“Feel like you are at the beach all the time! Treat yourself with a yoga mat, beach chair, umbrella, or duffle with this fun, tropical pattern!”

Creating a surface design inspired by the ocean.

For this surface design, I was inspired by sea turtles, seashells, and tropical florals. When creating my mood board, I focused on vintage floral illustrations that you would find in old books. These types of illustrations have always been inspiring to me because of all the detail and ways in which they highlight the anatomy of botanicals. I added an image of a baby sea turtle to use as a reference. I also stumbled across images of vintage seashell illustrations, so I had to include those also. Lastly, I found an image of a detailed floral watercolor painting. My intended audience for this surface design is teens and adults who love the ocean, sea turtles, and florals.

I started by sketching out each element onto hot pressed watercolor paper. I painted each element in watercolor, focusing on creating a cohesive color palette and adding detail. Once my paintings were complete, I scanned them and brought them into photoshop where I took out the background. Next came the fun part! I arranged the elements in Illustrator to create my hero pattern and then my two supporting patterns. When creating a pattern, I started in the center and then moved out to the edges. The edges were a little bit trickier since they need to be copied and repeated onto the side directly across from it. Once a swatch was complete, I repeated it to see if any modifications needed to be made.

The most challenging part of this project for me was creating the mock ups. It was difficult to find a good quality mock up to represent my design that wasn’t too hard to edit. It took a lot of trial and error for me to figure out how to insert my pattern seamlessly into a mock up. I ended up putting my design onto a yoga mat, beach chairs, and umbrella. It was so rewarding to see how my pattern looked on actual objects. In the end, I love how my surface design turned out and I had a lot of fun creating it!