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

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! 


November Instagram Fave: Alea Toussaint

Alea Toussaint on Katja Blog

I stumbled upon this Instagram feed and was immediately taken with the incredible patterns that Alea Toussaint makes out of a variety of objects. Whether it be flowers or peppercorns, pens or sequins—she makes one stop to take a closer look. Just beautiful!

She is a graphic designer and pattern artist based in Minneapolis. If you would like to see more of her work, visit her website here www.aleatoussaint.com

And you can buy prints of her work on Society 6 here.

 

 

 

 

All images are used with permission of the artist ©2015 Alea Toussaint

 

Les Ballet Russes

Have you ever heard of Leon Bakst? No? Well perhaps you have heard of the Ballets Russes, a dance company that was concieved by Sergei Diaghilev, that performed throughout Europe and North and South America between 1909 and 1929.

I did ballet for about 10 of my (much younger) years and I have always loved the world of dance and still go to the ballet regularly. The Ballet Russes has always inspired me because the costumes are so incredibly beautiful, and designed by artists who were very avant garde for the time—from Picasso, Matisse, Chanel and yes, Leon Bakst.

His costumes are bold and bright and I can really imagine that the simple shapes and vibrant colors would be perfect for viewing from a distance while moving across the stage. Here is just a selection of a few I loved in particular. How beautiful that must have been!


He also did set design, and created patterns for textile that were never put into production (as far as anyone knows). Here are a few incredible examples in rich palettes that I found here.

On My Inspiration Board

Do you love Pinterest? Do you collect a gazillion images but then never look back through them? Women are gatherers after all. We love to scoop up pretty things and then store them away. It's in our nature.

I make a point to go back through my boards and gather up images that are speaking to me at that moment. Obviously I love them all because I chose to hoard them in the first place. But it's fun to think of a theme or trend you are feeling at the time and revisit them. 

So what have I been feeling this week? What's on my inspiration board and speaking to me right now? Well it's definitely bold and bright—did you expect anything less from me? 

Click through to my  Fabric Textile Print and Pattern  board for sources 

Click through to my Fabric Textile Print and Pattern board for sources 

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.

Katja Designs on Guildery.com

Hello Friends! I'm so excited to announce that two of my collections have launched on Guildery.com. The first one, Santorini, has a laid-back, beachy vibe. If you can't afford a ticket to Greece, I say cuddle up on the couch with an array of pillows that emulate the azure waves of the Mediterranean, like these!

The second collection Ballari, takes you to India with dusty tones and a boho, block-printed vibe. Check out some of the coral, turquoise and brown hues I've dreamed up for my home. I'm just imagining the possibilities!

Ballari Collection

Santorini Collection

Justina's Jungalow Prints

She had these printed on Shutterfly. How cool and so fresh!

She had these printed on Shutterfly. How cool and so fresh!

My homegirl has been on a crazy roll lately. Not only is Justina Blakeney's latest amazing book out, (check out The New Bohemians with photography by Dabito) but she has taught herself how to create patterns. I just love how she makes things happen. I mean, she got it in her head that she wanted to do this and then figured out a way. No formal training—just a vision and some confidence. How admirable is that!

Her patterns are a reflection of her jungalow lifestyle—full of lush greenery, palm fronds and flowers (and a lovely hint of Josef Frank). She not only painted the designs, put them into repeat, but then had them printed by Shutterfly and made into products that she can have around her home. To top that, she then did a collaboration with a local LA designer, Eva Franco to make a line of clothing. Now that's what I call an inspirational mover-and-shaker. 

Exclusive Eva Franco dress with Justina's pattern.

Exclusive Eva Franco dress with Justina's pattern.

Images are via her website and Eva Franco.

June Instagram Fave - ihavethisthingwithfloors

It's no surprise that I adore this feed. If you haven't seen it by now, just take a peek and I'm sure that you will love it too! @ihavethisthingwithfloors is the most mesmerizing array of floors, tiles, carpets and ground surfaces and it's really hard to pull myself away once I start looking. Here are just a few of the 300,000+ followers already in love. Use hashtag #ihavethisthingwithfloors and add to the fun.

 

@lucylaucht

@lucylaucht

@sincerelyjules

@sincerelyjules

@ihavethisthingwithfloors

@ihavethisthingwithfloors

@sincerelyjules

@sincerelyjules

@northern_daisy

@northern_daisy

@marykalhor

@marykalhor

@lilfoxx

@lilfoxx

@olbapolivac 

@olbapolivac 

Print & Pattern Blog Feature

I have a such hard time with self promotion—egad, it really is never easy to toot your own horn. But I have found that it is essential to know how to present and exert yourself in this industry. Self promotion is not a bad thing. It's about getting your name out there, showing what you can do and how you can be of service to others. I have submitted my work to numerous outlets in the hopes of expanding awareness of my brand and voice. It's a lot of work getting people to know who you are and what you can do. I'm making all of this work that I'm completely passionate about and I don't want to hide it away. I want to share it with the world! 

It's a wonderful feeling when you get little breakthroughs and today was a great one for me. I was thrilled to find out that I was featured on the Print & Pattern Blog. I appreciate any exposure and am happy to be amongst other creative people who share a common love for prints and patterns. Click image below to see the full article and all designs featured.

Cheers to all you creative folks out there. Keep doing what you do and please make sure to share it with the rest of us! 



Friendly Encouragement

Challenge - Day 1

Challenge - Day 1

Challenge - Day 3

Challenge - Day 3

Challenge - Day 5

Challenge - Day 5

I'm enjoying the design challenge that I see going around Facebook these days. Friends are challenging each other to post an original design each day for 5 days and to nominate another friend to do the same. It offers a nice excuse for creative types to open up and showcase their work where they might not feel inclined to otherwise. My talented friend Dayse Gagne encouraged me to take on this challenge and I've had a lot of fun with it. Here are the five designs I shared.   Now who can you put to the task?

© Katja Ollendorff. All designs are my own and copyrighted. They are created with love from original hand drawn motifs.

Challenge - Day 2

Challenge - Day 2

Challenge - Day 4

Challenge - Day 4

Guess Who's a Featured Artist!

I'm the latest featured artist on the Surface Pattern Design Guild blog! Check out the interview here.

The SPDG Blog is a great resource for anyone in the textile and surface pattern design field. It offers many invaluable business and networking tips, and is a great forum for asking questions and sharing ideas with other designers from around the world. They also offer great monthly meetings featuring a wide variety of guest speakers in the industry. Get in touch and stay connected to the community.