A simple guide to starting in Surface Pattern Design | Pitter Pattern

If you’re at the beginning of your surface pattern design journey, full of enthusiasm but overwhelmed and unsure about how to take that first step, this one is for you.

The good news is, you don’t have to dive all the way in. Your mission is simple – take it one step at a time. Remember, you don’t need to see the entire staircase to start climbing; just focus on that first step, and the next will reveal itself.

The beauty lies in the journey, and believe me, tackling the challenges becomes less difficult as you go along and start trusting yourself. And it’s so much easier to keep going than it is to actually start!

I know this to be true because I experienced it all when launching Republic of Happy almost 3 years ago, and I understand the thrill and fears that come with starting something new.

One tiny step each day has been my little secret to sustained progress and the only way I’ve been able to keep going!

So let me help you with a few simple tips for starting in surface pattern design!

1. Find your inspiration

Begin your journey by researching various sources of inspiration. Whether it’s nature, geometry, or everyday objects, find out what makes your heart sing and captivates your imagination. This exploration will be the foundation for creating designs that are not only unique but very personal.

2. Learn the basics

Familiarise yourself with all the essential design tools such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and dig into online tutorials to master the basic pattern design techniques. This knowledge will help you to express your creativity without any constraints.

A simple guide to starting in Surface Pattern Design - Learn the basics

3. Play with colours and shapes

Let your creativity flow and experiment with different colour palettes and a variety of shapes, discovering what resonates with your artistic vision. Your patterns are a reflection of your personal style, so don’t hesitate to explore multiple design styles. This is the perfect time for doing this, without the limitations that may come when working within the industry later on.

4. Create a pattern collection

Start small by creating a cohesive collection of 10 to 12 patterns. These patterns should not only complement each other beautifully but also show enough diversity to capture attention. Focus on a theme or style that speaks to you. Whether it’s florals, geometrics, or abstract concepts, a well-curated collection showcases your skills as a surface pattern designer.

Play with colour and shapes | Pitter Pattern

5. Join design communities

Connect with other pattern designers and become part of like minded online communities. Facebook groups are an excellent (and free!) option for this purpose. These platforms give you the opportunity to showcase your work, receive valuable feedback, and stay inspired by engaging with others in the design community.

6. Build a portfolio

As you continue to create, build a portfolio of 3 to 5 collections that highlights not only your distinctive style and skills but also the diversity of your work. A thoughtfully curated portfolio becomes a powerful tool when reaching out to potential clients and companies for licensing opportunities.

A simple guide to starting in Surface Pattern Design - Create every day

7. Keep learning

Stay in the loop and keep honing your skills. The design world is always evolving, so attend workshops, webinars, and courses to increase your understanding of surface pattern design and stay inspired by the latest industry trends.

8. Create every day

Dedicate at least 10 minutes each day to draw, paint, or create. Consistent practice allows you to sharpen your skills and will help you develop a distinctive signature style. And a unique signature style sells!

All these are simple ways for starting in surface pattern design but they pack a punch and will move you forward, as long as you’re consistent and persistent.

If you’re still not sure if you want to go full steam ahead with becoming a surface pattern designer, you might want to read my 20 reasons for becoming a freelance surface pattern designer post.

And whatever you do, don’t fall into the “I don’t know what to do” trap! Indecision is a huge time waster and won’t bring you any closer to achieving your beautiful goals. And you deserve to reach those dreams!

Share in the comments where you are in your creative journey. Your progress inspires us all!

I am a designer, originally from Colombia and now living permanently in Cornwall, UK. I graduated in Product Design but since then have mostly worked in graphics for print and web. A few years ago I decided to specialise in Surface Pattern Design and I'm loving it!

No Comments so far.

Please leave a comment... I love to hear from my readers!