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 Amer­i­can novelist