|A couple of the painterly backgrounds Declan and I have been making.|
Along the way I've become enamored with three new skills I want to learn more about: hand-lettering, hand-painted backgrounds, and creating repeat patterns from some of my vintage imagery. Here's some of the fun designers, tutorials, and classes I've been enamored with lately:
Creating Repeating Patterns
The Ultimate Guide to Repeats. I just finished this online class and it's pretty good. I wish it showed more than one way to make repeats in photoshop, especially with highly complicated designs, but still a good place to start and especially helpful in terms of knowing exactly how to prep files for fabric production, which is something I haven't found anywhere else.
Lynda's Online Software Training Videos. My first lovely intern spoke highly of Lynda.com, which seems like a good way to go if you're the type that can learn well through videos. I think my next step is to sign up for their 7-day trial and learn a couple new techniques for photoshop repeats. update: Lynda didn't have what I was looking for. It seems to be more for complete online classes rather than quick tutorials. But I did re-find this great online tutorial for photoshop repeat patterns at Mel's Brushes.
The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. A good fit if you're just starting out designing patterns and prefer to work with vector-based images in Illustrator. There are some tips for layers and photoshop and such, and so I'll be keeping this class on my radar (especially since Beth was so helpful in answering some of my questions when deciding to take the class or not), but I'm not quite ready for it yet. The Do What Your Love crew also has a new online surface design magazine called Moyo that's quite lovely.
Hand Painted Backgrounds
Daring Adventures in Paint. My husband bought this for me for my birthday (yea) and it was a very fun and quick read. I especially like all the messy layering of various paint colors since it's something I can do with my 5-year-old.
Kelly Rae Roberts makes beautiful artwork that she licenses to a variety of products. I'm just starting her book now and have found her sharing of all her favorite art supplies to be especially generous and helpful (though shhhh, I'm still using all my 59 cent acrylic bottles of paint from Joann's and Michael's quite happily).
|Image from Luca Barcellona|
Lisa Congdon has been posting one new piece of artwork in her hand-lettering a day project throughout 2012 that has been fun to follow. Moyo also promises a how-to section on hand-lettering in their next issue which will probably be here in October 2012 or so.
Uppercase has an inspirational column called "Type Tuesday." Some favorites of mine include pens to improve your handwriting (what a great excuse to get a special pen) and lots of the posts featuring handwriting.
I splurged a bit and picked up Jessica Swift's digital book Jump, Trust and Repeat. It's probably 60% biography, 40% practical tips, with a running through-line of inspiration. While it's more money than I would normally spend on a book--especially a digital one--I find myself continually coming back to reference different sections and am glad that I made the purchase (and you can get 10% off, too, by signing up for her newsletter).
By the way, if you'd like to download some of the new painterly backgrounds I've been making for free (along with some other vintage imagery), sign up to receive my September newsletter here.