Inspired by TV Textiles

A lot of things inspire my designs. Being outside and walking around town or in nature are big sources of inspiration. But on days when I'm stuck inside or just enjoying some TV time all cozy on the couch, I still can't stop myself from noticing patterns wherever I look. I have even saved a few images over the years on my Instagram feed #tvtextiles.

I love the series The Durells in Corfu (PBS Masterpiece Theater). It's set in 1935 and I am so in love with the fashion that is depicted on the show. I can't help but take snapshots of special patterns I notice as I watch. Afterward, I will look through the images and make little sketches to see a theme arise.  Attached are (blurry) examples of my captures and the sketchbook entry, then design, that followed. Inspiration has no boundaries! What's your secret source of inspiration?

 One of my inspired design

One of my inspired design

Color Changes Everything

Are you someone who...

  • Mixes paint and chooses a palette before beginning a design?
  • Uses reference material or an existing palette for inspiration?
  • Just wings it and let's the design speak first and the colors follow?

I think lean toward #3 with a little #2 thrown in. I've heard that many people begin painting with a specific color palette in mind and let the colors guide the design. I personally like to design in black and white first. I almost never have a palette in mind until the layout is finished. Once I have the full design in front of me, colors just start appearing in my mind based on the kind of design I have created. I open up my swatch panel and really just start plugging them in as I begin to visual the end result. I never worry about the initial palette because I know I can always change it.  Even if I paint something in color, I usually don't think too hard about the colors I put down.

Color can change the vibe of a design so much—I lean towards bold and bright colors, but that's just my personal aesthetic. If I have a client who is requesting a subtler color palette, I have to be able to change that design up to work for them too. 

Here are some examples of how different a design can look when the palette is switched up for different uses. Which would you apply for wallpaper?Stationery? A shower curtain? The possibilities and uses are endless! 


Putting Inspiration To Work

I often visit libraries and used bookstores in search of new inspiration. I found a few great books recently and wanted to share how I get inspired by imagery and designs, and then capture various motifs to make my own. I found this book on Erté by Charles Spencer at the Russian Hill Bookstore and found that it contained a huge amount of inspiration.

Erte - Charles Spencer
Erte5.jpg
Erte - Charles Spencer

While flipping through it, I sat with my sketchbook and noted little details that spoke to me and my aesthetic. Once I have a selection of motifs I like to take a page from my sketchbook like the one here, into Photoshop and start playing with various items to see what I can come up with. I sometimes use individual motifs or combine a few—the possibilities are endless.

Can you tell which ones I used to make the patterns below? With color and scale changes, rotating, reflecting and putting my own spin on things, the designs now feel like mine but I know Erté was my inspiration and that's I nice thought. Because I did these designs in the same hand and used a complimentary color palette, they also feel like they could work as part of a collection. 

I hope you have fun finding your own inspiration and putting it to work.

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 

 

 

 

Overwhelmed by Offers ?

Are you overwhelmed by all the offers, courses, classes, DIY, Must-Do's! out there? I sure am. I have a hard enough time trying to get one thing in front of me done, without getting distracted by ads that scream "Skills You Need to Have ", "You've Got to See This", "You Must Try This!", "Learn How To Make Your Life Exactly What You Want It To Be With Zero Effort And Make A Million Dollars Doing It." Although many of the courses teach valuable lessons, most of them come at a high price. 

As a creative person, I'm always up for learning more. I love tutorials, marketing classes, instructional videos. However, I don't like spending money on every single thing I come across. I've found some great free PS tutorials through this site PHLEARN like these here. There are many ways to do the same thing, but I love finding a way that's more efficient. Even if something doesn't pertain exactly to textile design, you can still learn tips and tricks that are transferable. 

Here are a few I found pretty interesting. Do you have any favorite free tutorial sites?

http://phlearn.com/how-to-use-step-and-repeat-in-photoshop

http://phlearn.com/how-to-color-an-illustration-in-photoshop

http://phlearn.com/apply-wallpaper-to-walls-in-photoshop

http://phlearn.com/use-refine-edge-tool-photoshop

 

 

 

 

 

Printed Fabric Production

If you are curious to know how a fabric ended up at your local fabric store, this is a a fascinating 15 minute look at the creation of printed fabric from start to finish. From the point when the gray goods are delivered to the factory, until the rolls are sealed in plastic and ready to ship off, this video gives a very detailed and informative look behind the scenes at a printing production factory in China. You can see just how many steps are involved in the process for both flat bed, and rotary screen printing processes.

You can also see that it's quite an intense job involving lots of chemicals, solutions and dyes. It's hard to for me to imagine working in an environment like that day in day out and it makes me appreciate the more eco-friendly approach that many companies are taking nowadays.

YouTube video by Richard Gross

Sky's the Limit

I once saw an HP ad that said "don't let your babies grow up to be jpegs." This is exactly the thought I have when I look at the gazillion photos stored in my computer. I have always tried to use my photos in a useful and creative way. These sky images were taken last week, all on the same night within a 20 minute timeframe. 

I love how a pixelated, repeating pattern can be created and the fun is when you look at it up close and realize that each tiny square is a different sky.

You can also click herehere and here to see more of my photography pattern collages. 

Have bloomin' great day!

I woke up super early again and decided to do my "morning design flow" exercise. I get out my sketchbook first thing every day after waking to see what comes. I used to keep a dream journal, but now I'm letting my thoughts come out as designs. Here's what happened today.

At 6:00 AM I began sketching, and by 7:00 I had a motif I thought I could play with.

© Katja OIlendorff
© Katja Ollendorff
Flowerflw3.jpg
© Katja Ollendorff

 

Then I brought the motif into Illustrator and did an image trace so the lines were nice and clean.

I dragged the motif into PS and worked on the layout and then the color. 

A few hours later...and voila! 

A pattern is born. 

 © Katja Ollendorff

© Katja Ollendorff

 © Katja Ollendorff

© Katja Ollendorff

© Katja Ollendorff

I couldn't help but make some coordinates to go along with the primary design. And then a gazillion color changes later... I landed here.