Well, all of those are surfaces with designs on them, and it might not have occurred to you, but some people have careers designing the art that goes onto these things.
Designers create the art you see on yoga pants and mats, water bottles, bedding, fabrics, stationery, wrapping paper, wallpaper, and myriad other items. Some designs are stand alone or single, like a piece of art that can be framed or put onto greeting cards. And some items, such as fabrics, require repeating surface pattern designs.
Long ago, in the very-old-olden days, repeating designs were made by first creating a design on paper, cutting the paper into equal fourths, and then rearranging them so the inner edges faced outwards. This was then used by weavers. In 1985, Adobe Illustrator was first released, and creating digital patterns became possible.
Adobe Illustrator is a massive, complex program, but it’s also fun to use. And, if I can learn it, so can you – remember my previous post about how older brains work?
|Christmas design after a year of learning and practicing.|
About a year ago, I took an intensive course in Illustrator, and since then have been working nearly full-time creating designs, learning, and honing my skills, with the ultimate goal of getting my work licensed by fabric makers and producers of other items. Until that happens, I’ve also learned how to use print on demand (POD) sites to upload my work and allow people to find and purchase items with my designs printed on them.
A design can be started on paper using watercolors or sketched with pen. A photograph can also be used, or a design can be created completely within Illustrator, using digital tools provided such as art brushes, pen, pencil, and shape building tools. If a paper design is used, it would be scanned and saved as a jpeg on your computer, first. A photograph would also be sent to your computer and saved as a jpeg.
Once the initial art pieces are saved to your computer, you would bring your designs into the Adobe Illustrator program and vectorize them. Vector art are shapes that are based on mathematical formulae, and therefore are scale independent, meaning that the images will not lose quality if they’re scaled up, in the way that pixel-based images do. Photographs are pixel images, and a pixel is a spot of color. You know that if you blow up a photograph too big, the image quality suffers. Well, not so with Illustrator. Designers can create one image and use it on business cards or billboards while maintaining image integrity.
Once images are vectorized, designers use Illustrator tools to manipulate them and create a fuller design. Images can be duplicated, manipulated in shape, size, and color, and layered with other images. Groups of images could be saved as motifs that could be duplicated and placed strategically, to create a repeating pattern. The repeating pattern is then saved and can be uploaded to POD sites. Each POD site has its own requirements as to what type and size file they require for their products.
|Homemade holiday tablecloth.|
If you’re interested in learning more, go to the resources tab on my website for links to course sites and teachers I use as well as POD sites to check out. There, you’ll also find a link for 14 days of free Premium Skillshare access so you can try out my recommended teachers, or any others on any topics you find interesting! Have fun, and Happy New Year!Charlotte has always been creative and interested in
how things work and interact in the world. While she has a BSE in engineering, a M.Ed. in special education, she worked in a variety of positions, including Motorola engineer, special-ed high school teacher, homeschooling-mom, flute player, formalwear alterations business owner, and writer. She also cross stitches, paints, cooks, still sews for her family, and has recently learned how to use Adobe Illustrator to create repeating designs for fabrics and other items. Join her over at www.charlotteraby.com to stay connected and see what she’s up to!