Blue Print Show in SF October 1-3, 2019


I’ll be exhibiting at the Blueprint Show in SF this year and I’m getting super excited for next week’s show. How could I not participate!? It’s right in my backyard!

This is the first time I’ll be sharing my designs at a print show, so I’m not 100% sure of what to expect, but I imagine I’m going to meet some really great people, and hope they like what I have to offer!

The show is primarily for industry people—buyers and agents and the like—but the public may also attend for a fee of $60.00. It runs for 3 days during the week Oct 1-3.

Gallery 308
Landmark Building A, 2 Marina Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94123

10/1 & 10/2 9:30 - 6:00

10/3 9:30- 3:00

Maybe I’ll see you there!


p.s. If you have ever wanted to showcase your work, and you missed the deadline for this one, do not despair…there is another SF show coming up in May 2020. Just submit an application!

Artist Spotlight: Rafaela Mascaro

I found a bold print of the the Brazilian artist Rafaela Mascaro on Pinterest and had to investigate to see more. And oh boy, is there more! You know I’m drawn to bold and colorful art especially if it includes patterns and that is exactly what these are times 10. Click link above to see more from this versatile artist and click on images to purchase prints.

Currently Coveting

Here’s a little bit of my own inspiration for the week. I was really struck by this particular piece of art by Sally West. It has stayed in my mind for a few days now and I wanted to share. I think I’m most struck by how spare, yet bold the strokes are. It’s just a bunch of little blobs and smears of color on a canvas, yet you feel the brightness of a blue sky beach day immediately.

It makes me want to practice using fewer strokes for greater impact; a good creative challenge for the week!

Trending: Big Cats

I’m really into big cats and big cat patterns like dots and spots and stripes. I’m seeing them in art, on runways, everywhere! And I love it. Here are a few favorites from my Big Cats Pinterest board. Click through the images to see more from these artists.


Instagram Fave - @thegreaterbombay

Rachel Lopez, a journalist in Mumbai, has taken time to record her many rides in taxis with their colorful and kitschy ceilings. Under the Insta handle of @thegreaterbombay, you can savor all the delectable patterns that she captures. The wonderful contrast of her scarves and red-framed glasses with the ceilings just adds that extra vibrancy of mixed patterns that I love. Take the colorful ride with her and enjoy the sights.

February Instagram Fave - Vanessa Amisano

I see lots of great things on Instagram and I follow tons of people, but Melbourne-based artist Vanessa Amisano's work really caught my eye. Her distinct style is vibrant and full of pattern which is of course, my jam.

I especially love her 100 girls project. I like how clean and simple her girls are yet also colorful and dynamic—each with a distinct style and personality. And their outfits! Don't you want to own these clothes?

Connecting with creative Instagram friends around the world is a wonderful thing that feeds my soul. Follow Vanessa's Instagram hereAnd check out her site for more in the coming weeks. 

 All images used with permission of the artist. © 2017 Vanessa Amisano

© 2017 Vanessa Amisano

2016 West Coast Craft Fair

West Coast Craft


Here are just a few I enjoyed, out of hundreds of vendors. Click through to see more from the designers.

Stitch Knit Weave

I've always had a love of needlecraft. At a young age, my German Oma and my Mom both taught me to knit, sew and embroider and I am totally amazed at the new modern twists I see everywhere now. Whether it's quilting a bold colorblocked dress, weaving fabric scraps to make a shirt, or embroidering on a photograph, it's pretty astounding how creative people are.

About ten years ago I took my own turn at a twist on classical embroidery and created things like cityscapes and birds on wires—here are several examples. I had a few shows back in the day, but my love of pattern design took over. I don't spend much time with thread or needles anymore but I still love to get inspired by what's out there now. You can see more on my Pinterest board Stitch Knit Weave.

(I still have stitched items for sale, feel free to email me if interested in seeing more of my private collection).

© Katja Ollendorff

© Katja Ollendorff

Images Below Row 1: Emily Parkinson, Celeste Tesoriero, Chilise Patternson, Row 2: Gintare Pasakarnyte, Karen Barbe, Viktor & Rolf, Row 3: Gemma Beech, Kustaa Saksi, Laerke Bagger, Row 4: Liz L Payne, Marloes Duyjer, Maryanne Moodie, Row 5: Mina Perhonen, Sharish Shafiq, Hasta Mostly

Artist Spotlight: Bunnie Reiss

I love seeing art out in public spaces and especially when it is a creation by L.A. artist Bunnie Reiss. I discovered her vibrant art recently and right away had to have a piece of my very own (see gloves below). It makes me so happy to see them on my wall, as her artwork has all the elements I love, and some of which I incorporate in my own work. Decorative folk elements, check. Bright colors, check. Strange birds, check. 

She not only paints amazing wallscapes, but also works with textiles, odd materials, creates installations, illustrations and more. See more of her work here on her site.  

 Images were obtained courtesy of artist. All images © 2016 Bunnie Reiss.

© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
My very own pair of Animal Gloves! Sigh.

My very own pair of Animal Gloves! Sigh.




Artist Spotlight - Ugo Rondinone

I came across an image on Instagram of these colorful stacked rocks in the desert. Anything this bright is bound to catch my eye. After investigating a bit further, I found Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone's website and on it he says he has made his site-specific installation, Seven Magic Mountains, "a creative expression of human presence in the desert...that  punctuates the Mojave with a poetic burst of form and color."

And that it does. It's hard to grasp the true scale in the photos, but these colorful boulders stand 30 feet high, which means the bottom rock alone, is taller than a person. Cool! They are located about 10 miles south of Las Vegas and are up for another year or so. Road trip anyone?

Watch a really cool video on how this installation came to be over a 5-year period HERE>

All images are from Ugo Rondinone's website. Click through to see more.

All images are from Ugo Rondinone's website. Click through to see more.

June Instagram Fave - LIVINGPATTERN

Wow! I love to see how people are influenced by nature and this feed by Jenny Kiker is full of lush botanicals along with the sketches and paintings they inspire. She is a botanical artist who started Living Pattern "to connect herself and her audience to the still delicateness of nature and to themselves." I feel like I'm breathing fresher air just looking at these!

Reflective Patterns

© Katja Ollendorff

Some folks love either designing in repeat or putting designs into repeat, but I must admit it's not my favorite task. I'm much more of a free flow kind of person. But here is one easy way I can create a quick and interesting repeating pattern, that's different from the traditional square or half drop repeat. And if you are interested, you can watch a 15 minute video of me sketching what is to later become this beautiful decorative pattern.


It's pretty amazing how simple it is and it's fun too!  It took me under an hour to create this pattern from start to finish. Of course I did a tiny bit of cleanup and if I were to do multiple colors, it would take longer, but after I did a live trace in Illustrator, I left the variations of gray because I liked the "antiqued" look that it created and that saved time.

Go to my Product Samples tab to see more reflective patterns that I have designed to be used as tablecloths.


Original scan

Original scan

Clean up any gaps

Clean up any gaps

So to start, fill a page in your sketchbook with a design—of anything! The key is to have shapes running off the edges and corners so that they will join when flipped horizontally and vertically. Keep this in mind as you are drawing and try to envision what will happen when they are reversed and joined. It makes for less clean up down the road.

Next bring your sketch into Photoshop and flip and copy the image both horizontally and vertically on the top, bottom and sides. You may need to fill in and do slight adjustments at this point if there are any gaps or strange seams (see image below left). 

That's it. You have yourself a cool reflective pattern that you can play with. Have fun! 

Flip horizontally and then vertically

Flip horizontally and then vertically



Nature Inspired

Since I've been working from home this past year, I sometimes get a bit str crazy. For me, the best solution for this is to get out into nature and fresh air. I decided to take a drive up to Mount Tamalpais yesterday morning. It was so refreshing! It's only 40 min from the city after all and it's really paradise on a weekday morning. Very few people are up there and I kinda love to be there as the fog lifts and reveals the amazing green hills and views below. 

If you follow my two Instagram feeds (this one and this one) you might have seen a few pictures I posted. There were all sorts of sweet and colorful wildflowers all over the hills and they got me inspired to make this when I got home. 

All designs and images © Katja Ollendorff

All designs and images © Katja Ollendorff

April Instagram Fave: Ana Montiel

It's been a while since I shared a favorite Instagrammer. I just love Ana's colorful, abstract artwork and bold patterns. Her feed, that is filled with vibrant shapes and color as well as wonderful inspirational photography is a joy to peruse.

You can see more of her artwork on her website here. and her Instagram feed here

All images © Ana Montiel



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! 

Minted and PBKids / PBTeen - Vote on February 19th!

Vote for my
design on minted.
Botanical Garden
see more from Katja Ollendorff
vote for me!
Check out my competition in Christmas photo cards and Save the Date cards at Minted.

I've entered another contest through—this time it's a collaboration with PBKids and PBTeen. My artwork is inspired by a trip to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Hope you like it! If you do, you can vote on February 19th. Click on the button to the right  and rate my design a  "5" to ensure a high vote tally for me. Thanks for supporting!

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
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