Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Repeat Repeat



(My latest pattern - Napkins? Placemats? Boxer shorts?)

In his talk on the TED (Technology Entertainment Design) web site, comic artist Scott McCloud lays down his own personal four rules of engagement:

1. Learn from everyone.

2. Follow no one.

3. Watch for patterns.

4. Work like hell.

I'm not sure I can get behind this list entirely. For instance, I'd like to work a little less hellishly. Toward that end, I believe that to fuel oneself for deep work, it's important to feed your passions with plenty of play, fresh air, rest, good food and great company.

But I am intrigued by the idea of watching for patterns. And of course it makes sense to learn from everyone. Then again, as evidenced by my recent pattern-design research forays on the internet, "everyone" is a quite a lot of people. Which brings me right back to working like hell.

McCloud says that in paying attention to patterns "visions of the future begin to manifest itself."

So from this, I look into the future and see that I will go round this wheel again and again - taking breaks from working like hell in order to feed my passions, which will lead me yet again into working like hell.

Good thing I got outside this morning for a walk with a friend. And I'm going back out in a few minutes to stack wood for the stove.

In the meantime, a few links for pattern seekers and aspiring pattern makers:

Get your own patterns printed on fabric for $18/yard, satisfaction guaranteed, at Spoonflower.

PhotoTessel, a plug-in for Photoshop from HumanSoftware, promises to facilitate pattern making for seventeen types of symmetry. Works on PC and Mac.

Designer Julia Rothman has a great tutorial for making repeat patterns by hand at DesignSponge (nice blog, by the way.

Another useful tutorial, for making repeat patterns with Illustrator, found it at DigitalArts.

Another Illustrator tutorial, for circular and linear patterns, worth a look.

Here's one for creating repeat patterns with Photoshop.

Check out JHillDesign for some inspiring repeat pattern work.

Another inspirational fabric designer: Anna Maria Horner.

1 comment:

patti said...

I love the tutorial on Design Sponge. I thought the example resembled the piece I did last week (the one that was not a pattern.) Now I can make a pattern out of it. Thanks for the info and all the inspiration!