This week’s Spoonflower design contest is to create a Mod wallpaper design, using only 3 colors (plus black or white optional). When I was a teen, I had one wall of my bedroom papered with an op art design (much like this one by Alberto Biasi), and though I’m not sure it fits in the Modernist Subculture, I decided to go with an op art inspiration for my design.
I started by creating a simple grid of circles. Then, using the Adobe Illustrator distort options, I played with different options.
I thought I’d do something with chemical symbols, but I couldn’t come up with anything that seemed like an interesting design. I drew a number of geeky accoutrements, including the ties, test tube, sneaker and glasses below.
Another week, another Spoonflower fabric design contest. The theme for this contest is Australian Animals. So many great options it was hard to pick — kangaroos, wombats, koala bears, emu, platypus, Tasmanian devils… I googled Australian art and was inspired by the Aboriginal dot paintings. I thought I’d try a modern take on the dot paintings using kangaroos and geckos.
I’ll go through the technique I used in Adobe Illustrator to create the multicolored animals.
I started by drawing outlines of a gecko and a kangaroo. I wanted to keep the outlines pretty simple since there would be a lot of detail inside each animal.
When I was in 7th grade my science fair project was on snowflakes, and I learned how to capture snowflakes in a plastic solution on glass slides and then photograph them. My inspiration was Wilson Bentley’s work. So, when Spoonflower’s weekly contest was to create a snowflake design, I knew I’d have to design something.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any of my snowflake photos any more, so I looked around the web for inspiration. You can see many more beautiful snow flakes like these at SnowCrystals.com.
I’ve been working on a snowflake design for another Spoonflower contest. When I thought I was all done with it, I realized that it would look better as a half-brick repeat rather than a straight repeat. It took me a while to rework it into a half-brick repeat, so I thought I’d show the basic steps in this post, and then cover the details in another post.
A half-brick repeat is similar to a half-drop repeat which I covered in this post. The picture below shows the difference between a straight repeat (on the left) where the stars are lined up on top of each other, and a half-brick (on the right) where each row of stars is offset from the rows above and below.
Another week, another Spoonflower design contest. This one is in partnership with the publishers of the series of books called One-Yard Wonders — sewing books with projects you can make with one yard of fabric. They’re putting together a new book aimed at projects to make for children. The contest was to design a girl’s tee shirt with the theme “Under the Sea”, and the winning design will be in the new book. The pattern for the tee shirt was provided.
I’ve always like Matisse’s cutouts and thought I’d try something in that style. This web site about Matisse has a great overview of his cutouts, and this is what the National Gallery of Art says about the cutouts:
During the last fifteen years of his life, Henri Matisse developed his final artistic triumph by “cutting into color.” The drama, scale, and innovation of Matisse’s rare and fragile papiers coupes (paper cutouts) remain without precedent or parallel. His technique involved the freehand cutting of colored papers into beautiful shapes, which he then pinned loosely to the white studio walls, later adjusting, recutting, combining, and recombining them to his satisfaction. The result created an environment that transcended the boundaries of conventional painting, drawing, and sculpture. Continue reading →
I’ve been learning to use Adobe Illustrator to create repeating designs for fabric (here’s an example, and another one). There’s a new version of Illustrator (CS6) which has a new feature allowing you to easily create repeat patterns. I’ve been wanting to try it, and as luck would have it, Spoonflower.com announced a contest to create an Arrow-themed fabric design using the new version of Illustrator. Perfect excuse to try it out, and I learned some important things about how the pattern function works in Illustrator. (You can see my final design here and vote for your favorites in the contest here.) Continue reading →