Across the centuries gardens have been a timeless source of inspiration for artists and designers. Fragrant and vibrant, they offer an earthly paradise to escape into that is filled with wonder. One of their most iconic inhabitants is the precious, delicate butterfly, an almost ethereal creature that awakens a sense of lightness and joy. The fleeting beauty of a summer garden, inhabited with butterflies, is a bounteous reminder to enjoy the present and feast the senses when presented with such abundance and beauty.
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.
Pattern Design Development
This Spring-Summer pattern was inspired by the idea of a bountiful paradise garden, brimming with fantastical botanicals in full bloom. I first illustrated these as a variety of separate hand-drawn elements, which included leaves, flowers and various plants. This compelling pattern was then capped-off with brimstone butterflies, hovering scenically amongst the blooms. The final design combines two overlaying patterns: the butterflies being enlarged and kept in the forefront, whilst the botanicals act as a backdrop. The colour palette was developed by @kidspattern and was limited to a selection of greys juxtaposed against a few bright, complimentary yellows. Below you can view my original preliminary drawing, which was the starting point for this series.
In a subsequent iteration of this pattern I turned my attention onto the “Birds of Paradise” flowers (Strelitzia) that were originally only a background element within this composition. Due to their tropical nature these plants, with their spiky bright blue and orange flowers, captured particularly well the exotic and alien sense of wonder that I wanted to evoke with this pattern.
This was an early starting-point in the development of this pattern. The flowers are scattered and recoloured in all the pantones from the palette. These elements are presented as outlines only, in quite a large size, and on a standard white background. The stems and petals curious shapes give this design a good sprinkling of tropical exoticism.
This variant of the pattern was placed on a juicy-yellow background and is presented in a slightly smaller size than before. Thanks to addition of the white fill the Birds of Paradise now ‘pop out’ to a greater extent, creating an interesting visual rhythm. Furthermore, the diagonal, scattered arrangement of the elements creates a very dynamic composition.
This last colourway utilises more of the yellow tones within the palette. It is a combination of the three yellow shades altogether and thus creates a brighter and bolder design, particularly when set against a grey textured-cotton background (as shown here). I must admit that, although I’m usually one for more subtle designs, I find the golden richness of this one very appealing and modern.
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.“