For those that know me well, they know I am somewhat obsessed with creating repeating patterns. There is nothing like the feeling you get when that first design actually repeats as you intended. That achievement drives you forward to more variety and complexity in your designs.
Over the last few years I have taken several online courses teaching surface pattern design. Some of them have been amazing, others not so much. I wanted to share with me my top 3 favourites, in no particular order:
The course name is not an exaggeration. This course really is the ultimate guide. When I did the course it was downloadable and I have referred to it many times since.
- Michelle Fifis (who taught the course when I did it), has the most wonderful way of explaining very complex techniques so they are easy to understand
- The repeats you learn to create have depth and interest. I like to work hard to see the repeat in a complex design
- You learn about the industry, different printing methods and how to get a repeat to be print ready
- Turning any design into a repeat, even when working with odd widths and heights
- None that I can think of
I make no secret of the fact that I have a giant girl crush on Jenna Frye, the teacher of this class over on Skillshare. It is so obvious that she is an educator and this comes through in this class.
- Jenna is amazing at explaining the theory and she has a wonderful personality that shines through. She is approachable and actually answers your questions when you ask
- With a grounding in art and design, her approach is a little different and one that I appreciated. It reminded me of being at art school and being encouraged to explore artists and design thinkers is such a big part of a creative journey
- Speaking of theory – her lessons on digital Albers and mixing complimentary neutrals were two of my favourites
- Learning to incorporate our style into a way or working
- Again, nothing comes to mind
This is the second of three courses offered by Elizabeth Olwen over on Skillshare. I would also recommend her first course Introduction to Designing Repeat Patterns in Illustrator if you are new to pattern design:
- Elizabeth has such a lot of experience and her knowledge and advice is very insightful
- The breakdown of the elements that make up a pattern collection
- Developing a collection from moodboard and how to get inspired
- The other elements that you can create to promote a collection e.g. spot graphics
- She teaches a process over a technique. The distinction is small but many of the projects in this class start to look like Elizabeth’s work and she has such a distinct style.
The fine print: The Skillshare classes are affiliate links. If you enrol in the course from that link then I receive a month free membership.