Thursday, 29 November 2012

From Greeting Cards to Repeating Patterns . . .

A few days ago, a customer ordered three of the coffee mugs in my Zazzle store. I was over the moon!

I didn’t make a huge amount of money from the sale and it was just one sale among many at this time of year. But it meant an awful lot to me because the three mugs were ones I had created with my repeating floral patterns earlier this year.

So the sale came as a kind of affirmation that I’m on the right track in shifting my main focus away from greeting cards towards pattern making. And as well as that, my own reaction showed me that the bold floral patterns are my first love – which is probably a helpful pointer in determining my ‘signature style’.

Over the course of the past ten years, I’ve gone from Fine Art – my pastel paintings – to greeting cards – to repeating pattern design and I feel I have finally homed in on what I love to create the most.

I do enjoy designing greeting cards but I absolutely love creating patterns! I find it quite addictive – I just wish my technical knowledge could keep up with my enthusiasm!

One of the things I find difficult about creating greeting cards is that I really dislike cards with verse inside, particularly if it is ‘sentimental’. And unfortunately it seems that there are many customers for whom the ‘verse’ is just as important as the artwork.

 

As I wrote in an earlier blog post, I prefer to let the design do the talking, conveying the sentiments more subtly through the image. And while that suits plenty of people, it also excludes many potential customers for my cards.

To my great relief, there is no ‘verse’ to worry about in Pattern Design! It’s simply a case of putting together shapes, lines and colours in a pleasing way . . .

 
. . . or is it?

Many years ago, when I first discovered William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement, I read something to the effect that a pattern should always evoke a feeling, recreate an atmosphere, transport the beholder to a place they would like to be. I have searched the internet in vain, trying to find the exact quote. But the gist of it has always stayed with me.

So, in a way, a pattern carries just as much of a message as a greeting card. It just does it in a much more subtle, sometimes almost subliminal, way.

But there’s nothing very subtle about flowers, which I must admit form the basis of most of my designs to date. Most of us love gardens and flowers and in the case of a city flat-dweller, a floral blind or coffee mug may be the nearest they get to a garden on a day-to-day basis. And that provides me with the motivation to keep on working – or, more accurately, playing – with the constantly inspiring ‘source-book’ that Mother Nature provides!

Pretty Spring Primroses Bone China Coffee Mug, Porcelain Mug
Pretty Spring Primroses Bone China Coffee Mug, Porcelain Mug by helikettle



What feelings do floral patterns (not necessarily mine!) evoke in you?




10 comments:

Mariana said...

Congratulations on the sale Judy! Your art is so lovely and cheerful ... which are pretty much the same feelings that floral art brings out in me, I love it, it brightens up the day.

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Mariana

Thank you for your encouraging comments and particularly for giving me a word (cheerful) to use in this week's difficult - for me, at least! - course exercises on 'branding' :)

BTW, I left a comment on your blog this morning but I'm not sure whether it 'took' so I tried again but still not sure . . .

Christie Cottage said...

Floral patterns can make me calm. I like un-versed cards too. Just makes more sense to me having no verse and adding whatever is appropriate for the recipient

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Judy Adamson said...

Hi Christie - thank you for stopping by.

Interesting that floral patterns can make you calm. Maybe why a spell in my garden can be very therapeutic in times of stress?

And I do so agree with you about the verses! It seems such a longshop to write a verse that is appropriate to everyone but still, some people prefer to let others voice their sentiments so I'm glad that there are plenty of people who are happy to write verses!

Jayne said...

Hi Judy. Congratulations on your sale. I agree that cards without a verse inside are more versatile. I can't count how many times I have found a lovely card, but had to put it back because the verse was completely wrong for me and/or the recipient.

Judy Adamson said...

Thanks, Jayne - this business of the inside verse seems to divide us up into pros and cons. At least with buying cards online, you can usually delete the verse if you want to.

Makeiteasycrafts.blogspot.com said...

I am loving your beautiful art so bright and cheery. To answer your question, no my hand is not healed yet and the art on my blog was older art :-(

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Crystal - very sorry to hear that your hand is still giving you trouble. That must be SO frustrating!

(And thank you for giving me 'bright and cheery' to add to my list of descriptions of my style!)

Betsy Grant said...

Your patterns/designs are all lovely. I think floral patterns suggest femininity and springtime.

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you, Betsy - glad you like them.