattern, so I thought I could fill them with the footprints. Unfortunately this did not have the desired effect for me.

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For my second attempt I kept it simple and picked the previously unused feather motifs. I actually love this one!

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Trying out some different color options. I think the baby blue one is to die for!

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