Michelle Grace

Surface Pattern Designer

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Create a Page for our Class Coloring Book

Create A Page for our Class Colouring Book

Last week I created this page for The Roost Tribe colouring book and I would love to share it here too.

I had so much fun following Bonnie's video and simple steps to achieve this, that I cannot wait to create some more pages and maybe a whole book one day too!!

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Pattern Design Workshop: Create 3 focal prints in 3 weeks 

Hi Everyone,

This is my 3rd project since taking the original course and a holiday challenge and I'm so glad to be back though I must admit seeing my older work shows how much I feel I've developed and learnt in the past 10 months!!

To introduce myself a little more, I'm a surface pattern designer who has worked through an agent before though I am now hoping to design under my own name. I love creating patterns from inspiration that truly inspires me. Previously I was working hard though became demotivated and felt I was not fulfilling my dreams, I hope to turn that around and one day make a living doing what I love!

Beginning my new project- 

My new journey began with an idea which I have used before as inspiration though not developed into a collection yet. Each and everyday I love the simple routine of walking my Daughter to and from school and consider myself lucky that I am able to do this and in such lovely surroundings. To most people I walk through the school field but to me it's a whole world of possibilities! I love wild flowers and find the shapes and motifs I have sketched from them limitless.

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Here is my Daughter on the path that leads us to school and home, we always have to stroke the local cat! There is an abundance of wild flowers, fruit and wildlife amongst the hedgerows that we both find fascinating. 

With this idea in mind I hope to develop a collection inspired by the secrets of the Hedgerow, who lives there, what grows there and how it changes throughout the day as well as throughout the year.

I began by writing my special words and off we went to follow the hedgerows, past the golf course and into the thick of the woods. The path is used by mountain bikers and horse-riders so was very muddy!!

It was my soon to be 14 year old son's idea to find these woods that he had been going to with his friends to film a Drama project. It was quite far for my 7 year old daughter but she found it hilarious that her Mum and brother kept falling in the mud (have washed our 3 pairs of trainers today!) When we found the "pink, enchanted forest" it was magical. I was not intending to use the theme of the forest but what a wonderful place!!

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I have now decided on 3 themes that include"Along the Hedgerow", "National Park" and "Algarve" (I may change the names but I'm happy with the themes!)

Along the Hedgerow

I will question who lives there, Hedgehogs and Field mice protected from the dangers of the exposed world. Bees, butterflies busy fluttering from one flower to the next collecting pollen. The hedgerows are a complex working colony of a secret society. The unseen activity is like a mystery and who really knows what goes on?

10 words to describe my theme-

Countryside, wild flowers & fruits, entwining, rampant, dewy, flowing, active, spreading, climbing, hedgerow dwellers

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Here are some of the sketches I have done so far;

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Today I have worked on my own inspiration boards, here is my 1st:

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The next stage for me, especially for this theme, is to paint. I want my pattern to have a fairytale feel to it and might even try to sneak a little fairy here and there!

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Some examples of my painting using a palette knife with acrylics and gouache on canvas board.

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I have begun to digitalise my paintings and have started to make a pattern though this is quite rough at the moment. I'm getting a feel for my pattern and am trying to be selective with which motifs I add. The repeat is not flowing well yet but I thought I'd post my progress anyway!

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Updated!

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As well as my previous line drawings I have done some very rough sketches of fairy folk with a secret door, but these are so secret not even I know how they are going to appear in my pattern yet!! ;)

After researching fairies on Pinterest I designed my own using a little bit of help from my ballet background!

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I still wanted to keep her a bit secret so have subtly added her disguised as a flower. She also has a friend with a white flower skirt!

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National Park 

I live in Derbyshire in the UK and am surrounded by rolling hills and countryside. I love the wildness of the moorland but when passing through the grounds of a National Park such as Chatsworth there is a significantly different feel in the air. One of elegance and beauty. With Deers running free and birds of prey above. It's a world of peace and harmony.

10 words to describe my theme- 

Heritage, elegance, tamed, harmony, tranquility, breathtaking, expansive, stately, beauty, serene

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These sketches were a bit rushed but are just initial thoughts, I am thinking of using watercolours and/collage for a bit of variety.

My inspiration board;

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For this theme I have lots of original photos that I want to use. Some are from last Summer as well as recent trips to local parks and the countryside.

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I am thinking of using most of my animals as silhouettes in the background against stately homes with a few focal characters in the foreground including a beautiful peacock adorned in splendour!!

I hope to present these background animals in a subtle way using textures and quite a sketchy look. It would be lovely to feel movement within the pattern!

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Some of the motifs that I've digitalised so far;

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After a lot of jigging and re-jigging I think I'm am happy with this design layout. I used the pattern tile maker in .ai using the row by column (1/2 drop).

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I think I will call this one "Chatsworth Park" as this is Chatsworth on the illustration with the bridge infant of it. I am not completely happy with my peacock and think I am either going to draw it or paint it. At the moment the it is standing out too much so I may even introduce more focal characters!

My new peacock versus the original! I prefer the fancy one on the left!

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Revised Chatsworth Park design!!

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I recently worked on a few patterns of a similar theme and I am thinking of trying to create a collection from them, though I will need to recolour them a little.

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Yesterday, (Sunday) I visited Chatsworth for the day with my family and came back so inspired! I began sketching on my return and can't wait to begin adding patterns to make a collection! . . . 

My inspiration for a new Hero print. A beautiful antique, hand painted wallpaper within one of the bedrooms at Chatsworth.

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Here are my sketches ;

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. . . my screens after I put my design together, I forgot to take a screenshot of my digitalised motifs!

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. . . and my finished design;

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I used the pattern maker in .ai with the brick by column layout. I'm quite pleased with the flow through the pattern.

This week I have started to think about coordinates for all my patterns though have so far just worked on my "Chatsworth" theme. I visited small town called "Bakewell" known for it's Bakewell Puddings! It has a lovely river that flows from Chatsworth and has fantastic birdlife of various ducks, swans and river loving birds (that I need to know the names of!). I took lots of photos and have worked digitally straight from my photos.

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Here is my co-ordinating "River Song" pattern.

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Algarve 

I love to holiday in the Algarve and travelled there in May. I am always so inspired by the amazing culture! The flowers are exquisite, the colours are bright and patterns are bold whether they are on architecture or on a tiled wall. For this project I would like to mix typical, traditional Portuguese influences with a modern twist in colour and style. I took many photos on my holiday and sketched in ink on occasion and can't wait to create a collection from my ideas!

10 words to describe my theme- 

Bold, bright, decorative, sunshine, simple motifs, Mediterranean climate, folksy, exotic, coastal, tropical

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I will add some of my own photos soon!

Now, I can't wait to begin my sketches!!

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Here are some sketches I did whilst on my holiday, while my children played together at the park I gathered a bit of research!

My inspiration board featuring my own flower photos;

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Yikes, I've just left myself a day to crack on with this one!! Better yet drawing! Thinking of going for a folksy, simple bold pattern . . . 

I recently did some doodles that I have decided to incorporate into this theme. I am definitely thinking "folksy" but maybe not truly Portuguese as I'm thinking of adding a Swedish Dala horse in the mix. I will have to think of a new name!

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Here is how my screen looked early as I have only just digitalised my motifs today!

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. . . and here is my fun, bold, Folksy print!

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Holiday Challenge.

I have decided to take up Bonnie's Holiday Challenge and create this Still-life which is inspired by my original project, Summer Breeze.

This was the 1st pattern I ever designed on illustrator with Bonnie's careful guidance and brilliant tuition!

Since doing this course in August I have had the confidence to open 4 online stores including Society6, Spoonflower, Zazzle and Redbubble!

My most exciting and top secret acheivement is that I've just landed my 1st licensing deal too! It's all thanks to Bonnie and The Make it in Design team! Thank you xx

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This has been a wonderful introduction to illustrator though I only downloaded it 4 days ago!!! I can't believe the possibilities this course offers and how quickly goals can be achieved! I have alot to learn though am proud that I am sble to submit anything after such a short amount of time!!

I began with sketches and black line drawings that I was able to try the live trace tool on!

After going through the invaluable tutorials with Bonnie I was able to produce this repeat pattern in as many colourways as I liked!

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 I just struggled with the half drop repeat though I need to go over the lessons in greater depth as I'm sure I missed something! I am also strggling to use the smooth tool as it doesn't seem to have the right settings, if anyone can help please!

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Just wanted to add my successful halfdrop! I think I was just struggling with a laptop and not clicking when I needed too! I understand that there needs to be a clear box to define the pattern now!!

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