This pattern series envisages a fairytale forest, abundant in its exotic undergrowth and overgrown with wondrous, whimsical botanicals. In particular, this pattern is inspired by the captivating macro photography of Karl Blossfeldt, an artist from 1930s Germany. Here I attempt to convey a similar sense of marvel at the beauty and bizarreness of organic, natural forms. 

This pro­ject was a part of my ongo­ing col­lab­or­a­tion with Kidspattern. If you’d like to learn more about them please vis­it their web­site HERE. Alternatively, view the archive of our pre­vi­ous pro­jects HERE, in which I dis­cuss in detail the his­tory and nature of our work.

All cloth­ing-mockups presen­ted here are provided cour­tesy of Kidspattern and are used for visu­al­isa­tion pur­poses only.

Inspiration and Technique 

Due to this design being inspired by the motif of a fairytale won­der­land, I packed it with wild imagery of bil­low­ing ferns, bizarre botan­ic­als, ali­en-look­ing mush­rooms and exot­ic flowers. I exper­i­mented with these ele­ments› scales by por­tray­ing them as if viewed from the per­spect­ive of the forest floor, which makes them appear much more remark­able and extraordin­ary. To high­light the fant­ast­ic­al aspects of this pat­tern I opted for a col­lage approach, which blen­ded the botan­ic­al ele­ments with draw­ing. Forest themes recur reg­u­larly in my work, espe­cially dur­ing the A‑W sea­son. This is because I draw a lot of inspir­a­tion from nature and enjoy work­ing with flor­al and plant-based ele­ments. 

This pat­tern was part of a com­mis­sion for a client’s Autumn-Winter Collection and here it is visu­al­ised on a dress for girls aged up to 36 months. The image is of a simple white-back­ground ver­sion of this ‘Dreamworld’ pat­tern, in which the base mod­ule repeats in reg­u­lar columns. It was inten­ded as an under­growth-inspired pat­tern for girls that would com­ple­ment anoth­er one aimed at boys (view HERE). As such, it also con­tin­ued to explore mixed-media tech­niques and was inten­ded for digit­al print. As before, it involved work­ing with digit­ally manip­u­lated pho­to­graph­ic mater­i­al and enhan­cing it with hand-drawing.

The romantic, dream­like col­our palette of blush-pinks and warm-greys was selec­ted by Kidspattern. 

Version 2

Focussing on grey­scale with­in the col­our­ing of the ‘Dreamworld’ pat­tern gives it a bit more weight and off­sets the pale-blush’s influ­ence. When set against a grey back­ground the pat­tern now evokes a bewitch­ing, dusky mood­i­ness ; like a forest thick­et at sun­down. I am often fond of more mono­chrome col­our solu­tions like this that blend in smoothly with the back­ground. In this arrange­ment of the pat­tern the main ‘branch’ mod­ule gets reversed but con­tin­ues to repeat in columns. I chose to visu­al­ise it as an over­size place­ment print on a pair of girl’s leggings.

Version 3

This oth­er ver­sion pos­i­tions the pat­tern on a blush back­ground and recol­ours it with more intense tints of cor­als. Only a few areas of grey remain to off­set this more vibrant col­our palette, mak­ing it more overtly fem­in­ine and magic­al in tone. This time the mod­ule has been sym­met­ric­ally reflec­ted on itself like a mir­ror. I feel this emphas­ises the dream-like optics of the pat­tern and adds an intriguing kal­eido­scop­ic qual­ity to it.

Final Product

It became appar­ent dur­ing the design and devel­op­ment pro­cess that the ori­gin­al ver­sion of this pat­tern was going to be too com­plex for the age group it was even­tu­ally aimed at. To resolve this we altered the mod­ule to sup­ply the cli­ent with a sim­pli­fied, more uni­ver­sally age-appro­pri­ate ver­sion. This has sub­sequently gone into print on a puff­er-jack­et, which you can view snap­shots of below.

These images are provided cour­tesy of the cli­ent and are used for port­fo­lio pur­poses only.

I found myself in Wonderland.