A Slow Summer and New Fabric Designs

4 repeat patterns of kiwis, wild flowers, vegetables and cars

August has been a necessarily slow month. After finishing my 100 Day Project and another big piece of work I decided to take a short break from drawing and painting, to catch my metaphorical breath.

But that short break turned into a longer one because my energy levels crashed and, as anyone with M.E will know, all you can do when that happens is rest, take care of yourself and trust that things will improve again.

Thankfully, I’m starting to feel better and in between resting and napping, I’ve done a tiny bit of work, mostly for fun.

I took a few of my botanical drawings and created a couple of new repeat patterns – one of wild flowers and one of kiwi fruit slices.

Then I decided to do something that I’ve been intending to do for a very long time. I uploaded these designs, along with 2 of my older repeat patterns to Spoonflower, and ordered some fabric swatches. Now that I’ve done that I’m able to make these 4 designs available to purchase as either fabric or wallpaper in my new Spoonflower shop!

The shop is a bit of a work in progress but for every sale of my designs I will earn a small commission. I’m hoping to add more designs to the shop over time so if there’s one that you’d like to be able to buy, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

100 Days of Botanicals

Yesterday was the last day of this year’s 100 Day Project, which is an annual global art project, free for anyone to join in. All you have to do to take part is choose a creative project that you can work on every day and do it every day for 100 days. If you choose, you share your work online with the hashtag #the100dayproject.

I’ve taken part twice in the past, making patterns and hand lettering. This year I decided that every day I would make a small drawing with a botanical theme – flowers, fruit, vegetables, leaves… These are the 100 drawings I made and as you can see, I played around with different mediums and styles and I really enjoyed it.

There were times when it felt difficult or like I really didn’t want to draw another flower ever again but I kept going and I’m glad I did. It’s been a really good way to create a new body of work and be playful at the same time.

I have some ideas about what I want to do next but for the moment I have a big piece of work to finish and then I think I’m going to have a bit of a rest from making new drawings for a bit.

In the meantime, I’m slowly adding all of these 100 drawings to my Etsy shop. Some have already sold but if the one you like isn’t there yet it will probably appear over the next couple of weeks.

MATS Bootcamp: Journal Cover and Homeware

Like last year I’m taking the Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp course right now. It runs until May and each month we receive an assignment from Lilla Rogers. This time of year can often feel a bit slow for me in terms of making work and finding inspiration and motivation, so having some structure to work with can really help.

Our first assignment in February was to design a floral journal cover. We were each assigned different flowers to include in the design and mine was Lily of the Valley. The image below is my final design and I decided that I would place that design across the spine of the journal to make it more dynamic and interesting.

I made some other floral arrangements based on the same design and they’re now for sale as a greeting card and postcard set in my Etsy shop.

In March we were given a very unusual assignment, which was to design a set of salt and pepper shakers. The brief was very open and we were able to take it in any direction we chose. I usually do better with more structure than that but I worked through some ideas and decided to keep things fairly simple with these bunny shakers. I imagine they’re be made from ceramic but I could also picture them in wood.

I toyed with the idea of designing them as wooden salt and pepper mills rather than shakers but the idea of twisting the bunnies’ heads, potentially leaving them the wrong way around seemed almost gruesome!

I’m now waiting (im)patiently for April’s assignment and I’m also giving some thought to joining in with the 100 Day Project again this year. It starts on 2nd April (2 days’ time) and I’m still not sure what my project is going to be. Any suggestions?

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 more “Digital Patterns and Self-Care”