Instrumental Collage

Inspired by a passion for the art of music, the base artwork for this design is a collage made from snippets of various instruments. This multi-faceted portrait celebrates these exquisite tools for self expression, with which one can convey what mere words often fail to. 

As with all artistic endeavours, music tends to remind us that we can find joy through repetition and diligent practise to improve and learn new skills.

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.


Drawing inspir­a­tion from still life rep­res­ent­a­tions in the Cubism art move­ment — in par­tic­u­lar the import­ant role of the fam­ous Guitar paint­ings by Picasso — this art­work attempts to employ a sim­il­ar use of geo­met­ric fig­ures in its core struc­ture. In Cubism, artists began to break up the sub­ject into many dif­fer­ent shapes and then repaint them from dif­fer­ent angles in an effort to find new ways to trans­fer three-dimen­sion­al rep­res­ent­a­tions onto a flat canvas.

Similarly, this design aims to cre­ate a pat­tern by rearran­ging and jux­ta­pos­ing build­ing blocks cre­ated by cut-out pieces of pho­to­graphs. 

Elements Development

This design is from a series of pat­tern devel­op­ment com­mis­sion for a client’s Autumn — Winter series for Boys aged up to 36 months old. The col­our palette for this design was cre­ated by Kidspattern and was set at a range of warm browns matched with a cold beige and two shades of clas­sic blue (a medi­um and a dark tone).

The cent­ral ele­ment was based on a series of pho­to­graphs, which were cropped and reas­sembled again with the aim to cre­ate a new hybrid that uni­fies and cel­eb­rates all kinds of music­al instru­ments. The focus was placed on high­light­ing the intric­ate detail of par­tic­u­lar fea­tures from instru­ments such as a trom­bone, viol­in, cello and an elec­tric guitar.

Above you can view the base ele­ment matched with a check, which was selec­ted as a com­pli­ment­ary print. Additionally, you can view an option to use a stan­dalone mod­ule as a place­ment print illus­tra­tion. 

Starting Point

Here, the base option has the single ele­ment repeated in a reg­u­lar man­ner, along­side two col­our ways of this version.

The first option is presen­ted in a large size with ele­ments close togeth­er and set on a light cream back­ground recol­oured in brown mono­chrome to match.

Whilst the second is reworked in blue, with more spa­cing around the ele­ment and set against a checked, sec­ond­ary print. 


For the devel­op­ment, these options focus on the blue aspect of the col­our palette. In both, the build­ing blocks of the ori­gin­al ele­ment have been shif­ted around with an inter­est­ing result.

The spa­cing in between the inter­lock­ing shapes is explored and presen­ted in two dif­fer­ent arrange­ments : one fea­tures the addi­tion of a sec­ond­ary ele­ment checked pat­tern whilst the oth­er blends in smoothly with the light blue of the back­ground. 

Dark Background

Lastly, the build­ing blocks were recol­oured in a way to incor­por­ate the full spec­trum of the palette, which res­ul­ted in more shad­ing tint variation.

The mod­ules are brought closer togeth­er with a reg­u­lar rhythm in order to cre­ate a seam­less repeat.

“It’s easy to play any music­al instru­ment : all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instru­ment will play itself.”

Johannes Sebastian Bach