Megan Dunagan • Artist
whimsical & textured illustrations
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Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator available for hire and licensing

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Design Surface Patterns From Scratch with Bonnie Christine

There I was, sketch pad in front of me, pens laid out and an extra FIVE WHOLE days of vacation from work! ...with NO inspiration whatsoever. Motivation was low and I thought I had no where to start designing and I didn't want to feel left behind when I would start my next set of classes in the following weeks -- you can read about that in my posts about Lilla Rogers Bootcamp and Make it in Design! Inspiration had to be somewhere!

As luck would have it, I had just begun following Bonnie over at Going Home to Roost (fantastic blogger and designer!) for about a month, and when I discovered her class Design Surface Patterns from Scratch on CreativeLive. I just had had HAD to take it since I just love her!

About the class

Just trust me...you'll love it! No matter where your skill-level is in Illustrator is, you will get something out of this class. You'll not only learn the basics and some advanced methods in the program; it's learning how to connect with people (networking, going to shows/markets), legal stuff (trademarks and business owner info), and you get some cool goodies, as well!

I'd really encourage you to take the class if you're interested in become a surface pattern designer. I had never considered myself an artist, so I wasn't too confident in making anything amazing myself. BUT, Bonnie showed how she works from her basic sketches and turns it into something amazing after she's done. I found I learned the most in how she gets inspired daily, and how she goes about making her designs: Doodling! This idea was revolutionary to me. Doodling to make beautiful art never occurred to me.

My take

After she assigned the homework, I got down to business.

With no idea how much fun designing a collection myself would be, I dove right in with taking photos in the garden we made early Spring 2014. I'm very attached to the garden since it's the first I've planted. Brian and I even built the mortared the wall that goes around it!

Garden wall grass dirt

Then, sketch, sketch, sketch! I filled several pages full of motifs and designs and condensed some here for you to see.

I chose my colors from a muted variation palette that was in my garden at the time. I just love the soft feel. Saturated my blues a little bit more and made a collection using less than 10 colors.

This collection is named Garden Slice and it represents this new, art-filled chapter in my life and to saying "here, here!" to this coming year!

Garden Slice Collection by Megan Nicole Designs