How to Get Started as a Surface Pattern Designer? Tips and Guidelines

Do you want to know how to get started as a surface pattern designer? Atisha Design Studio suggests few tips and guidelines that can help you craft a living.

Do you find yourself obsessing over prints and patterns? It could be anything from large, bold motifs to abstracts or ditzy floras’ too. If you are creative-driven, have an interest in emerging fashion, and love exploring new techniques, you might enjoy an exciting and rewarding career in surface pattern design. Here are a few tips and guidelines to get you started as a surface pattern designer.

1. Learn the art of Surface Pattern Design: A surface pattern designer is an artist or a doodler who creates two-dimensional designs that are suitable for a wide range of applications, for example, fabric, homeware, bed and kitchen linen, wallpapers, stationery, and gift cards, etc. You do not need to be a pro artist or someone good at making portraits. Basic sketching and creative imagination is just enough to harness your career in this field. Seek proper training and courses from the experts to understand the fundamental elements of design and the techniques to transform your doodles and sketches into motifs and repeat patterns.

2. Carving out your niche: Your characteristics and persona is what defines you. Similarly, it works for surface pattern design too. You want to be unique, authentic and let people know what your style is before you dive into your career. You can build a great sense in developing quirky prints or someone who finds a hidden talent in making abstract flowers or maybe just like the tropical vibe. Once you learn the art, you will find your way to master your style. Here’s a tip: To be known in the market, Find your own personal style and stick with it.

3. Design your cohesive collection: Once you master the art, the next step is to understand how to develop prints for various products and making a collection. This phase includes a heavy research, choosing the target audience, developing a well-structured mood board, evaluating trends, creating prints (main motif and pattern co-ordinates) and developing the range. You can also pick an industry or a product category of where you want to create prints for.

4. Build a compelling portfolio: Building a strong portfolio is a crucial step in getting your foot in the door in the surface pattern design industry. A designer’s portfolio is required to win job contracts, to demonstrate competency in the field, and to showcase the usage of artwork in different areas of design; Fashion, Interior, and Product.

5. Build your presence and generate revenue: Understand the general communication and marketing skills and learn to build your presence in the market. You can work as a freelance surface pattern designer and or can also find a suitable job in a well-reputed company or a brand. While you do that, make sure you also build your community around your design through blogs, tweets, social media, and reach out to various surface pattern designer’s community. It will help people know what you do and to connect you with further clients. 

6. Know that you can: Last but not the least. Do not forget to be confident in what you do. A confident person can achieve anything in this world. Believe in your artwork and trust your skills. Once you achieve that, you will create wonders.

If you’re ready to do this, you should go and check out our course 


How to Gain Inspiration for Your Design Source in Surface Pattern Design?

Ever like you’re running out of creative inspiration for your surface pattern designs?

Too many deadlines, demanding clients, no cohesive vision, and even too many coffees can leave you feeling blocked and uninspired. It is hard to deliver creativity sometimes, but this stage is essential whether you are a beginner or an experienced surface pattern designer. Here are a few constructive ways we’ve put in a list together to get your creative juices flowing that will help you gain inspiration to create repeat patterns in the field of surface pattern design.

01. Take a walk through and observe:

Observation is a necessary skill and foundation to develop any style of art. It is the most powerful tool because it helps us determine what to do next. You can master this skill by taking a walk through the neighbourhood and looking at all the fine details around you. It doesn’t involve the computer. Instead involves exploration, venturing outdoors, and collecting things that inspire you. The world is full of patterns. Once you look around, you will find them everywhere. Look at birds, seasonal flowers or foliage, or sometimes your shadow too. Even a door mob can inspire you to make some quirky designs. As we all live in a social media age, finding inspiration has happened only through some Pinterest boards or through Instagram feeds. Instead, turn that all off and click some pictures when you visit any of the places or maybe your garden too. If quirky is your niche or you’re too lazy to step out, then here’s something funny. You can try making prints of kitchen wares and make it look cartoonish.

02. Sketching or Random doodling: 

Doodling improves one’s ability to find novel and creative solutions to any complex and crucial issues. It also allows one to get quick ideas down on paper. Don’t be afraid, you do not need to know what you have to sketch and doodle. Just take your pen or pencil and craft what’s coming up in your mind. Sometimes random things turn out to be creative and great. Give yourself a ‘me’ time even if it is for ten minutes. 

03. Mind Mapping:

This we have learned in school. Let’s go back to those old and traditional learning tricks. It is an easy and efficient way to facilitate ideas organically. Start with a general idea and develop branches, keywords or visuals from that starting point. Later connect it to the central idea. Mind Mapping is a blood flow required for any designer’s mind to kick start his/her though process.

04. Build your Inspiration Library:

You may be on your break and suddenly remembered or saw something. Take it as a habit to collect everything – be it photographs, products, interesting colour combination or any lettering that you find interesting. Make a visual bank and use that as a source of inspiration when you are unable to find anything new. You can also try out this option of up cycling your old work and revamping it with few modifications

05. Observe Trends:

Observing trends doesn’t mean that you have to copy the same. Rather, observe what’s in the market, people’s likes, dislikes and on the runway. If you notice that checks or plaids are in this season then you can try doing some amalgamation of bold motifs on those checks and plaids. This way you can follow the trend along with being authentic. 

06. Talk and converse:

You cannot stay aloof when you are practicing surface pattern design. Talk to your clients, fellow friends of what they need and expect from you. Stay connected with the designers, form a community, do a discussion and spill out your ideas. You never know sometimes a great conversation can put you in a creative thought process. 

They say, “Practice makes a man perfect”. So, what you have to do is practice the above efforts, to make it a habit and a part of your routine. Our online course in surface pattern design at Atisha Design studio gives every individual its own wing to practice these creative ideas. This process is both fun and very beneficial to help you gain inspiration for your design source in surface pattern design.