Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Beauty of Dill

A new contest is approaching on Spoonflower and the theme is:  Herb Garden.  My design for this challenge went through many iterations before I settled on a final design that I liked. Initially I thought I would do something very rectilinear, depicting herbs in boxes both from above and in elevation view.  But as often happens when designing, the vision in my head and the translation to the drawn art were not in sync and I decided to take a different approach.  I thought that perhaps I would just do a tossed-style pattern of a variety different herbs (no boxes).  I pulled out my sketchbook and began drawing herbs.  I thought they were looking very pretty on the page, but I wasn't very excited about this concept either.  Just having  herbs tossed about didn't seem very unique or interesting to me.

Hand-drawn herbs in my Sketchbook
While I was drawing these herbs, I stumbled across a plant that did inspire me:  Dill Flowers!  I had no idea that the flowers for dill were so pretty: Delicate spirals of little buds radiating from slender stems. I was finally really excited about an idea for this theme!  So I ditched the sketchbook drawings and went back to Illustrator and began drawing my version of these pretty plants. 

Finished Dill Flowers Pattern
There is so much detail in these pretty little plants that I decided not to add too many other elements to the pattern. A simple pale yellow circle pattern over classic white creates a subtle print behind the dill flowers.  A funny thing does seem to happen though in a zoomed out view of the print:  The yellow in the spirals almost create a blur of color around the stems.  For this reason I wanted to share a close up of the design so you could see the detail of the flowers.
Zoomed in Detail of Dill Flowers
Printed Fabric View
I hope you love this summery print as much as I do!  Voting is now up for the Herb Garden competition and runs through Wed. July 30th.  You can vote here:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Doodle Book Thursday: A Throwback Thursday Instagram Project

It seems like Throwback Thursday, a.k.a. "TBT" has become a bit of a social media phenomenon, and lately I seem to be seeing more and more posts of old photos.  This new trend has inspired me and from the inspiration I have decided to start a new Thursday Instagram project.

In addition to being an illustrator and surface pattern designer, I am also a longtime greeting card creator.  My original BdoodleZ Card Line was sold for many years on Etsy.  This card line was originally inspired by my "doodle" sketches that I started drawing in college (way back in the 1990's! oh my!)  Throughout college and for many years afterwards I was seldom without my doodle book, especially in class or the architecture studio.  In it I created complicated abstract designs all from my imagination.  Sometimes they had a theme, or a specific doodle style, other times they were completely random.  The idea was that if I was already going to be doodling anyways, I might was collect them in a specific book, rather than along the edges of my notes or other pages.  The credit for this idea is owed entirely to my little sister, a talented graphic designer, who came up with the concept and shared it with me.  And so I began to "formally" doodle, a past-time that I loved, that relaxed me and actually helped me stay more focused during class.  Many of my peers knew about the book and an often occurrence was the passing around of the current book so that friends could look through (and usually point out their favorites).  For many years people would suggest I sell these doodles, and eventually I did!  Sort of.  The BdoodleZ card line began as the literal transformation of these black and white sketches to greeting cards but eventually evolved into a colorful card line that incorporated my "doodle" style.

The result of all this doodling, is that I have a pile of sketchbooks filled with doodles.  And it is that collection of books that I plan to showcase in my new Instagram Throwback Thursday project.  Each Thursday I will post a snapshot of a doodle book design from back in the day!  I hope that in addition to enjoying the doodles I post, that maybe I will get a little feedback too, like back in college when my friends would flip through the book.  So many of the designs would make really great surface patterns, and I would love to hear which ones people would like to see made into patterns!

I have so many old designs, at one snapshot a week I could literally do this for YEARS to come.  That is a lot of Throwback Thursdays!  Not a follower of my Instagram feed?  You can find me here:  Or find me at @BdoodleZ.

And if you aren't on Instagram but still want to see the designs each week, I will also be posting them to my online portfolio website here:

So without further ado... Here is Week 1!  (Please note: none of the designs have a title, I didn't do that back then :) )