Zoe Allen

Self-taught illustrator/designer/hand-letterer

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21

Kyoto in Spring

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Hi there! I wanted to do something bright and colourful - I really like the colour combination of coral pink and navy, so I did some research with that coupling as a base to fit some themes and other colours around it, and cherry blossoms seemed an obvious choice. 

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I've been lucky enough to visit Japan during cherry blossom season - it's a really joyful time of year, when the Japanese say goodbye to winter and celebrate the oncoming of spring and the summer to come. Cherry blossom trees are completely bedecked in fluffy pink and white blossoms, and locals use the time to go on picnics with friends and family, sing karaoke in the park, girls dress up in colourful kimonos to visit shrines and markets and the wedding season begins - it's a truly magical time. So I chose to focus my pattern collection around my experience of that brief season (cherry blossoms only flower for about two weeks of the year).

SKETCHES

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I used some of my own sketches of cherry blossoms as a starting point for my designs. I really like the organic way the branches curve and reach out, with hundreds of little buds and blossoms sprouting here and there along its length. Cherry blossoms can vary from really fluffy-looking, ruffled petals, to the classic five petal sakura, so I want to be able to represent that variation if I can.

I tend to draw components as I go along, but these are what I started off with at least, drawing over my sketches in Illustrator

DIGITISATION

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CHERRY BLOSSOM BRANCH - SECONDARY

Ta-da! First pattern! I used various of the cherry blossom sprigs I had drawn and pieced them together to create a flowing diagonal - played around with the colours a bit for some different versions, I'm leaning towards the blues at the moment.

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BLOSSOMS - SECONDARY

This is my second secondary blossom print - using just one of the blossom sprigs I drew. It's turned into quite a strong diagonal stripe, but I kinda like it!

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SAKURA DITSY - TERTIARY??

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HERO PRINT!?!?!

I've been having difficulty trying to think up a hero print for this collection, when I remembered the birds from the sketches that I had drawn, so I tried adding them to a composition of cherry blossom sprigs, and it seems to work! Tell me what you think!

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FINAL COLLECTIONS!!!!

I think I've finally done it!! I've created seven different patterns with two colourways each. It's amazingly difficult to match the different colourways together - I'm still not sure whether this is the final final collection, but I felt I needed to put something up otherwise I could keep moving things around forever! Please let me know what you think!

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First colourway - karaoke picnic

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Second colourway - afternoon sake

SPOT GRAPHICS:

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It's been so useful for me to have a deadline with the two weeks to a pattern collection workshop - I'm definitely the type of person who works better with an end date in sight! Thanks Elizabeth for such an inspiring class, I've really enjoyed myself :)

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