Surface Pattern Design

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may have noticed the odd drawing or pattern pop up on my feed, a bit different from my beach photos! 

Welcome to the world of surface pattern design- something I’ve been interested in for awhile and am now happily trying to learn!

Surface pattern design covers so many things- if you look around you for patterns or prints you will start to realise how many things are actually designed by someone- the pattern on your mug, your stylish lounge cushions, the cool notebook you have, the print on your favourite shirt, the funky wallpaper in the cafe down the road… pattern and print is really everywhere and as I’m discovering there is always alot of work behind it!

I’ve always been attracted to bright, quirky, beautiful design and was delighted to discover I could actually learn how to do this myself. 

My first foray into surface pattern design was a short course in Textile Design with the Australian Institute of Creative Design. 

This was such a fun course and I tried out new materials and techniques (like using food colouring as a watercolour paint!!) – this collage was one of the pieces I created:

I wanted to learn more but knowing I had a baby on the way I searched for online learning options. Here I discovered Make it in Design and their online courses. I signed up for the first module and absolutely loved it- lessons are well set out and the creative exercises really push you. I’m now slowly working my way through the other modules and I’m at the stage of ‘finding my style’. For those of you that do design you know exactly what means is and it isn’t always easy!

It’s basically creating work that has a certain look and is recognisable as yours. When you think of well-known designers like Cath Kidston or Missoni their style is quite specific and instantly recognisable. 

I’ve been doing little paintings and sketches when I get a free moment and experimenting with different pattern ideas to try and get something that I think is really ‘me’. 

Normally I would spend at least half a day on an A5 sized drawing (realism is what I really enjoy doing) but with a young child around that isn’t always practical! So currently I’m playing with ink drawings and quick acrylic or watercolour paintings. 

This is a sketch I did in about five minutes while out at a kid’s playcentre- it’s very simple but looks kind of interesting in a repeat pattern with some different colour ways. This is one of the skills I have been learning through the Make it in Design courses – how to use Photoshop and Illustrator to create patterns. 



And these are some of the patterns I’ve made so far that I quite like….

I feel that ‘finding my style’ is still that bit elusive but I’ll hopefully settle on a consistent look soon!

I hope you enjoyed this post 🙂

6 Replies to “Surface Pattern Design”

  1. Lucy Ellen says:

    Beautiful 💓💗💕

  2. […] Back at the start of 2019 I was looking after my then 15 month old daughter full time and had been slowly working my way through the Make it in Design modules (read more about this here).  […]

  3. […] I didn’t even know the term ‘surface pattern design’ when I took a weekend art class in textile design back in 2017. I was pregnant at the time and had always had a love of pattern and art but had no idea it was something I could actually do. […]

  4. […] to do art. I did little bits and pieces when I could, and took my time to slowly complete an online surface design […]

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