Blue Stars And Bright Moons, Delving Into Creating Seamless Repeats.

2015 was a year of working on learning some new skills and improving rusty ones.

One of those skills i wanted to improve was my textile designing and pattern repeats.I decided to teach myself the different techniques for seamless repeats, refresh myself on pattern repeat terminology, and get back into the habit of creating full collections.

I invested in textiles design books and online courses to improve my knowledge where my pattern cutting and fashion design background was lacking.  I found them illuminating and set upon practicing what I was learning.

I decided that my first stop should be to learn how to create seamless repeats using the traditional pen and paper method, and then digitize and clean up after.  This proved to be a slightly more challenging lesson than anticipated.

The method is simple you start with your piece of paper or velum that is either perfectly square or rectangle and you begin your pattern design from the center working outwards. Before getting to the outer edges (how close I go generally depends on my design elements) you cut the paper in half horizontally and then carefully line up the two outer horizontal edges together as if they were the center of the paper and secure them in place. Once secure you then work on those now blank areas that are in the center of your paper.  After that you repeat the process again vertically.   Once your tile is filled up as you intend with pattern details you can scan the paper and edit using image editing software and test the repeats for breaks or unwanted channels and lines.

This process in itself isn’t too tricky.  I found the most difficult part was lining up the paper halves so that when pieced back together they didn’t have breaks or miss alignments in the repeats.   My first three attempts had lines that didn’t meet perfectly and I had to resort to using a software image editing program to edit them back to meeting up perfectly after scanning them.

If you want to read a book that covers this method, I have enjoyed my kindle copy of A field guide to fabric design by Kim Kight.

Spoonflower had announced a contest themed for moon phases back in September and I was itching to enter.  I love the moon and stars and general space themes.  I decided that I was going to use the paper cutting method to create my entry.

For the design idea I had in mind I decided to create it in three layers, mostly for ease of creating more variations but also because I thought it might simplify things when trying this method for the first time.

I broke down those three layers into three elements of my design.

Abstracts swirls to represent space,

creating a swirls seamless repeat pattern using the paper method.

Creating a swirly seamless repeat pattern using the paper method.

Geometric stars,

Geometric stars tile on paper.

Geometric stars tile on paper.

And the moon.

Geometric moon drawing.

Geometric moon drawing.

I had the most trouble with matching up my swirls after cutting the paper and re-taping.  In the end I resorted to using a software app for creating those swirls as after 3 attempts on paper I kept miss-aligning the swirl lines and was quickly running out of time to submit before the contest started.

Four paper tile patterns.

Four paper tile patterns.

Once I was confident in my basic repeat line ups in each layer repeat, I took my digitised tiles,  cleaned them up and edited them to the same size ratio as my digitally created tile for the swirls was different proportions to my paper created repeats.  A lot of my lines lost some bulk in the clean up process so I did some touch ups with the brush pen to re draw any broken lines in the same colour as the pen lines.  Otherwise I think I did really well on the moon and stars paper repeats considering it was my first time using the paper and cut method.

When I finished each layer I was able to create three repeat pattern variations with them and fill them in with my chosen colour palette.

Space swirls blue tile.

Space swirls blue tile.

Starry sky monochrome textile pattern.

Starry sky monochrome textile pattern.

Blue stars, bright moons.

Blue stars, bright moons.

 

In order to create a full collection I have created different colour ways for each repeat that pull from the same colour palette.

A different colour way of the starry night sky.

A different colour way of the starry night sky.

A yellow moon colour way of Blue stars and bright moons.

A yellow moon colour way of Blue stars and bright moons.

I have also created some co ordinate patterns from smaller more concise design elements in the main designs.

Starry night Kaleidoscope.

Starry night Kaleidoscope.

Moon flowers.

Moon flowers.

Luna Love in Blue textiles collection.

Luna Love in Blue textiles collection.

The ultimate goal for this project was to learn a new skill, perfect old ones and create a full collection of seamless repeat patterns for textiles that consisted of a properly edited colour palette, and matching focal and co-ordinate prints.  Which overall I think I achieved and I am happy with the result.

Oh and as for the contest entry, I got a lot of compliments and likes and even though I didn’t win, I enjoyed creating the design.

 

A New Logo.

 

Till now I’ve been more interested in the painting and the drawing.

…….at least whenever I can achieve it.

I let the branding and presentation side slide…mostly because I got distracted with the art side, but also because I was putting off figuring out how to edit WordPress to being exactly as I wanted it.

But after while I just couldn’t pretend I didn’t mind the shabby and not very well put together look I have. so I decided to stop procrastinating. And so now I shall be fitting in between art posts work on my presentation.

It’s a slow work in progress. And i shall be working on it bit by bit. progressively over time. So please don’t expect an over night complete transformation.

But today I do have one improvement to show you.  A new Inspired Me Studio. I figured it was time to have one and maybe the best place to start.

It took a while to figure out not just what I wanted and what was expected of a logo but also what represented Inspired Me Studio the best.

This was something I found challenging. At first I was more concerned with the text and displaying the name. But this didn’t get me anywhere. It wasn’t until i stopped and thought about what it was I was offering, that was able to make any progress on starting. I realized that a logo was more than just a signature or displaying your name. It has to tell a story. It had to tell Inspired Me Studios story. And What Inspired Me Studio was about and what I offered.

Firstly lets start with what I am and what I have to offer.  I am an artist and a designer.  I knew that that important aspect must be the main focus of my logo.  I needed to include a piece of my art but something compact and unique to me.

I had recently revisited a style of art that really enjoyed and its something that you don’t see commonly. I decided it would work perfectly for this project so I took that style and went with it.

But first I had to decide what to draw. Something simple and compact. Not a fine art piece of a landscape. But something that told my story.

But how do you choose which elements of a long story to tell.  If you have read my about page and been following my blog till now. you would already know that I am an English transplant, now living in Southern California with my husband and young daughter.  You’d know I have a background in both art and fashion design. And you would know that my daughter played a big part in Inspiring me to start creating again and Inspired Me Studio, blog and all.  That I have many hopes for the path inspired Me Studio will take me on.  It’s a very much personal journey to me.  But how do I incorporate all that into a simple logo? It took a lot of thought and consideration. What would represent all that?

i decided to take inspiration from a form of symbolism I am a fan of, floriography.

Floriography reminded me that many things have symbolic meanings including flowers.  I chose to use a flower in my logo. But not for its floriography meaning. I wanted something that would be aesthetically pleasing in my painting style which could also represent my Daughter, for all her influence in my starting this endeavor.  Her name literally is Star in another language.  I found many flower examples that were known to have star shaped flowers and I felt a flower would best represent her beautiful nature.  I chose the ever climbing cypress vine. for its beautiful red star shaped flowers.

**In case you are curious i have yet to find a meaning for the cypress vine on its own… but apparently according to one site i read when combined with Marigold it stands for despair, not quite the feelings the flower invokes in myself. If anyone finds a nicer meaning for the cypress vine i would love to hear it. 

So I created some ink blots in a beautiful red ink and sketched a cypress vine flower and leaves in gold oil based sharpie. Ink blots are most beautiful i find when symmetrically mirrored. So decided to make the logo so too.

A messy mess. So much fun to create.

A messy mess. So much fun to create.

Flowers, especially trumpet flowers also go very well hand in hand with another component of my logo……hummingbirds.  Hummingbirds feed nectar from trumpet shaped flowers.  And are attracted to brightly colored flowers.  For my last post I drew a few hummingbirds and cypress vines.  That post was inspired by the hummingbirds I have been watching in my garden.  I decided to reuse one of my hummingbird illustrations for my logo.  I found the symbolism of the hummingbird inspiring and very apt for what Inspired Me Studio both means to me and also my hopes and intentions.  Hummingbirds it is said, represent lightness and joy. their ability to fly in many directions fast and hover in one spot reminds us to continue to keep moving forwards. but not forget to remember to occasionally stop and savor life’s beauty. The meanings that have been attributed to these beautiful and mostly tiny birds resonate with me greatly.

My Hovering Hummingbird from my previous post.

My Hovering Hummingbird from my previous post.

So by this point I had all the elements of my logo, bar the text which chose to hand draw to match the style of the hummingbird. And put them all together in an antithetical form.

And here it is…my mirrored ink blot, hummingbird, cypress vine, daughter inspired, new logo with personal spiritual meaning.

And here it is. The new Inspired Me Studio logo

And here it is. The new Inspired Me Studio logo

What do you think? not too shabby huh? I’m pretty in love with its imagery. Perhaps I wont do too badly with this revamp after all! Now whats next on my list?….

OH JOY!……See you on the About Me page…….. in say 4 months, or longer.  That one may take some time.