Digital Patterns and Self-Care

Floral surface patterns

This week I’ve been learning how to use Adobe Illustrator to digitise my drawings and create patterns. I’m familiar with a few aspects of Photoshop so that’s helped me to find my way around Illustrator, and it’s been fun to see how some of the flower drawings I made last year using pen and watercolours could be transformed into something quite different.

One thing I haven’t been very successful with though, is keeping a check on how long I spend on my work. I’ve noticed that digital work or anything involving a computer is really easy to get absorbed in, to the point where you’re still in your pyjamas at 1pm and your eyes are burning from staring at a screen for 5 hours.

One of the differences between digital and ‘analogue’ art work is that there’s often (although not always) a finish point with analogue work where you can’t really do much more to a drawing. With digital drawing the possibilities are endless – you can add and delete, tweak colours and resize for ever and ever.

And even when you tell yourself that you’re not going to look at your digital work again for the rest of the day you find yourself sneakily opening the program and losing another hour in hunt of the perfect shade of yellow.

Or is that just me? Note to self: Remember to use my mouse timer in future.

3 thoughts on “Digital Patterns and Self-Care

  1. Luisa Reply

    I know EXACTLY what you mean. A day can go by and I get this feeling of where did all of it go?
    I don’t like the feeling. In my last post I wrote about a very long process for one illustration that was mere experimental.. but it took such a long time. I prefer working in watercolor. It’s meticulous and absorbing but as you say, at one point you just have to stop, while on digital you can create multiple versions, multiple color ways and play and play until infinity. Good idea to use a timer!

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      I’m glad someone else can relate to this! Like you, I really don’t like the feeling of the day having run away from me. The past couple of days have me eager to get back to my watercolours too, and I’m thinking of maybe ordering a new sketchbook as encouragement to step away from the computer.

  2. Aunty Ann Reply

    Hi Cathryn
    I sent for the Danny Gregory book that you recommended. Waiting for it with anticipation. Last week I took some tulips over to Andy’s. Some of us sat round the table looking at them and drawing. It
    was a very relaxing half hour. We played some music ….Spiegel im Spiegel…which added to the session.
    Art therapy!!

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