Day 7 of 365 days of Print and Pattern

Last week was a free for all and I ended up with 7 very different patterns. To give myself a focus, I’ve decided to do Theme Sprints.

This first sprint will be Geometric Design, one of my very favorite things to do. It appeals to the mathematical side of my brain and it provides an endless source of inspiration, color palettes, and more.

I’m thrilled with today’s geometric pattern, it’s simplicity appeals to, and it allowed me to spend some time making different color stories. I put my favorite up on Redbubble, but eventually all these versions will make it up there.


For Redbubble, I created two versions – a print, non-repeating version, and a repeating version for larger items. Here’s one of the variations on a large throw pillow.


This pillow, along with 55 other items with this design, are available on Redbubble!

Until tomorrow!

Day 5 of 365 days of print and pattern

Do a layered feather pattern, I said. It’ll be simple, fun, and quick, I told myself. I was wrong. The Adobe Illustrator file got so big and unwieldy that every action took ages,

My process in a nutshell: draw some simple feather shapes in Procreate on the Ipad. Migrate those into Illustrator and vectorize. Add color, texture, shadows. Create the repeating pattern on a 9.5″ x 10″ square. Export into photoshop to make final PNG for upload.

The pattern itself is fairly simple – I created three blue tipped feathers and arranged them in an overlapping pattern to create the appearance of a feathered being. Fun for a pillow or a dress!

Self grade: C+

The good: I like the speckles and gentle colors. The bad: The contrast isn’t quite enough and I think the fact that they are feathers could be a bit ambiguous. The style isn’t much to my liking.

Tomorrow is Saturday, and I’m hoping to do something a bit more ambitious. A friend told me she’d love to see me do more badass ladies from history portraits. I’m intrigued.


Day 4 of 365 days of print and pattern

Today’s creation process was like meditation. It was an Illustrator-driven zentangle. I took my favorite swatches of halftone patterns and created a rocky step pattern – descending planes of light and dark, all done in polka dotted half-tones. Have I mentioned my obsession with polka dots? I’d own that and do nothing but polka dots, but someone more famous than me has already done that.

Anyway, I’m not too concerned about how this one came out because I enjoyed the process so much that I’m feeling quite satisfied. Much better than yesterday, which was a fight the entire time.

Here’s Day 4’s, the full picture image is a screenshot and a bit funky due to the resolution. I’ve included a detail of the halftone patterns and of course a product shot from Redbubble.

See ya tomorrow!

Day 3 of 365 days of print and pattern

Today’s print was a struggle. I was having trouble finding inspiration. I just purchased some cool new brushes for Procreate and was doodling with them. I loved the grungy texture that I could get from some of them, but nothing was coming of my doodling.

I decided to do a simple spiral. Like I said before, sometimes you just have to commit yourself to the thing you are already doing when it’s getting near bedtime and you are getting tired and you’ve made this crazy challenge for yourself and you are going to stick to it, dammit.

So, I did a hand drawn spiral in with some lovely grungy textures. Pulled that into illustrator to trace into vector with minimal success, made it larger, pulled it into photoshop, and then sat there hating it. I hated the colors I had used, the spiral was boring, I’m no good at anything that I do. But I poked at it and played at it and at one point duplicated a layer and rotated it and suddenly things got a bit more interesting.

I first did it pink and uploaded that to Redbubble, but it was a bit too pepto-bismol and reminded me of intestines. So I pulled it back into Photoshop and went with a cool electric blue. No more spiraling intestines.

I’m still not in love with it, but it is very graphic and looks kind of cool on all the products. Here’s the evolution of the design:

That’s all I’ve got today! It’s almost 11pm. I’m exhausted. See ya tomorrow!


Day 2 of 365 days of print and pattern

Today I know I wanted to do something extremely minimalist and in black and white. I started with a line, some circles, and realized it looked like a geometric plant. I ran with that thought and created this geometric garden that reminds me a bit of a circuit board. Circuit board garden?

Anyway, I do love me a geometric minimalist pattern. I have 365 days to explore this side of me!

Here’s the pattern I created and how it looks on a shirt. I’d absolutely wear that shirt.


See it on my Redbubble site and see ya tomorrow!

365 days of print and pattern



Starting October 1st, I will be creating an illustrated element (print) or a pattern each day for one year. I will upload each one to my Redbubble account, even if I think they are awful.  I will share my favorites on my various social sites.

Please follow along with me by joining my email list! 

Back in 2012 I did a drawing a day for an entire year. I started on January 1 and I drew when I was sick, I drew when I was busy, and even I even drew when I was traveling halfway across the world and got absolutely no sleep because I’m a terrible traveler. Seven delirious days in Sydney.

I did miss a day here or there, but I always made it up the next day. I had a full-time job, a 4-year-old and two teens. So I cut myself some slack when I absolutely needed it.

It was a challenging exercise but I had a blast with it. Some of the pieces I created were gawdawful.  There were a few pieces that I am still proud of today.

Here I am, 6 years later and I’m ready to go again. My then-4-year-old is about to turn double digits. My oldest is living on her own in another state with her sweetheart, and my middle child has one foot out the door.

Creatively, big changes have happened between then and today. I’ve grown as an illustrator and I’ve fallen in love with a few new things:

  • Ipad Pro + Apple Pencil + Procreate is a threesome made in heaven
  • Illustrator is now my go-to digital creation tool of choice. I’ve spent the last year teaching myself Adobe Illustrator and it’s worth every minute I’ve spent.
  • Surface pattern design. I cannot stop making patterns, they appeal to both sides of my brain.

I’m still working full time at the same company, and my job is busier than ever; demanding and stressful. But, nevertheless, I find myself compelled to do this. Maybe because my move this summer put me so off track (still so many boxes) I feel I need this kick in the pants to get going again.

The challenge

My challenge to myself is to make a pattern or a print each day. By print, I mean an illustrated element, much like my fox – Something that can stand on its own or can be worked into a pattern in the future.

The plan

Starting October 1, 2018 (Inktober!)  I will design at least one element or one pattern each day. Each one will be posted on this blog and uploaded to Redbubble (this will motivate me to not cop out and make total crap).

The realities

There will be a lot of simple patterns. Creating something in a single day is a challenge. My fox pattern took me well over a week to create. Some days you might just get a polka dot pattern out of me – but I’ll still try to make it unique and interesting! Some days I may create a very simple element that will be worked into a pattern at a later time. Some days I may rework a previous pattern to add complexity, or put an existing pattern into a new colorway. The point is to challenge myself and have a lovely library of my work at the end of it.

My goals

  • Develop a library of prints and patterns that I can be proud of and build upon
  • Develop some amazing color palettes
  • Loosen up
  • Discover ways to add complexity
  • Explore my creativity in a loose way
  • Get a lot of bad patterns out of me
  • Explore mediums and styles
  • Find ways to niche down
  • Hone my process
  • Bulk up the ol’ blog
  • Maybe make a sale or two!

Please follow along with me by joining my email list! 

Side Hustle: a journey of creative freedom and clarity. Also, bullet journaling really is all that.

For the last 6 months I’ve been trying to get my side hustle off the ground. It has been a mind-boggling amount of work, and I’m nowhere close to where I need to be to make this a viable side stream income.

I feel like I’ve made a thousand false starts, but I’ve also learned a ton about:

  • WordPress, Shopify, Instagram, Etsy integrations
  • Marketing, Affiliate marketing
  • Creating repeating patterns
  • Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Captivate, Procreate
  • My fancy Epson printer
  • Print on Demand (PoD) sites: Redbubble, Society6, ShopVida, TeePublic
  • PoD Dropshipping services: Gooten, Printify, Art of Where, Printful
  • Bullet Journaling

And most importantly, I’ve learned about:

  • My own limitations
  • What it is exactly that I do and don’t want to do
  • What doesn’t work

I’m clearly still working on what does work. I have a full-time and very demanding job. I also have a family that needs to be fed and paid attention to (whateverrrrr). I was giving myself an unrealistic schedule for my side hustle (blog every single day!) and felt like a failure when I didn’t even come close to meeting my own expectations. There are many times where you just feel like throwing up your hands in defeat.

Bullet journaling to the rescue!  I finally caught on to the bullet journal craze; it really is all that. Honestly, it’s been a game changer. I even have a personal bullet journal and a work bullet journal. It’s helped me find a ton of clarity and I created a schedule that I feel like I can live with.

First I identified all the things that I want to give my attention to regularly:

  • Creating screenprints, illustrations, and all over print patterns
  • Making tutorials
  • Blogging
  • Uploading to Print on Demand Sites
  • Market Research and Marketing (blurgh)
  • Free Creative exploration
  • Self education

This list is TINY compared to what I was originally trying to accomplish.

To make this doable in my busy schedule I’ve defined out a 6 week cycle that consists of creative output (illustrations, patterns, screenprints) and some sort of product creation (uploading stuff to PoD sites, making tutorials), self education (Skillshare FTW!) and creative free play,  and finally putting myself out there (blog posts, the dreaded marketing).  Each week contains Free Friday, where I can just do free creative exploration and play which most often results in nothing, but sometimes results in a kernal of an idea that grows into something wonderful

Here’s the schedule:


  • Creating: Screenprints
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday

  • Creating: Illustrations
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday

  • Creating:  Over Print patterns
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday

  • Creating: Themed exploration
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday

  • Creating: Tutorial
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday

  • Creative Exploration Week!
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy

I started this last week and it was more wonderful than I could have imagined. Having an entire week devoted to screenprinting gave me so much freedom to give it my full attention rather than be thinking about all the other stuff I had to do. I wanted to play with my new screenprinting toy that my husband got me and do a simple three color print. I decided to do my very favorite food, artichokes!

Since I create the screenprinting separations digitally, it also meant I had a digital file to play with, which I did and uploaded on products on Redbubble and Society6:

This week was Illustration time, and I created some fox illustrations (by request) and I LOVE how they have come out, here’s an sample of the first illustration I did:


My next blog post will be about the creative process that happened and all the resulting art and products I produced from drawing a single fox.

That’s plenty for now!

— Davida