Spoonflower design challenge:  Surface Pattern design with Watercolor Seashells

One of the goals I set for myself this year is to get serious about surface pattern design and create a presence on some of the print on demand sites.  Spoonflower a great fabric and wallpaper (and home good) artist focused company.  I have used them in the past to print some photos on fabric and their quality is super.   They also have a great design challenge program each week where you can see how your patterns compare and resonate with people.   I decided to enter their seashell challenge and got to work.  

Over the years, seashells are my favorite thing to paint...so my biggest problem was too many ideaspaintings with various multicolored watercolor seashells

I ended thinking that I should keep a simple color palette and just focus on pattern so this was the painting I started with.

  watercolor paintings of various seashells in blue


Once I got it scanned and isolated the individual shells in photoshop, I chose these to work with the final pattern:

Watercolor seashells in blue

And then I got to work in Adobe Illustrator trying all sort of options 

a photo of a computer screen with a blue shell pattern in it

I ended up with a number I liked:

 random placement

blue Watercolor seashells in a pattern
in a row
blue Watercolor seashells in a pattern
blue Watercolor seashells in a pattern
blue Watercolor seashells in a pattern
blue Watercolor seashells in a pattern
but I felt something was missing so I went back to paper and scribbled and splashed paint:watercolor paint scribbles in blue
I used it as a background and came up with this pattern
blue Watercolor seashells in a pattern
I uploaded all the options to my facebook account and Instagram and got feedback and the "scribble" pattern was the overwhelming favorite.  
So I have now uploaded the final pattern to Spoonflower for their seashell design challenge.  If you have an account with them you can vote! And it's in my Spoonflower shop with a few of the other designs if you want to buy it!
I really enjoyed this process so I will be doing it again.  It gives me a specific brief and pushes me to work outside my comfort zone.  While it would be great to win something, I think more importantly it gets me towards the goal of having my art on numerous products and sites!  
Which one is your favorite design?



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