Sorry, your browser is not supported
To have the best experience using Skillshare, we recommend that you use one of these supported browsers.

Melissa Iwai

Children's Book Illustrator and Author



Vintage Carousel

I've always loved vintage carousels, so I thought it would be fun to make a pattern collection with this theme.

Here is my mood board:


I've made patterns before, but they are always a struggle for me. And I've never made a collection before. So I'm hoping since I love this topic, it will flow more easily this time! Looking forward to seeing everyone else's work in this session. :)


Hmm. I've been scribbling and drawinga lot of sketches, yet I'm feeling a bit behind and undecided. Oh, I and just noticed I have a typo in my mood board! Oops. 

Anyway, this is the part of pattern design I get stuck on. I think it's because it's a completely different way of thinking for me. Glad I'm taking this session though. Need to get out of my comfort zone!

Here are a sample of my sketches that I've been doing this week:


I've been playing around with the ink pad app -- so fun! I like that I can work outside of my studio for this. Yesterday I did some experimenting at the barber shop while my son was getting his haircut!

I decided it might be faster though if I just drew it in Illustrator -- I'm still not sure which would be most efficient for me. But I decided to re-ink some of the drawings I'd like to turn into icons.

Here is one of my pages cleaned up:


And here is one vectored horse. I'm not thinking of color at the moment. I am kind of slow with Illustrator (i do most of my illustration work in Photoshop), so it might take awhile. But here is one horse that I did:


I made a bunch more motifs. I don't know why, but I seem to be really really slow with Illustrator. I guess I'm just not as comfortable with it compared to Photoshop. So there is somewhat of a learning curve. I had a bunch more motifs to vector, but I think I will stop for now and start on my hero pattern. I did do three horses, a lion, a rabbit, and a polar bear. They have decorations on them, and I hope to somehow incorporate this into the pattern around them and also maybe use some for the complimentary and blender patterns. 


I built my hero pattern today! The color kind of changed... I was going for a more pastel feel, but then the violet took over. I liked it better so I kept it -- I had been working with a softer background color.

I'll see how I feel about it after I sleep on it, but I like it for now! :)


So I'm sneaking in time here and there between my jobs to play with this!

I made one complimentary pattern so far with a polar bear I didn't get to use in the hero print. I plan to make another complimentary pattern with some flowers next.


I was going to post this after I did my spot ilustrations, but I'd like feedback first, please! Do you think the scale and colors of my complimentary and blendar patterns work OK with the hero pattern?  And I have a question, Elizabeth - when you send in a pattern block does it matter what size it is, really? Since you are giving them the original they can size it to fit their needs, right? I just played with scale when I brought these into Photoshop to put together the presentation. I know how to scale it in Illustrator, but I just feel more comfortable doing it in Photoshop, and I wanted to compare it with the other patterns... Anyway, I'd love feedback on this. Thanks!


Ok, so I think I am done!

Here is my other compliment pattern up close:


Here are my three blender patterns:




Here are my spot illustrations:


Here is the collection all together:


And here are some mock ups I made using elements of this collection!  Cell phone cases:


Tote bags:


Thank you SOOO much, Elizabeth for a great class. I learned SO much. I've never made a collection before - I didn't really understand the process. You explained so clearly - the differences between the different elements - hero, complimentary, blender patterns, and spot illustrations. I went back and listened to the videos several times. I'm really glad I took this workshop. I needed the deadlines to keep me on schedule. I know I wouldn't have had the discipline to do it on my own. I really appreciate all your feedback along the way too. Looking forward to attempting more collections using this process. :)


Please sign in or sign up to comment.