Vintage Carousel | Skillshare Projects

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. :)


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