Patternalia Process


wasp mag.jpg
wasp sketch 1 b.jpg
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Wasp in progress.jpg

Our minds love patterns. A four-year-old, who cannot read or write, can identify patterns in their world and find delight in them.

For me, there is something comforting about the constancy of a repeating sequence. I look for patterns almost automatically. I use them in my daily routine to get more done and stay focused.

I have used and made patterns in my life as a graphic designer, usually relegating them to the background or as decoration or as infographics that help reveal a hidden truth in data. But here the pattern is the priority, serving no purpose other than the beauty of the pattern.

I set out to design patterns by looking closely at the natural world. Each artwork allows me to investigate a creature or plant species that I find intriguing. I photograph it and magnify it for further inspection. From there I sketch it and get to know its personality. I might rearrange its parts and create a more abstract geometric design or I might choose a more representational route.

This is where I start. In real life. Not on a computer. I begin by sketching and sometimes painting patterns on wood or metal. Its freeing to not agonize over every pixel and just enjoy how the paintbrush feels in my fingers. Enjoy the power of pigment.

Eventually I make digital work to sell en mass, but I love starting the process with a pencil and graph paper and planning out a piece of art to hang on the wall.