I’m so excited to share my latest pattern collection with you! This collection is called “A New Day,” and it’s inspired by my children. This school year has been a rough one - both kids started new schools and have had a few more bad days than what they’re used to. From the time they were little - probably too little to understand - I would say “tomorrow is a new day.” I love the fresh start that a new day brings and I hope that I brought that feeling to life with this collection. The collection definitely has a youthful feel, but I tried to mix in some sophisticated touches that would appeal to young and maybe the young at heart as well.
I’m so proud to introduce my newest pattern collection, Persistence. This collection came together unlike any in the past. I literally mindlessly sketched out the crane and from there envisioned more than half of the rest of the collection. I chose “persist” as my word of 2019 and designed my first pattern for this collection based on that word. Cranes often represent eternal life and good fortune in many cultures and I felt like the crane was a lovely symbol of persistence. For me 2018 was all about learning and growing in my art practice, but 2019 is persisting in that practice and not only that - but it’s time to SHOW MY WORK. That feels scary and honestly I get butterflies in my stomach when I hit publish on my website or even Instagram. It’s rough sometimes, so Persistence speaks to all of that. For me it shows my growth as an artist, but still stays true to my style and perspective.
The color ways in Persistence are moodier than my previous collections, which I’m sure is a reflection of designing them in the midst of a very gloomy February here in Texas. I hope you love them as much as I do, and even though the four patterns featured below are only a small portion of the entire collection - I have lots more peeks coming. I will be featuring more patterns from the collection over on my Instagram page, so make sure to follow along if you are interested.
I created little video of me creating my “Scattered Petals” pattern. It is sped up because even though I love to spend an hour (ok…hours sometimes depending on the pattern) working on a pattern - I’m not sure how compelling that would be to watch. The little petals from I used for this and a few other patterns - are all the insides of the little leaf motif I created. (You can see it above in the logo for Persistence.)
Creating photo mockups is one of my most favorite ways to bring my patterns to life. It’s like magic to see something I sketched out come to life on products. Here are a few peeks…
Finding your place in the world is a big concept, but I swear that I’ve found mine in the surface pattern design community - specifically, the wonderful women that Bonnie Christine brought together for the first annual Surface Pattern Design Immersion Course Retreat. We came together from all over - women of all different ages and backgrounds - all of us at different points in our creative journeys and spent a few days building each other up. It’s hard to put into words what this time meant to me. It was so lovely to be away from everything and as much as I was ready to get home to my family - I wasn’t ready to actually leave the retreat if that makes sense. It was amazing to get away from the day to day and focus on creating this business with similarly minded women.
Bonnie asked us all to pick out a word for the coming year and we could emboss it onto a little piece of leather. At first I was going to choose persevere but I didn’t really want to have to emboss that many letters, so I shortened it to persist. I knew that the hard part of this journey for me is to keep going - even when things aren’t going great or there’s a lull in activity. As I suspected, reality hit HARD when I got home. I left the retreat so positive and excited about the future but slowly over the rest of the month I honestly lost some of that positivity. I tend to be an all or nothing kind of person in everything I do, which honestly is pretty detrimental to all aspects of my life but especially to any creative pursuits. If I want to work out - I feel like I should work out EVERY single day and if I miss two or three days, it’s so hard to get back into it. If I try to go on a diet - I am much better about just eliminating certain foods than having things in moderation. If I’m in the middle of designing a collection that’s all I want to do. The problem comes in when other things get in the way - not even big things - little things like a kid with strep throat, a stressful phone call, someone else’s crummy day, my own crummy day - every day “problems” big or small tend to completely knock me off course.
Obviously I can’t live in a bubble, so here are five things I’m working on to conquer this all or nothing mindset once and for all.
Pursue LOTS of creative outlets. I don’t have to just draw - I can do all the creative things I enjoy and not only is that ok - it will help my design process to be a well rounded person. I love to bake and embroider and read and it’s ok to do all of those things. It’s even ok to sketch and draw with no agenda.
Set “office hours.” I keep saying that I’m going to do this, but I am focusing on creating a better schedule for myself over the coming months. I need to set some hours for myself and try to stick to them - BUT also remember that the biggest bonus to being able to work from home is that I am allowed to be flexible - if I need to switch up the schedule now and then it’s OK.
Incorporate mental AND physical health. I started consistently working out in August for the first time…ever. I even got to the point where I enjoyed it, but then I got sick and kids got sick and I fell off the wagon completely. My plan is to get out of bed a little earlier and workout before I drop the kids off at school, so then I have more time in my day. BUT - instead of only doing one kind of workout - I’m going to try and incorporate some more quiet stretching and meditation.
Take social media breaks. While building an online presence is a necessary aspect of building a brand, it’s not my most favorite. I have major anxiety about posting…What should I post? What should the caption say? Is this stupid? Who cares about this? Not exactly conducive to a calm mind - so I am going to really work on finding an app to help with scheduling out posts and THEN focus on taking time away from Instagram so I can not only make better use of my time, but not let comparison creep in to my thoughts.
Take a class. There are so many things that I want to learn and frankly need to learn. I want to find a few more art classes and I’d like to get more comfortable in Photoshop as well. Over the coming year I am going to try and become as comfortable in Adobe Photoshop as I am in Illustrator. I also find that learning something new helps maintain a growth mindset and helps to offset some of the doubt that creeps in from time to time.
What do you do to get out of a funk and take care of yourself?
Meadowlark is the second full collection that I’ve designed. The patterns are inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s classic book, Little Women, which is still one of my favorite books. Over the summer my daughter and I watched the newest adaptation of Little Women on PBS and I decided to re-read the book. I also read Samantha Ellis’ book How to be a Heroine, which breaks down some of the most beloved heroines from classic novels and explores how these heroines have shaped our lives. Yes, as an adult I see some of the pitfalls, but I still love to root for Jo, yell at Amy for being the worst and hope Beth won’t get scarlet fever. I still have my illustrated copy of Little Women that I read multiple times with my mom growing up.
There were times when I was creating these patterns I was pretty sure that my Adobe Illustrator was possessed and determined to drive me crazy. My Concord Neighbors pattern in particular killed Illustrator multiple times. Where my Strawberry Jam collection seemed to pour out of me, there were times when some of these patterns seemed just out of reach. I could see how I wanted the pattern to look, but then I would end up tearing the pattern apart and starting over. Sometimes I think our culture glamorizes “ease,” and vilifies hard work. This collection did feel like more work than Strawberry Jam, but that doesn’t lessen my affection for it - if that makes sense.
I definitely designed this collection with my daughter in mind. At 10, she’s right at the cusp of becoming a young woman, but still a little girl at heart. Much like me, my daughter is an avid reader, and I can picture her cuddled up reading under a quilt made up of these patterns. They have a youthful feel, but could still grow with her.
Below you will find four of my patterns from Meadowlark in both color ways - Dawn and Dusk. From left to right they are March Sisters, Beth’s Quilt, Orchard Canopy and Concord Neighbors. Make sure to follow along on Instagram for even more peeks into this collection.
Do you love the March sisters? Who are your other favorite heroines from literature? Tell me below! Besides Jo, I also love Anne Shirley, Lizzie Bennett, Anne Elliot and Hermione Granger.
Hello! Some of you may have found my site through my old blog, Lauren’s Creative, and if so - welcome! If you’ve just happened upon my site, even better - welcome to you too! I thought I should give a quick introduction…
My name is Lauren Brewer and in between school runs I am a surface pattern designer. Some of you (in fact a lot of you) may not even know what that is, so here’s a quick definition - a surface pattern designer creates patterns that can be applied to pretty much ANYTHING. A polka dot top - someone created those adorable polka dots that were then applied to fabric and then became a top. A floral rug, yep - someone drew those flowers, most likely imported them into Adobe Illustrator and then created a pattern which was turned into a rug. You get the idea. Up until about a year ago, I didn’t even know this was a career, but once I did, it felt like a light bulb going off. I fell into a Google wormhole and started taking classes on Skillshare. FINALLY - all of these things that I loved converged into what felt (and feels) like the perfect place for me. I have always been fascinated by color and pattern. Even in high school I would walk around fabric stores looking at fabric and scouring my mom’s home decor magazines. After taking a few classes on Skillshare, I found out about a very special course offered by Bonnie Christine - and it was such a gift. Her Surface Pattern Design Immersion Course - opened up a whole new world.
I have spent the last 8 months or so building patterns and collections. As of now, I have three complete collections each featuring 10 patterns in two separate color ways. Over the next few months, I will give little peeks into my design process for each of the collections. If you’d like a peek at a few of my patterns - check them out on my Patterns page. I am also in the process of finalizing my portfolio and will be sending it out into the world - talk about a scary but exciting process.
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