This rich and multidimensional pattern encourages its viewer to follow the humming sound created by the extremely rapid beating of tiny wings and get enveloped in a labyrinth of tangled vines that seem to be forming an impenetrable curtain that conceals an entrance to a secret passage.
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.
This elegant design was commissioned for our client’s Spring Summer Collection for a colour group aimed at girls up to 36 months old. The suggested, soothing palette composed by Kidspattern comprised of faded blush, warm beige and brown matched against a vibrant orange.
In this dynamic, multilayered pattern, the palette was enriched by incorporating the bright blood orange red to add a pop of colour to highlight the hummingbirds’ most eye-catching feature. The brilliant colour of the iridescent plumage of the male bird contrast with the white background and corresponds with the detail in the outline of the flowers.
A tinted silhouette of the vine was placed in the background, in order to deepen the dimensional aspect of the design. The regular, column repeat keeps the composition balanced and organised. Visualised in a medium size on a white girl’s top, the version that you can view above ended up being the one that got purchased and selected to go into print.
Hand Drawn Elements
Above short process animation shows the layering of separate colours of the main illustrated element. The overall theme for this series was centred around a hummingbird, which has a long history of symbolism. In legends, it is often portrayed as a spirit being, a healer or a helper and a sign of good luck. The Aztecs even saw him as a messenger between them and their ancestors or the gods.
To best compliment this nectar-sipping, New World bird we chose to illustrate it hovering amongst climbing vines full of ‘Morning Glory’ blooms. Please view a group of the preliminary, hand drawn, separately prepared botanical elements, which I then used alike puzzle pieces to arrange them into trailing stems and swirls.
Next, I added a touch of dark outline round the stem to better define its shape and to bring all the elements together. Additionally, I added the hummingbird’s silhouette into the background to add to the design’s dimensionality. This forms the base for this commission’s repeat module, which was then further layered as the complexity of the pattern design grew along with its targeted age group.
Selection of two simplified patterns, aimed at the Newborn Collection (0–9months). First version has the separate elements composed in a very spacious arrangement in small size and a regular repeat.
Second version is composed out of a single row of climbing vines. Both remain plain and multi-use, with all their elements balanced against white background, which is always the most popular choice for this age group.
This light and airy version was created by reflecting the meandering vine module on itself. To compliment this dreamy vision the design was recoloured in a range of pale, powder blush and beige for a soft, romantic finish. The result is a balanced, symmetric arrangement, which plays on the fairy-tale associations commonly ascribed to serpentine, vine-centred designs.
Following this, I’ve recoloured it to further match a darker shade of pink. In this version, the hummingbird is pared back to a simple, regular, single column arrangement placed against a silhouetted layered background.
To assure that the design is applicable in multiple colourways, I’ve developed a range to fit darker backgrounds. Firstly, the hummingbird is reversed against the dark coral background and the composition becomes a little more irregular and unruly to correspond with the dynamism of the tortuous vines.
Lastly, a kaleidoscope arrangement plays on underlining mysterious aspects of the tangled vines. These recoloured versions increase the contrast, depth and overall weight of the design, which now seems more fitting with the late Summer season collection, transitioning into early Autumn.
Pattern in Print
In conclusion, please browse through a selection of examples of the final use of this Hummingbird inspired pattern in print. These are client’s first clothing samples made to display at trading fairs as a launch of their overall Spring-Summer collection.
As well as items from the Kids age group (up to 36months old), these slides also include photos of their Newborn and Homeware groups, hence apart from baby bodysuits these examples show matching bedsheets, blankets and pillow cases.
Please note that these images are provided courtesy of the client and Kidspattern and are used for portfolio purposes only.
“A flash of harmless lightning,
A mist of rainbow dyes,
The burnished sunbeams brightening
From flower to flower he flies“