If someone would have suggested I would be loving digital art, I would have thought they were crazy. After all, technology has been my nemesis. But I had to start letting go of tech fears and begin diving into digital art. Does this sound like anyone you know?
I am learning several programs at the moment. They include Procreate, Adobe Illustrator, and Affinity Designer. It might seem a bit much at times, but it is necessary. I use Procreate to draw the motifs for my surface pattern designs. I then have to vectorize those drawings in Adobe Capture and then bring them into Adobe Illustrator. Procreate is a raster-based program that uses pixels rather than mathematical equations like vector graphics. I have also been learning Affinity Designer because it is a one-time fee rather than a monthly subscription like Adobe Illustrator. It has similar capabilities to Illustrator and some of the artists I respect have extolled its virtues.
Admittedly when the technology isn't cooperating or I have to troubleshoot a glitch, I get a little impatient. After all, the fun part for me lies in the creation of the patterns. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your ideas come to life in this way. Who would have thought a former television journalist would be telling stories through her art? A good design should tell a story and draw the viewer in.
My advice, if you have been thinking about taking up surface pattern design, is to just do it. Don't start telling yourself that you are tech challenged. If I can do it, you can do it. Just believe in yourself and put in the work. Here are some other things I have learned exploring this new art medium.
1) Embrace the Learning Curve - Learning this skill is a marathon and not a race. The early stages of surface pattern design should be relished. This is the time you need to just start experimenting and not put pressure on yourself.
2)Leverage Your Existing Art Skills - One of the beautiful aspects of pattern making is that it provides a way to showcase your diverse artistic talents. So if you like to paint or sketch you can take that existing artwork and repurpose it in your digital design work.
3) Introduce Your Perspective - It may be easy to think when scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram that all the designs have already been created. However, that simply isn't true. Everyone brings their own unique perspective to their art whether that is through a certain style or the subject they choose.
4) Play with Different Techniques - This is where I am at. I like sketching on paper or using Procreate. I have also started introducing some ink and gouache paints into my work. Both mediums vectorize very well. I just create a scan of them and bring them into whatever program I might be using at the moment. I am also learning different workflows from other digital artists.
So have I convinced you yet? Are you ready to let go of tech fears and start diving into digital art? Or, if you have been dabbling in it for a while, tell me what programs you prefer using and where would you like your surface designs to live in the world?