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Explore Michigan's Outdoors

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One of my favorite places in the world is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in summer. 

Before looking at photos for inspiration, I wrote a list of what I think about when I think about Upper Michigan in the summer.

Upper Michigan:

  • Pine trees
  • Maples
  • Birch bark
  • Lift bridge
  • Logs
  • Lighthouses
  • Moose/deer (antlers)
  • Wild flowers
  • Copper mines
  • Pinecones
  • Fishing

Then I found photos that would help me with sketches for those items. Here is my inspiration board with photos that my husband has taken and some others that I found on Pinterest.

Michigan's Upper Peninsula Inspiration Board

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My Word

Sketching and lettering do not come easy to me, but for this project I've really been trying and actually surprising myself! I've got a long way to go, but thanks Bonnie for inspiring me to start the journey!

I chose the word, "Explore" because of the endless adventures that Upper Michigan has to offer.

Here are my initial word sketches. I knew I wanted something script-like, but I experimented a little. I like the bottom one, and the one on the left that is sideways. I'm going to try to put those into illustrator first.

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Here is the one I liked best after I traced them on my Wacom. I liked that the letters were connected and flowy.

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Sketches

I did a few sketches of what I thought I would be capable of drawing (I'm very, very new to trying to sketch). I only did half of the tree so that I could make it symetrical. And if you notice, the leaf is different on both sides so that I could make two different symetrical leaves (they need some work though).

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Sketches in Illustrator

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I traced the antlers and flowers below from a photo (with my Wacom) and used Live Trace to get the pine cones since I am not that good with creating shapes. The photos were not my own because none of these items are to be found with all this snow we've been getting! 

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I drew these additional objects by hand with my Wacom tablet.

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Color Palette

I loved the colors in this photo. There aren't very many colors, but I think it's going to work perfectly for my pattern.

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Motifs

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Making the motifs was a lot of fun! Although I have to say, Bonnie - you made it look so easy and effortless!

Patterns

Creating this first pattern was a lot of work. I'm still not completely happy with it. It's hard to try to incorporate all of the motifs into a cohesive design without making it look too "busy". Going to work with the colors more to see if that makes a difference. 

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UPDATE:

Here is the same design, but without the flowers and the word "Explore" in it's place. I think it makes it look less busy, what do you think?

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After playing with the colors here are the 3 I've narrowed it down to so far. I like it a lot more now! Now on to making a pattern collection!

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Here is a supporting pattern in a bunch of different colors. I like this pattern a lot. (Sorry for the lines in the screenshots of the patterns, the lines aren't really there, it's just how AI displays it)

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This color scheme ended up being my favorite.

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I found a site (similar to Zazzle) called Society 6 that will take your designs and turn them into products. I can't describe how ecstatic I was when I saw MY design on a product. It was such a rush! I'm definitely hooked. If you want to check out my other designs, here is a link

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Got a little carried away with this floral print, I love it so much. Here it is with totally different color palettes I had from other projects. SO fun!

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Final Pattern Collection

This has been so much fun, and such a great learning experience. Thank you for your teaching and inspiration, Bonnie!

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