Thursday, October 16, 2014

Learn Surface Pattern Design from Scratch Blog Tour

So here we go, my first blog hop, what fun, I am sure my one reader will love it. That's what moms are for. I am participating in a surface pattern design competition and class course from the Creative Live Class, Design Surface Patterns from Scratch with Bonnie Christine. I learned every thing Adobe Illustrator and learning how to make patterns was a plus. The lessons where focused and full of actual information I could use and it taught me how to use Illustrator in a real live way. I got so much out of it that I bought it after watching all three days for free. I highly recommend it. 
I love to paint, but sometimes I feel like I need a way to capture my daydreams digitally, that I need a more versatile way to share my images. I am working through what I can create when I put vector images and watercolors together.
The link above and this photo will both take to Creative Live where the tutorials can be found. I found Bonnie Christine through the Roost Tribe, Through her blog and a group of like minded women she brought together I was slowly introduced to all Illustrator could do, I had been using Adobe software more and more in my job. I work as an architect and sometimes presentations needed to be more that just floor plans. Illustrator added a whole new way to communicate spacial designs. This class really opened up the possibilities of what this program could mean to me and my art. I have no doubt it can do the same for you. So with most of my blog tour obligations out of the way I wanted to talk about a few inspiring things to me and how I work through the WHAT in the what and how to create question

I love how artists proclaim they are self taught, like going to art school holds big mysterious teachings. I believe all people are artists, that everyone has a need to create and that finding ones creative medium will lead to the richest lives we will have the opportunity to live. I am a trained architect, five years of professional schooling and I am here to tell you 4 mysterious things that are taught in design/art school. Just to note, business most likely is not one.

Lesson One: Believe in your individual style, take action and practice. Week 9 of my freshman year my drawing teacher told me I was only allowed to do all my sketches, all my prep work and  my course work in pen. I was a perfectionist and I was always erasing and second guessing myself. What using a pen taught me was how to be comfortable in how my visions and observations formed on the paper, there was no erasing. In class we would sit for hours to sketch and everyday things around us, sometimes never picking our pen off the paper. This taught us how to see, how to translate what we actually saw as lines on a piece of paper. I learned that I saw and interpreted things in a very interesting way, a way that clarified the world around me. I am working on using pencil more in my art, but it will never replace the feeling of running a pen over paper and letting the world around  me become my world. This lesson and other critical drawing lessons are found in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. If you want to learn drawing techniques this is the book, it has how to and what to draw. A you become familiar with having a pen in hand and drawing the thing around you, you will find you start to enjoy certain themes and motifs. This awareness will begin to open up the WHAT to draw, you will naturally be drawn to those things you love and your own creative expression will begin to take shape. The secret, spend 16 weeks simply going through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, practice everyday, over and over and over and over. Use only a pen, practice in a sketch book.

Lesson Two: Art tells a story, and that story is thought through and expressed in ones art. This one I think is the biggest thing I took away from school. Everything we designed had a story, there was meaning behind the location of every space, the shape of every building. Every project had a concept, a story of why it was the way it was. Sometimes my art's story is an expression of my daydreams, pieces and parts of things I think should be put together, but even this is a simple story line. Take a look at your favorite artists and designers, look at their art and their design, look for patterns and repeat themes. I bet you will find a story. Often my stories start out as lists and words, they are doodles and scribbled notes off to the side. Through my story making process I dump all the ideas and images in my brain and slowly I take them apart and then put them together again in a way that expresses my story so that I can communicate it to others. Get a sketchbook, it can be the same one you used above, a stack of post it notes and brain sump all the ideas and images floating in your head. This is not a perfect exercise, this is a messy and fun exercise, one that will clarify what it is your heart wants to say. The secret, explore what your story is, it will inform the What in your question on what to create.

Lesson Three: Complete your work, share your work and then move on to the next new piece of work. So many people ask artists how do the do what they do, in all actuality they should be asking how they decided what to do. I know extremely talented people who don't consider themselves artists, but every time they sit down to a project they do an amazing job, they know the techniques and the materials, they just don't know what to create without a set of directions and course work. I think this is the biggest advantage that going to school gives, it drowns you in WHAT that the design process for creating a story becomes second nature and creating ones own WHAT becomes natural. I know that by my last years in school my mind was screaming to create it own WHAT, that's how my doodles started, and eventually my whimsical dreamscapes emerged. To find your WHAT I suggest taking as many classes as you can and get involved with daily sketch-a-day/paint-a-day challenges as possible. It will get your creative mind flowing so when you tackle lesson two above you will have endless story material to create from. Also, have faith and love for your WHAT, its your story and people want to here it. The secret, get some much practice in creating your story though other people's tools and directions that your rebellious nature explodes into your own creative voice, medium and expression.

Lesson Four: Not every artistic piece, exercise or project has to be a sellable and final piece. Have fun and just create, thats what sketchbooks are for, to just let go and let your mind wander and your hands dance with a pen. The best thing about sketchbooks is that they have a cover and a next page, if your first try doesn't turn out the way you want the next try will be closer. There is nothing more wonderful to look through than a persons art journal, all those trials and errors and lessons learned tune into a masterpiece in the end. The secret, your art does not have to be a fully executed business plan. It can just be a really awesome collection of sketch books on your book shelf. 

I hope these four little lessons will give you a bit more courage in your creative journey, for that is what is its, a journey of constantly learning new things and seeing the world in a new way.

For more design and pattern fun hop on over to yesterday's blogger Ania Archer at Sunshine Inspired Designs and tomorrow you will want to visit Margaret Kelly at May Avenue Art.

To wrap up your time here at art by kari I would like to extend to you on behalf of Bonnie a free month of Roost Tribe. This is a place of like minded creatives that is mediated by Bonnie, who is so kind and open to sharing all she knows. P.S. I created all my wedding invites and printables with the graphics I was given through my membership.


  1. Thanks for sharing the lessons with us! I need to draw with a pen more!

    1. Shelia, thanks for the comment, : ) you are my first comment, your deserve a big hug!! you made my day. I have been using pencil a lot the past couple of weeks, its so easy to forget how rewarding simple can be.