Inspired by #365patterns

A pattern a day? 365 patterns?

The thought makes me a wee bit uncomfortable.

artistically afflicted

When I was first introduced by the girls at Caravan shoppe/blog to this concept, my first thoughts were “Fun,definitely challenging,will definitely take a peek, but no, cannot do this!”

Well, here I am ~ 4 days in~ and all is good.My thoughts have calmed and I am feeling confident about the project.

It’s fun. It’s slightly addictive. It already has a great community of designers involved so there is the  added bonus of connecting with others.It’s inspiring!

Most importantly for me though is ~ creativity everyday.

artistically afflicted blog
Day 1~ My thoughts turned to panic as I thought of the endless days ahead having to create with a goal in mind. It’s easy to doodle here and there and splatter some paint on  a daily basis, but to create a finished product is a whole other thing. That, my friends, is stressful for me.
artistically afflicted blog
Day 2- My thoughts changed to acceptance.This will be a challenge, but a process that will have me exploring new ideas and ways of representing life around me.It will have me finding inspiration,creating and improving my digital skills.

My goal is to be creative everyday. Explore new motifs, play with colors and start the process of patterning. If I complete  a pattern a day then yippee for me. If not, I will at least be one step closer.
artistically afflicted
Day 3 – My thoughts have changed from fear of having to create to  a feeling that there are hardly enough days in the year for all the patterns going on in my head.

Once you start creating, creativity has this odd way of  finding you. You start to look at things in a different way, ideas start flowing.You start to become more aware.Big sigh of relief

It is going to be a challenge and there will be days that I may just pop out a single motif, but the importance here is to just be creating.

I am working hard building up my surface pattern design portfolio and right now I can’t think of a better way to get the creative juices flowing than to be challenged by others to just get down and do it.

Thanks to Melanie and Alma of  Caravan blog.  More details for you over on their blog.

Interested in joining us?Please do!

Inspired by…creative momentum

Doing double duty here – Illustration Friday and Art Everyday Month. I am feeling very productive. Also blogging, making dinner and listening to an interview with Monica Lee and Smart Creative Women

I need a cape ~ preferably with a beautiful pattern, thank you!

The theme for this weeks Illustration Friday challenge ~trees. How about abstract…with a little snow?

photography, digital art

I am not sure what category this fits into, but I guess it is a combination photography/ digital  art. It is something I have been playing with while learning photoshop. I would love to be able to incorporate more of my photography into surface pattern design. Will keep you posted on how this works for me.So far, it’s been a wee bit slow.I have discovered that the digital art world requires time, patience and lots of hands on exploring.

These are the original photos taken.

photography, artistically afflicted, julie hamilton
photography, artistically afflicted, julie hamilton

It’s half time through Art Everyday month. It has felt really good to take time out everyday to play, experiment and rediscover the fun of following a whim. I have to admit,I receive great joy out of happy mistakes.

Thanks also to Art Everyday for encouraging me to get back into my blogging routine.I have  reconnected with many artists I have met throughout this journey of mine and it has been nice to visit again (and comment). Thank you for all of your comments!

I encourage anyone who is wanting to be creative, but apprehensive about putting it all out there to just do it! We are a very nice and supportive community. I guarantee you will connect with other like minded souls and learn a bunch along the way. I think I need to post a little list of all the weekly groups/ challenges that one can be a part of. Look out for it next week!

See you again in a few days. At the rate I am going, it may even be tomorrow.

Inspired by…a little friendly competition.

There is nothing like a bit of friendly competition to give you a little shove out of your comfort zone.I have discovered the process to be quite fun, if not a little nerve-wracking.  Just a little though ~ I am happy to say, I am getting use to it.

I had to enter this months Tigerprint Competition as I love black and white. I would do everything in black and white if I could (and as I write this I am thinking..well, why not!). Working with color is working out of my comfort zone!

Surface pattern design, artistically afflicted

I believe these competitions are a healthy way to get the creative juices flowing. They can help you to push past your limits, try new design ideas, experiment with motifs and colors you may not normally use, learn new digital tricks – anything to get your work to stand out in the crowd!

Competitions can also be a little bit discouraging! There were hundreds,600 or so, of entries for this one. These competitions make you realize just how many talented designers/artists are out there playing the same game.While I have not won- yet:)- I am hopeful that one day, my time will come. My design will be the right one at the right time. Until then I will continue to push along and dream. It’s all part of the dream.

You can check all the entries out here because, really, they were all very well done. Beware, it’s alot of black and white and you may start to see double after the first or second page.

And the winner is ~ tada~

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog

Louise Harrison of Loulalo. Absolutely love her take on stripes. Swoon…

We were very fortunate to have quite a few of our surface pattern design students in the top 25. I have to be honest, it is kind of fun to live vicariously through their victories.It is very inspiring to get a sneak peek into their process from start to finish. Their excitement and enthusiasm is felt widespread throughout our little community.

Here is their work~

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog

Runner up ~ Alik Arzoumanian

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog, emily ann studio

Runner up ~ Emily Ann Truong of Emily Ann Studio

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog, patternjots studio

Maike Thoma  of Patternjots

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog, pattern addict

Gill Eggleston of Pattern Addict

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog

Jennie Louise Whitham of JLWillustration

Up next ~hand drawn typography. I am very excited about this one as I have been meaning to explore it in more depth. I love to art journal and it adds the perfect personal touch to a page. I am also curious to see how it translates from my scanner to the digital world. More information can be found here on the Tigerprint Competitions blog

Enjoy the rest of your week. The snow is already flying here and slowly creeping own the mountain and into the valley.

Inspired by…a passion for pattern

Welcome to the Passion for Pattern Blog Hop. So happy to have you join us!

I hope you have had a chance to visit Anna Dents blog on the hop, just before mine.If you have arrived here and would like to start at the beginning, just click on the link here and you will begin at the lovely Claire Smillies blog- the talented designer and creator behind this blog hop.
surface pattern design, julie hamilton, artistically afflictedEveryone involved in the hop is passionate about pattern. I have laughed many times  when I have heard mention of seeing pattern in their sleep. I know this well! Designing prints and pattern is addictive-similiar to putting together pieces of a puzzle.

Pattern is all around us. If you stop and look at your surroundings you will discover it is everywhere. From the grain of bark on your front yard tree to the blooming flowers on your back deck. We are surrounded by pattern.

I have been fascinated by the colors,pattern and textures of nature forever. Most of my work is inspired by my surroundings and handcrafted by pen, paint, paper or photo.Lately I have been trying to stretch my imagination and work on lots of dfferent subject matter. Sometimes I  just need a little help from my friend…

surface pattern design, julie hamilton, espresso cups

Sometimes I just need to get out on my bike to find a little inspiration, or at least think about getting out there.

julie hamilton, surface pattern design

Most of the time though my inspiration is found right in my very own backyard. Nature plays a very big role in my work.

surface pattern design, julie hamilton

surface pattern design, julie hamilton
surface pattern design, julie hamilton surface pattern design, julie hamilton

Sometimes you just have to sit back and have fun. Many of my doodles have found their way into the digital world.
surface pattern design, julie hamilton
I am still unsure of what I would like to have my work featured on, but for now its very fun putting it on just about everything!

surface pattern design, julie hamilton

My vision is of a diverse portfolio that ties in all of my creative passions in an artful way.I am very excited, but have to keep telling myself – practice, patience, perseverance – it is all a very slow, but enjoyable process.One that I am approaching with eyes wide open!

Next up is the lovely Simi from Simi Designs. She has a wonderful sense of color and I look forward to having some of her work in my home one day. Hop on over here to visit her!

I hope you enjoy the very diverse and wonderful work of all those participating.

Thanks for popping by and pleased join me again soon. Lots of creative goodness being shared here ( and hopefully a new website soon!)

Inspired by…adventures in art journaling

creative process, visual journal, art

No mistakes. No judgement. No plan. That’s what art journaling is all about.

creative process, visual journal, art

Do you have an art journal? You should!

I am always amazed at the number of artists I come across who do not partake in this creatively inspiring process. Where do these people store all of their beautiful, inspiring ideas for up and coming work? My head is not big enough for all of the ideas I have. I need to store them somewhere and over the years I have found my art journal to be the perfect place.

creative process, visual journal, art

A place to store ideas and plans for future work

A place where I can just be. A place where I can comfortably, and in small-scale, push past my personal creative boundaries. It’s all about practicing your mark making, trying new mediums, color mixing and even playing with different styles.

It’s a process and all part of the creative journey.

I love looking back through my journals. They are filled with lots of inspirational quotes, crazy ideas, colors, magazine cuttings and lots of bad, and not so bad artwork. It is a picture in time.

creative process, art journal, visual journal, acrylic paint

My abstract phase. A phase I am not finished with. Just love all the marks and texture.

creative process, visual journal, art, abstract

Your art journal is a place you can spend as little or as much time as you please. It is the perfect go-to spot when you only have a half hour. I find it the perfect place to go when I am just having troubles starting. Sometimes it is, oh, so difficult to get those creative juices flowing and feel creative. Give me 5 minutes splashing paint around and I am usually hooked for longer.

creative process, visual journal, art

playing with color and form

I like to think of it as a thumbprint for something bigger. A place to try new techniques and see what transpires. It is never finished. Every mark is a learning experience. I can’t begin to tell you how many happy accidents I have produced in my journal. Or snippets of work I have started only to come back to and see in a new light.
creative process, visual journal, art, mark making

Art journaling is therapeutic and relaxing too.It could save you thousands in therapy.

That’s what I keep telling my husband everytime I need new material. I almost have him believing it. I have myself believing it.
creative process, visual journal, art, watercolor

I was very surprised to come across this page in a journal from 2 years ago. I don’t do faces. If I start to see eyes emerge from my work I usually get a brush and some paint out real quick! Obviously some repressed subconscious glitch that I should deal with.

I am not sure where this image came from , but I obviously had a moment and felt the need to create her. I may have even copied her from another artist. GASP.. That is OK! Thats what your journal is for. Practice replicating work from others that inspires you. Try making their marks and using their colors but just dont dare go out into the real world and try to pass it off as your own!

Art journal = Anything goes.

creative journey, surface pattern design, art journal

This is what my art journal looks like these days since starting my Surface pattern design course with Rachael Taylor. Definitely not as colorful, but part of the process I am going through now.I am even amazed at my progression with these pages. A gentle reminder that every mark is a part of the learning process.

Summer is the perfect time to grab a book and your favorite medium to create. The time is now!

For lots more art journaling inspiration check out my Pinterest page~ art journal know how here. I have pinned some great links and lots of eye candy.

Hope you enjoy!

Inspired by…the making of a rose.

The sun is shining,the temperature is rising and I don’t have to make school lunches this fine Monday morning. Ah..sweet summer.

It takes its sweet time getting here every year, but when it finally does arrive it is ,oh, so good. I am excited to get out on the water, do a bit of camping, spend time on the trails and sit on my patio and sketch.

louise gale color challenge, surface pattern design,roses, red, sketching, sewing

It’s the end of June and time for Louise Gales color challenge. I found this months challenge to be a wee bit… challenging. Colors suggested were not my favorites…nor was the theme. Red and roses. Exactly why it is called a challenge…

I still loved the process! It is always important to stretch ourselves creatively and work to put our own spin on something we may not necessarily be drawn to. I sketch a lot of flowers, but have to be honest when I say ~ a rose has never made an appearance in my sketchbook.

I quite like them now!

A bit of sketching and some sewing…

louise gale color challenge, surface pattern design,roses, red, sketching, sewing

Add a little digital goodness and ta-da…a collection (of sorts) is in the making.

louise gale color challenge, surface pattern design, rose, red, sketch
louise gale color challenge, surface pattern design, rose, red, sketch
louise gale color challenge, surface pattern design, rose, red, sketch

Module 2 of The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design has started. I am still loving it!

We just completed a two week break which was definitely needed. A chance to soak in all that I have experienced so far.A chance to brush up on my digital skills and most importantly, get all of my sketching organized, labelled and scanned. I am very impressed, and overwhelmed.. with all the information and creative exercises provided. We are back at it strong, working on our signature style and developing collections. This weeks brief was a stationary collection for a sophisticated 40 something woman. Roses are sophisticated..right? So I thought I would try to incorporate them here too… slightly different color scheme though.

louise gale color challenge, surface pattern design,roses, red, sketching, sewing
I am quite pleased with it. Unfortunately, the picture doesn’t do it justice. There is a lot of close up detail (handwriting and sewing) that is a bit difficult to see.

I am looking forward to seeing how everyone else approached red and roses.I just know I am going to be amazed at the creativity of some people!

If you are interested in joining in, please pop over to Louises site and join in!

I hope to be back here again this week, but it’s summer and if the sun is shining I will be out and about enjoying every minute of it!

Put your feet up and enjoy…

Inspired by….a simple black sharpie

I am thinking that I may be in need of a Sharpie sponsorship…..

doodle, black and white, illustration, flowers,sharpie

I am not asking for much. Just black…in fine, extra fine and ultra fine….

doodle, black and white, illustration, flowers,sharpie

I have all the colors of the rainbow…including the glamour girl line (I am a sucker…), but it seems that every week I have to hop in the car and drive to the local office supply store and buy another black.

repeat pattern, hand drawn, sharpie markers

Have you checked out the Sharpie site? You should! They have a community forum, blog and lots of product info.The gallery is quite impressive.I am amazed at the surfaces people use sharpies to write, draw and paint on.

sharpie markers, ace hotel, wallpaper

Some work by Timothy Goodman at the Ace Hotel…swoon…

Now take a look at what Donna from White Wolf Studio has done with her Sharpies….ta~da!.

converse shoes, painted, sharpie

I have a feeling the Glamour Girl Sharpies will be put to use very soon!

Inspired by…a work in progress

I may have a wee bit too much time on my hands today. To give you a little insight into my day…the theme, header and background have been changing hourly over here on my blog.

I have a bit of spring fever…I want fresh, clean, colorful…NEW! I want something a little more current and in keeping with what I am up to these days.

Well that definitely opened a can of worms so to speak…Now I want to customize the entire site!

I want  artsy,hand sketched social icons(my own!) some new, bigger, fonts, a gallery..or two, maybe a static page…I want my very own site. I have the domain “artistically afflicted” and I am itching to use it. So hold on and watch for changes coming this way….My techie brother is on speed dial these days.

With all of my newfound digital skills,there is lots of fun (and hairpulling) to be had.My blog reconstruction sign =1hr. When I actually figured out how to do it, it only took me about 5 minutes.But, that’s how things roll when you are learning.Right now I am tabs deep trying to figure out how to make my very own badge.It may take me a day or two, but you know what? Secretly…I love this stuff…I will take a an Illustrator tutorial over T.V anyday…

Another little nugget of wisdom from artist Robert Genn that arrived in my inbox tonight.I always find his words very timely…

We are drawn to our labour of love because it fills our cups like no other nourishment. The making of art is a private puzzle and working out the puzzle is beguiling. Let the folks who don’t love their work look forward to their retirement from it. We creative folks have a different mind-set. “Work cures everything,” said Henri Matisse. “I need to work to feel well,” said Edouard Manet. “Work is more fun than fun,” said Noel Coward. “Work is the ultimate seduction,” said Pablo Picasso. “I work day and night without sleep,” said Jules Olitski, “The paintings keep me fired up.”

I am also questioning content.I havent had the mojo to write these days.I blame it on too much computer time.

Up until now I have been writing about my creative journey and sharing my discoveries with all medium. It’s easy to snap pictures of art and discuss happy accidents, cool textures and great color combinations. Unfortunately, most of my work these days has been Adobe related while I learn the ins and outs of the digital world. Not as much fun to share the process.I guess I could take screen shots, but not as captivating as beautiful, messy,paint dripping down a canvas….mingling. My painting days are by no means over, but they are on hold until I get my head around this flow of work.So please bear with me, I promise you I will be throwing paint around in no time.

I would like to share how I am trying to marry the two…

A journal page…

journal page,acrylic painting,art, collage
I scanned and photoshopped the dragonflys out.I ripped up a perfectly good dictionary and made a collage out of it. Scanned it and added it to the background. The swirly background? Hand stitched. (Thank you dad..your sewing machine will be home soon.)I may have to work on the stitching. I know I can do it digitally, but it’s just not the same.

art, surface pattern design, collage

Its getting there…every exercise is a lesson learned.

surface pattern design,collage, acrylic paint,mixed media

Typical of my process, I am trying to explore all avenues. Trust me, you will be seeing these dragonflys pop up in all my work!

This post has already been way too long, but I had to stop there for a brief moment and think about “my process”…I wont write about it now, but its interesting to me how I have developed a way of working.

Thats a conversation to be had over a cup of coffee or two…

Have a fantastic warm and sunny weekend!

Here in the mountains, it is still cold and damp and calling for snow!! Summer will arrive here with a bang as it always does…hopefully sooner, than later.(my plants and flowers are sitting in the garage patiently waiting)

Inspired by… a creative color challenge

Just a quick post to share my creative color challenge piece for this month. I am loving these challenges and only wish that this challenge was more often.

I love playing around with color~ more so when I am being told what colors to use.

Sometimes I find it easier to concentrate on design rather than fighting with all the possibility that color can offer. It is easy to lose your direction ..fast.

This months color ~ pretty in pink.

louise gale, spd, art,

My lite version…

spd, surface pattern design, photoshop,

And only because I can so easily change this digitally…my dark version..

spd, surface pattern design, photoshop

In the real world it is much more time consuming to pull off two pieces of art. Digitally…a whole lot easier. I could have played all day with this.

You knew it was coming…I did three! I just cant help myself these days…

spd, surface pattern design, photoshop, daisies

Anyhow, it’s quite obvious,  I really enjoyed the process. I find it so interesting how different colors speak to us. I am loving the ease at which you can add color to digital art and amazed at how a darker colorway or even a slight change in placement can make such a difference.

If you are interested in playing along in Louise Gales monthly color challenge then drop on by. She has created a great community of people participating in all mediums. I was delighted to find out that Louise is also a  fellow ABSPD student with me.I am looking forward to seeing how she combines her handmade and digital worlds. Guaranteed to be great!

I am loving how this big, whole cyber world just gets smaller everyday:).

Inspired by…making mistakes.

My brain is fried. You know that feeling..eyes strained, mind foggy, head woozy…

Paint fumes? I wish!

No, I have been sitting in front of a computer for 4 hours… I know for some of you that is nothing, but for a gal like me that spends maybe a couple of hours a day max, flipping through tabs, surfing pinterest,catching up on the latest blog…  todays mental thought process was exhausting.

Welcome to my new life in the surface pattern design world….Today,I was digi deep into Illustrator and Photoshop.I had two computers, a camera and a scanner on the go. I felt like quite the techie. I also felt way out of my element with many a thought about the futility of it all….

My happy place…

The art and business of surface pattern design, color collage

The art and business of surface pattern design

Color collage, magazine clippings,The art and business of surface pattern design

I am 3 weeks in to The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. I have been sketching, stitching, sticking and stamping up a storm. I have been deep into discovery playing with different mediums and marks. I  have been very happy covered in glue and paint.

leaf motiv, ink sketch,The art and business of surface pattern design

But, who’s kidding who. This is just a form of procrastination for what I really should be doing now. Tackling Photoshop and Illustrator…the digi world that I have felt lurking in the background.

I need to get all of this hands on goodness into the computer…

 ink sketch,The art and business of surface pattern design
Wouldnt he just look so much better full of color?

Our ABSPD Flicker pool is becoming full of digital goodness.I have been quite a good contributor, posting all of my sketching and such, but at week 3 we are a little beyond that now. As a  perpetual student I don’t like to fall behind.. I like to be at the front of the class, hand waving in the air.

So here are my first attempts at digital. For prosperity sake…

Ta da! My first ever digital pattern. I am laughing now as I could have at least scattered them around…but then, I didnt know how…I do now! Practice

A little color…..

photoshop color paletteMy first ever color palette..on photoshop.. made from one of my photos. Ok, I know I have done something wrong as the colors are way too bright. I think I am suppose to change them to RGB for the web.Patience

See what I mean?  Hours of learning to be had…Perseverance

I have so many colorful ideas going on in my head…now to get them into this world.

Practice~ Patience~ Perseverance

Keep reminding me…..