Creating an unique handmade wardrobe doesn’t need to stop with sewing clothes or bags. You can expand your creativity and design your own fabric, wallpaper, gift wrapper etc. In collaboration with Spoonflower; today’s blog post it’s all about exploring the wonderful word of surface design.
Inspiration & creating a colour story.
Creating original artwork can seen a bit daunting at first. Start by picking a theme that sparks your interest and gather as many images you can. Create a mood board with the aesthetic you would like to categorise your fabric. Floral, geometric, stripes? Use texture and scale to reflect your inspirations.
When learning a new skill it takes practice and determination. If staring at a blank page give you creative block why not start working on a coloured page? Or take an original photograph and digitise into a drawing? Next step is to build a colour palette. Adobe Capture & Colour lovers are my favourite tools.
I am obsessed with high saturated images with an inspiring mix of colours. An easy way to start is to use design theory as a guide. You can choose monochrome theme building one main colour including light and dark variations. Analogous theme is built from 3 colours next to each other on the colour wheel. Complementary theme is built from two colours opposite each other. Triadic theme is built from 3 colours equally spaced around the wheel.
Designing Repeats by hand.
Pick any size paper and mark your corners from 1-4. Start drawing in the centre keeping the sides free.
It doesn’t matter what you are drawing but simple designs are easier to understand and practice this technique for the first time.
Fold in half and cut. You will have sets with numbers 3-4 & 1-2.
Tape them together. Start drawing again filling blank spaces.
Now fold vertically and cut your design. You will have a set 3-1 & 4-2. Now you will reverse your design and tape them back together. (4-3-2-1).
Draw again. Be sure to draw cross the torn lines. Take a piece of tracing paper and trace your whole work.
Slide the design and trace over each side. You will be able to visualise the full repeat. This helps to visualise how elements flow together making your work better distributed in your block.
With the design copied 4 times you will be able to identify the repeat that you will upload to Spoonflower. Now digitise your hand drawn block.
If you have one design element it’s easy to play with the different repeat effects on Spoonflower website.
Photoshop can be used to create a more intricate design. The same process of breaking the final design in 4 to create a repeat as we done it by hand apply.
Preparing your file for printing. Spoonflower recommends uploading a JPG or PNG file at 150 dpi. The site allows JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF, AI, EPS, or SVC file under 40 MB. DPI means dots per inch and means how defined will be the resolution of your image. One important thing to consider is scale. Make sure when you scan your drawing the scale doesn’t diverge from your plans. Order a test swatch to catch any issues with your design or even to make sure the colour is exactly what you expected.
This post is a collaboration with Spoonflower, a eco-friendly digital print company.