Paradise Garden

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. 

Strelitzia Pattern

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. 

Version 1

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.

Version 2

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.

Version 3

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.«

Nathaniel_Hawthorne_by_Brady,_1860-64
Nathaniel Hawthorne American nov­el­ist