Surface Pattern Design

I recently entered the Uppercase Magazine’s 2021 Surface Pattern Design Guide. I’ve been a fan of Uppercase Magazine for years now and also a subscriber. The SPDG is always my favourite issue and although I was nervous about entering, it was also an exciting step as I hope to pursue pattern design and licensing more seriously. I’m finishing up some exercises and assignments from the fantastic Make it in Design Module One course ‘Designing Your Way’ and I have recently been having a lot of fun making patterns and illustrations with Posca paint markers. I share almost all of my work on Instagram but will be updating on here as well as I work on building a portfolio.

February 2021

The evolution of a pattern…

This pattern may look familiar to some of you – and that’s because it’s undergone a few transformations over the last few weeks. I think I’ve finally made one that I’m happy with, which I’m excited about since I did really like the colours in this one and was hoping to create a version that I actually want to share and even possibly use in a portfolio at some point.

I liked the original pattern (above) overall but the turquoise flowers looked awkward and poorly done.

I decided to draw over them (another thing I love about Posca paint markers!) as best I could with the space limitations and while I liked it better, it still wasn’t quite what I wanted (see below).

So then a few weeks ago I decided to redraw the pattern and completely changed the turquoise flowers after doing some sketches. And the third photo (below) is the end result. I’ve also included a photo of this pattern with a pink background, added in Affinity Photo.

Alhumdulillah I learn from every pattern and drawing that I do and it’s been a lot of fun. For example, this is a colour combination that I’ve never used and normally wouldn’t have thought of but now I’d love to use it again, maybe even in a painting Insha’Allah 🎨 There are still things I would change, and the flower in the top left could definitely use some work. But overall it’s much more in line with what I was going for.

I also added a pink background to this pattern after I scanned it, as I mentioned above. Check out that version below. It’s so fun to play with backgrounds and colours and see how much they can change a work.

My Submission to the 5th Edition of the Uppercase Surface Pattern Design Guide [2023]