Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Inspired by Butterflies and Doodles

I am happy to share about a new collection in the works in my Spoonflower Shop, created for the Butterfly Coordinates contest. 

I love designing collections, imagining how the different patterns can mix and match and come to together, so this one was right up my alley.  For the butterfly theme I knew I wanted to start with a butterfly doodle I had done many years ago in one of my many doodle books. 

I created vector versions of the butterflies and then arranged them into a seamless pattern.  Originally I planned on adding the mini butterflies you can see in the doodle, but after filling some of the design voids with them it looked too busy.  That is one of the interesting things about converting a doodle to a workable pattern, what might look interesting as a stand-alone art piece might not work as well in a different format.  I really wanted the main butterflies to stand out, and the little fillers ended up being too much.  Here is a look at the finished main print:  Butterfly Party.

Butterfly Party by Brenda Zapotosky
I did use some of the mini butterflies to create the coordinate print:  Delicate Delights
I wanted this print to act as a neutral so kept the color palette to just three hues.

Delicate Delights by Brenda Zapotosky
The other two coordiantes do not use butterflies, but rather bring in other elements that compliment butterflies, gardens, and summertime.  Picnic is a bright and happy geometric print.  Flutter Flowers is a funky floral inspired by the shapes of butterflies:  wings, spots and antennae. 

Picnic and Flutter Flowers by Brenda Zapotosky
The four prints together are a great mix of scale, color and shape!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Throwback Thursday Doodle Book Project: PART ONE

Before I was an illustrator or a surface pattern designer I was a doodler.  I am not talking about random scribbles that adorn the sides of notebook pages (although I have certainly done my fair share of those).  Back in college I began a filling sketchbooks specifically with doodles: black and white abstract prints and designs, often with a defining theme, but sometimes completely random.  For the past year I have been sharing these doodles on my Instagram feed, one per week, as a Throwback Thursday exercise.  I have always loved getting feedback and opinions from others about my doodles, especially since the particular designs a person is drawn to, seems to vary greatly, and are often not the ones I hold as personal favorites.  In school, I could pass a doodle book around the classroom.  But now, with the joy of social online sharing, my doodles can be seen by a whole new audience!  It has been very interesting to see which doodles garnered the most likes, and just like back in college, it is often a surprise to me which doodles tend to be popular. After I completed a full 52 weeks of doodle book posts I tallied the current heart numbers (which have already changed as new likes have accumulated) to arrive at the top 9 most liked designs.  Here were the winners:

For PART TWO of this Project I want to take some of the designs and turn them into repeatable patterns.  I decided to enlist the help of my followers again to see which of the 9 designs were the most popular. I shared the photo list on Instagram as well as my Facebook Page and a few other Facebook places, asking friends and fans to choose one or more as their favorites.  Interestingly, the votes were very wide spread, and while there were 2 clear winners, they did not win by much.  3rd place was a 5-way tie and the final 2 designs tied for 4th (and each had only one vote less than the 3rd place designs).  Clearly this was not a landslide win. Here are the first and second place winners.

First Place Winner

Second Place Winner
I am excited to turn these two designs into seamless patterns.  I love problem solving and the process of converting hand drawn sketches into vector repeats is one that I find challenging and fun.  I have decided to begin with the 2nd place winner, since it has less complicated hatch and will be easier (although not easy) to do.  I have already begun and I am loving how it looks already!  Stay tuned for PART TWO, where I will share the finished patterns!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Beach Bliss: Sandcastles and More

Summertime in Ohio is in full swing (despite the fact that it has not officially started yet date-wise) and beach days are here!  I am excited to share a few new designs I have developed for my brand-new Beach Bliss Collection in my Spoonflower Shop.  Inspired by the latest contest theme:  Sandcastles, my designs were created with hand-drawn elements and soothing, beachy colors.  For my sandcastle design, I decided to work with a "kit of parts": various shaped buckets, that combined in different ways, create interesting castles.  To decorate my castles, I used shells, pebbles, and other beach finds, as if someone were pulling these together on the beach!  For my "Pebbles" coordinates I had beach house d├ęcor in mind.  I think they would look lovely as curtains or throw pillows!  I have some ideas for other coordinates too, so look out for this collection to grow in the future. 

Available now in my Spoonflower Shop


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Meandering Mermaids Swimming in your Direction!

It has been a while since I shared about a Spoonflower contest, even though I have been entering them quite often. So here is my entry, for the Mermaid themed contest.  The objective for this contest was to design a print with girl's pajamas in mind, and the theme was mermaids.  I am not the biggest mermaid lover, but I liked the pajama aspect and the prize is an extra good one, so I decided to join in.  There were many design restrictions for the this contest, which were a nice challenge to work within, especially in the color department (since the tones I picked are outside my normal color box).  I am very happy with the result:  pretty, almost retro looking mermaids, with long swirly hair which is mimicked by the white swirls in the water.  The contest is over but the design is available for purchase now in my Spoonflower Shop.

Find this design in my Spoonflower Shop.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pattern Observer Challenge

As indicated by the button to the right... I love Instagram!  It is such a fun place to meet and interact with other designers and pattern lovers all over the world.  What is even more fun than normal Instagram posting: An Instagram Challenge!  Throughout the month of March, Pattern Observer hosted an Instagram Challenge for designers to share patterns that they have created that especially work for quilting, in conjunction with the design competition that were co-sponsoring.  I tagged many designs for the challenge and was happy to have a few selected to be featured on the Pattern Observer Instagram feed.  In addition to that feed, the Pattern Observer blog also had a feature post about the Challenge and I am pleased to share that I had two designs included in that as well.  Below are the two designs of mine that were chosen.  You can see them as well as the whole collection of patterns from a large array of talented artists on the post itself.

And, if you love any of my featured designs, they are available for purchase as fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap in my Spoonflower Shop

Shop the whole collection

Confetti Fish