Vintage Carousel Pattern Collection

Vintage Carousel Pattern by Melissa Iwai 2016

A couple of months ago, I took a Skillshare workshop taught by surface designer, Elizabeth Olwen, on creating a pattern collection, called Pattern Design II: A Creative Look at a Full Pattern Collection. It was quite a challenge for me, as patterns are not my forte, but it was really fun to do something different, and Elizabeth is an excellent instructor! I highly recommend this class! When you do a workshop on Skillshare (as opposed to just taking the class), it costs a bit extra, but it was totally worth it to me, because it made me actually do the assignment. The workshops have a time frame and a limited number of students, and we all get one-on-one advice from the instructor. I really love this format. The added incentive makes me make time to do this extra work I would otherwise not do. I have a ton of freelance book work I'm doing during the same period!

The course assignment was to come up with a pattern collection of our choice and to create a hero pattern, two complementary patterns, and some blender patterns.

For my theme, I chose Vintage Carousel, because I find them so magical and charming. I remember reading a picture book when I was little about two sisters who go to the carousel in Central Park. The horses come to life and they go on an adventure. Sadly, I don't have the book anymore, and I don't know what it was called or who illustrated it. My mom probably threw it out at some point... Does it ring a bell for anyone? I'd love to find it again. I've never seen it again, but the illustrations are so clear in my mind! 

Here is my mood board:

Vintage Carousel mood board by Melissa Iwai 2016

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Here are some of my sketches. I decided to include other animals.

Sketches by Melissa Iwai 2016

I scanned the sketches into the computer and then redrew them in Illustrator.

Vintage Carousel Pattern by Melissa Iwai 2016

I decided to not have the structure of the actual carousel in my pattern so I could have a more organic feel. I also included a lot of flowers, thinking of the way the carousels are painted, but I wanted a more folk art feel to them rather than a French Baroque style.

My hero pattern:

Vintage Carousel Pattern by Melissa Iwai 2016

My complementary patterns:

Vintage Carousel Pattern by Melissa Iwai 2016
Vintage Carousel Pattern by Melissa Iwai 2016

My blender patterns:

Vintage Carousel Pattern by Melissa Iwai 2016

I also created some spot art, which Elizabeth recommends, as a little extra fun thing to include, that could be used on products along with the patterns.

Vintage Carousel Pattern by Melissa Iwai 2016

Here are some mock ups I did of how the patterns and art could be used on different products.

Vintage Carousel Pattern by Melissa Iwai 2016
Vintage Carousel Pattern by Melissa Iwai 2016

And here is the complete collection!

Vintage Carousel Pattern by Melissa Iwai 2016

Thanks, Elizabeth, a bunch for teaching the course! I never thought I could produce so much in such a short period of time!