Bird of Paradiso Design Story

Bird of Paradiso is one of my designs in the ‘Summer Nights’ collection now available on a variety of fabrics through Digital Fabrics. This is the story behind the Bird of Paradiso design process.

This design was created at the start of COVID lockdown here in Brisbane, when my daughter was at home with me all the time and I struggled to get anything done…. ahh toddlers!

At the time, ‘paper cutting’ was one of the Spoonflower challenges so I decided to try and get a design created with what little time I had. I had never done any paper cutting design before this challenge, and I’m very glad I gave it a go.

I HIGHLY recommend paper cutting/collage if you are time poor, tired, or wanting to try something new. You just need scissors, paper, and glue and I found it to be so relaxing and fun. Especially at the end of a long day with an energetic child!

I had a very basic idea in my mind before I started, using colours from a little painting in my sketchbook:

I used a very cheap gouache paint (Mont Marte brand) to paint strips of colour on plain white printer paper.

Once the painted paper was dry, I just started cutting and glueing shapes without really thinking about what they should be:

Bird of Paradiso design process

I created a few different abstract shapes on a contrasting background, using my daughter’s craft paper as the base:

Bird of Paradiso design process

Design Tip

creating your artwork on strong contrasting background makes it very easy to scan and clean up your motifs for digital editing

I then scanned the artworks in, and used Photoshop to create a pattern. I was pleasantly surprised by how cool the shapes looked scanned in, and how bold and bright the colours were.

After putting my pattern together, I realised my shapes and design were just like bird of paradise flowers, which I LOVE – clearly there was an unconscious inspiration here when I was doing the paper cutting!

And voila the final design – Bird of Paradiso!

Bird of Paradiso design process
Bird of Paradiso design process

I hope you enjoyed this look at the Bird of Paradiso design process! I’d love to see this design on table ware, for some reason I think it would look fantastic as napkins.

If you are inspired by this design, you can have it printed on a huge range of fabrics through Digital Fabrics.

What would you would make if you had a piece of fabric with this design? I’d love to know – tell me below 🙂

One Reply to “Bird of Paradiso Design Story”

  1. […] The thought of trying to do some watercolour illustration was too overwhelming, so I turned to paper collage. I’d only ever played with paper collage once before, and that was to create my Bird of Paradiso design. […]

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