Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

It was a great week creatively-speaking. I feel like something has clicked in the past couple of weeks and my work is getting better. I can now look back at some of my earlier pillow designs in this project and see where I was struggling to find my way.

While I didn't have a set theme again this week, I think it's one of the most consistent weeks I've had. It started with a white peacock feather pattern that was just calling to be incorporated with gold.

peacock feather fabric

A companion peacock pattern immediately followed and by that time, I was in the groove of using white lines within my designs.

peacock pattern

modern tree pattern

The oil lamp illustration was drawn from an actual lamp my mom gave to me, handed down from my grandparents. I was inspired by the beautiful pattern etched into the glass.

oil lamp pattern

Lastly, a terrarium pattern that started with an illustration I made earlier in the year...that also used white lines to represent glass. Today I drew the plants for the 2nd terrarium, the one with the flowering cacti, and created the repeat.

terrariums pattern

2 months from now I may look back at these and again say I was trying to find my way. Even if so, I see real progress happening!


Well, there was no planned theme this week as I thought I might have. Coming up with a theme I'm willing to commit to for a week is challenging! In many ways I like being able to draw whatever subject I feel like drawing for the day. On the flip side that leaves too many options available. Nonetheless, the week ended well and I feel like I'm finding my stride.

Days 28 (Halloween) and 29 were especially fun since I used digital watercolor. Painting the pumpkins felt so much like using real watercolor, or even ink, that I wanted to break out the real thing. Just having that extra bit of texture in my artwork is nice.

The tiny house design for Day 31 feels very much like "me". It's modern and illustrative. I can see expanding the pattern at some point by adding additional motifs, or maybe creating a companion pattern for it.

Ah, it feels good to have another week of pillow designs behind me. This one wasn't without artistic struggle, but seeing the results after pushing through was completely worth it. ❤

checkered pattern

Halloween pumpkin pattern

foliage pattern

candle pattern

tiny houses pattern

Since last week I unintentionally designed mostly geometric patterns, I decided at the beginning of this week to intentionally set a theme. I chose a floral one, thinking it would be a good exercise to determine if I really enjoy making floral prints.

The conclusion? I enjoy it. I wouldn't want to make only floral designs for the rest of my life, but they definitely have a place in my heart.

The designs for Days 22-25 were all made using a similar technique: they began as pencil drawings on paper before being inked and then converted to digital art in Illustrator. The one for today, Day 26, is different in that I started "painting" it digitally from the start, using Photoshop. It has a more painterly, textured appearance that I like. Painting using my Wacom tablet still doesn't feel 100% natural, so I think for that reason I shy away from it, but it really does produce beautiful results.

I liked having a theme this week to help focus my thoughts. I may do the same again next week.

This week I leaned toward modern prints. It wasn't something I set out to do beforehand, but a session in my sketchbook last weekend resulted in a lot of the geometric and modern motifs you see in these patterns. The fun part is always arranging, coloring (and re-coloring) and seeing how the final design differs from what was originally sketched in pencil. It's also satisfying to start a day having no idea what I'm going to draw and ending the day with something to be proud of.

I can firmly say I'm passionate about every single one of these designs.

That feels good!

This week of the 100 Days of Pillows project felt a little more challenging than the last, but I finished with 3 more designs I'm happy with and 2 that I absolutely love.

Lesson learned: I favor patterns that have breathing space. But if they are fairly busy, including neutrals is required to give the eye a place to rest. Case in point is the paisley pattern. While I love the pattern itself, I'd like to revisit the color palette. It's super close to where I think it should be but maybe a more neutral background will make me love the entire palette as well.

I've also realized that I can more easily envision some designs in outdoor spaces vs. indoors. To use the paisley example again, as-is I can picture the pillow on a chair on the back porch or even poolside. But that just might be my personal preference talking, since I'm fairly conservative with the colors I choose for my own indoor spaces.

If I change the colors on that one, I'll post the new version here for comparison. :)

11% complete with the 100 Days of Pillows project! It's fun to see how, in most cases, one design naturally leads to the next. Colors used one day get repeated the next, or a floral print results in another floral print, or dots on one design lead to dots on the next.

The concept for Day 9 (3rd pillow down) unexpectedly flashed into my mind while I was winding down the night before. I literally ran into the next room to grab my sketchbook and start drawing so I could work it out on paper before the idea faded. I didn't know the color palette I was going to use at the time, but it turned into a light, airy pattern that reminds me of clam shells and would look great in a beach house. I think it's my favorite from this week. :)

The first full week of pillow designs is complete! I confess that on some days I had no idea what I was going to make. But I only had to remember that simply sitting down and putting pencil to paper stirs creative ideas until eventually something comes out.

I'm quite happy with the progress made here. I've learned that designing specifically for pillows really influences the colors and motifs I choose.

The question I have is: how do surface pattern designers, who have been in the industry for years, refrain from printing EVERY one of their designs on fabric? I guess it's a discipline that comes with time. :)

Recently I've had a shift in the way I approach my artwork, that began when I started envisioning my artwork on home decor. The question that now frequently comes to mind is: "Would I put this design in my own home?".

It's surprising how much the answer to that question can change the outcome of a design. If the answer is "no", then I know the artwork is not really "me" and either needs re-working or gets tossed into the scrap pile. Asking that question has also rekindled my love of interior design, which I studied for a full year back in the day. So starting a personal project with a focus on home decor seems like a natural segue.

The idea of an artist personal project is not new. Illustrator Andy J. Miller successfully completed his own by drawing a different character each weekday for a year. More recently, artist Zoe Ingram completed 100 days of plates. I have both of them to thank for inspiring me to take on this project of 100 Days of Pillows.

There are several goals I'd like to accomplish with this project:

1)  Grow my skill set as an artist and designer.
2)  Build a strong body of work for my portfolio.
3)  Hopefully draw more attention to my work for the sake of...
4)  Growing my business so that I can...

  • make more art.
  • give more.

I believe leveraging my talents for the benefit of others is part of my purpose on this globe. (You can read about the ministry that has captured my heart on the bottom of my About page.)

So today, I'm committing to create artwork for 100 different pillow designs across 100 week days. They will be as consecutive as possible, but with the upcoming holidays and planned travel, there will be short breaks here and there. I'll post each one to my Instagram and Facebook pages so you can follow along and will update, less frequently, here as well.

Here is Day 1 of 100 Days of Pillows!

The design was derived from a simple stacked stone sketch I made in my art journal recently.

Stones - Pillow

Is this a pillow I would place in my own home?

The answer is definitely "yes". :)

~ Christina've put in the work and realize the "magic" is finally happening. :)

This week I hit on something really special: a combination of charcoal drawing, color and pattern. Prior to this I had never considered using charcoal in pattern form. Yet once I designed the first one and added color, I knew that it was "me" more than anything else I've created to date.

The fall theme probably adds to this feeling. It almost makes me want to cry (happy tears, of course).

Charcoal Pumpkins on Green

I sat on this breakthrough for a day, with another charcoal pattern following quickly, and still didn't know what I was going to do with this artwork. I've only considered charcoal for fine art...the kind you frame and hang on the wall.

And then it dawned on me how beautiful charcoal grays are in home decor. I even have gray walls inside my own home. So, I tried a pattern on a mock throw pillow and LOVE it.

Charcoal Floral Pumpkin Pillow

When I look at these patterns I see the practice that has gone into them, from the early years of charcoal drawing to the past 5 months of learning pattern design and how to work with digital tools. I've heard it said over and over again that as an artist, if you just put in the time and work, your personal style will start to emerge. Now I finally believe that's true, as I haven't really been able to see my own style...until now.

I've already started dreaming of how this might go further...of at least one (big!) retailer that I'd love to work with, that might be interested in putting this type of artwork on their home decor products. It's exciting and scary at the same time.

Charcoal pattern #3 is already in the works. Check out my Instagram or Facebook feed on Monday to see it. :)


I'm so happy to announce that the first batch of blank journals has finally arrived. :) There are 4 different cover designs, illustrated by me, and 80 crisp white pages to fill to your heart's desire.

I've included this trendy pineapple design that has been one of my favorites since I started making patterns this year.

cute journal

Each journal is 5" x 7" and fits perfectly in your hand (and bag).

Even the inside covers are printed with a simple pattern of mine.

journal inside cover

If you'd like one for yourself or for a friend, click here to shop the entire collection on Etsy.