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Pet Shop - 2 Week Pattern Design Session

For this 2 week pattern session, I have decided to create a playful pattern involving animals.  I want it to be fun and colourful but I also want to try to make sure it doesn't turn out too 'cute'!  Here is my mood board:

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Some of my preliminary sketches are below.  They turned out really messy but I got what I needed in the end!  I toyed with the idea of creating super hero pets instead of regular ones but I decided to save that for another project and stick closer to my mood board for this one.

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I don't have an iPad or anything to draw staright into Illustrator with so I went for the drawing with the mouse approach.  I quite often do that anyway so it wasn't too tricky and I found that the good thing about having drawn my original images in brush pen was that the lines were quite thick so they were easier to trace over.

Here are my digitised images:

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After making many, many tweaks and getting rid of the duplicate flower that had snuck in to my original pattern, here is my absolute final pattern!

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It surprises me that I created such a dense pattern as I'm usually quite minimalist, but I really enjoyed creating it and will definitely do more tossed prints in the future.  I love the fact that it's a bit like being a detective or a mathematician as you have to find a way to fit all the little pieces together!

I'm really glad I took this workshop as I've become completely obsessed with pattern design and am seriously considering a career change as a result!  As an extra challenge to see if I have what it takes to even think about being a real pattern designer, I decided to try to put together a whole collection to go with my tossed print.  I have to admit, I was guessing a bit about what would go together well but I'm quite pleased with it for my first attempt!  I got very depressed at one point because the collection was really not looking cohesive and there was way too much baby pink (I have nothing against baby pink generally but I was trying to stay away from making my patterns look too cute and the pink was definitely too cute!) but I played around for a LONNNNNNNG time and am much happier with the end result.

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Phew!  I feel like I've worked reeeeeeeally hard at pattern making the past couple of weeks!  Thanks so much, Elizabeth, and to everyone else on the workshop as all of your comments and encouragement have helped a great deal.  I have learned so much and am very much looking forward to making more patterns soon (actually probably tonight - I can't stop!).

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For my final pattern I wanted to try to keep the hand-drawn-ness (not a word, I know!) as much as possible.  I'm quite pleased with the result, especially as it is my first ever pattern creation.  I will keep tweaking it until it is just right but for now I am happy with this!

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After looking at my mood board for a while, I really liked the idea of using sky blue as a background colour as it really reminded me of a lovely clear blue Spring sky.  The other colours that really stood out to me were bright yellow and white and I thought they would go really well with the blue.  Bold but not too in your face, and very spring-like.  I sketched lambs and various flowers and then started outting them all together in Illustrator.

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When looking on Pinterest for Spring inspiration, I really loved all the pictures of extremely cute little lambs that I kept coming across.  I have loved lambs since I was little and we lived down the road from someone who kept one as a pet and took it for walks on a lead so it seemd like an especially good subject for my pattern!  There are so many beautiful flowers in Spring time that I knew I also had to include some of these.  This seemed to go well with the idea of little lambs frolicking in meadows.  My immediate thought colour-wise was bright yellow.  It's so fresh and bright and Spring-like!

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