Friday, August 6, 2010

The Infection of A Great Idea

I like to read other people's blogs in the morning.  It's the perfect way to let the coffee slowly jump start my system, my muscles start to warm up, and my thought processes open back up from the night before.  I find at this time in my day, I am specifically drawn to the artsy design-based blogs that I follow.  I often find that I'll come across a new painting, design idea, color combination that will set my creative wheels spinning with ideas.  It helps me gear up for working in my studio.  Today, I ran across this post, which (ironically) is a re-post of one someone else did like 2 years ago! A great idea can be infectious like that.

The original post, put up by DesignSponge, was a tutorial on how to create a repeating pattern.  Now, I've never really been attracted to pattern making, mostly because it seems tedious and complicated, and my computer Photoshop skills are minimal.  Despite all that, I was intrigued.  I read the post, read the original post, and the follow up post, that yet another person did with their own trials of using this pattern-making technique.  I figured, what the heck, I'll give it a go, and grabbed some scrap paper, a Pitt pen, and some scissors and tape.  I had NO IDEA what I was going to draw as a pattern, so I just let my barely awake brain relax and just did whatever came out from my hand.  I started with birds, because I've been practicing bird shapes lately and that was quick and easy.  I tried a couple of the shapes that the example in the post used, and then just kept filling in white space.  It was freeing, fun, no pressure whatsoever.

 When I felt satisfied with what I did in the middle of the paper, I started cutting and taping it back together as instructed.  I scanned the resulting image into my computer (as the example explicitly stated the importance for clean, exact, perfectly matched up lines - which I can never do, as you can see - i am a very inexact person and proud of it).

I was able to erase any evidence of the lines from my image and printed it out and then started again, filling the middle space back in again.  It was super fun.

When I was done, I scanned it back into the computer and started playing with filling in the elements with color and added a background of an old paper bag (the same bag image I use for my blog background ;).  Here's what it looks like so far.  I have quite a bit more coloring in to do, but like I said, my photo editing skills are very slow.

I got totally sucked into this project!  I spent several hours on it and I had no real purpose for the image, but I loved making it.  It was downright therapeutic! I think I'll try another one again soon, just to see what I can come up with, because I'm not really sold on this one.  Even though it came out way better than I was expecting, I think I can do better.  But then again, I always think that about everything I create.  It's always a process, with no real specific destination.  So try this technique sometime.  You'll enjoy it, I promise, and let me know how it goes :)




  1. way to go! Looks like a totally fun project. We'll have to give it a go too!

  2. Great idea! I love mixing photoshop into my work.

  3. THis project looks so fun! cant wait to try it out. You should make the pattern you made your blog background!

  4. i love your pattern. I found you on kelly rae's blog and have been reading your journey and decided to just reply to all ive read here. and overall i just want you to know which you might know but not fully believe...and that it is you are so ready to share your work with the world. it is so beautiful i love the colors and shapes and...inexactness...of it all. luvs it. i also joined your blog. so nice to meetchu and c u soon! hugs!!


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