Design School: Lessons Outside My Comfort Zone

My adventures in Make It In Design Summer School continues with an attempt at animal print. It’s no secret that I have always hated animal print anything. Another “style” that makes my stomach turn. No joke. So when I received creative brief #2, I was not excited, but I jumped in.

Since I really can’t stand animal print, I thought I’d look at rare or endangered animals. After hours of stomach-turning research, I found the Clouded Leopard. I love the variations in spot sizes and in the shading within each of the spots. So I played with it. The results were so horrid that will not scar you with an image…actually, I can’t because after I was done with my pity party (yeah, it was so bad that I couldn’t even laugh at it), I deleted the file…and emptied the trash.

Feeling hopelessly design-challenged, I started my search for inspiration once again. That’s when I found the Burmese Star Tortoise. My heroes of the day! In less than an hour, I cranked out this fun design.

Star Tortoise Pattern

Next up: Another adventure in tribal designs. This should be interesting…


Summer School for Designers

It’s been ages since I’ve done much of anything related to illustration, and I don’t like it one bit! So, I signed up to take the Make It In Design Summer School courses…all three. Crazy? Yep, but I’m so hungry to design again that I just couldn’t help myself!

Round 1 was a little rocky, as I was only able to complete one of three assignments:

MIID Summer School pattern design, round 1

This time around, I’ve decided to complete all three assignments. The first theme is tribal shapes. I am the first to admit that the tribal geometric designs just don’t sit well with me (okay, so they kinda make my stomach flop).

I started with a shape you may recognize from one of my owls:

MIID Summer School begins

I never really liked this design, so I thought why not make myself like it more. I reworked the colors to a more vibrant tribal color palette and came up with this…

Almost tribal?

Not quite tribal. So I went back to my sketch pad to try for something more tribal. A few adjustments and I made it to my final design:

That's as tribal as I get!

It reminds me of the irritating patterns I had to deal with as a preteen in the 80s. I think it works, but it’s definitely not my style.

So, have you guessed the next step in my design adventure? Yep, I’ll be creating fabric patterns with all of the bits and pieces of my owls. I’ll use these courses to challenge my skills and build a base of designs. The best will be available through my Spoonflower site.