Hi everyone,

I think you all got used to me writing a lot about and promoting my latest Skillshare class. And while that’s because I put a lot of work in creating “Design Intricate Flowers from Simple Illustrator Shapes” and I was (and still am) very excited that I manged to publish it in my scheduled timeframe, it’s not the only thing I occupy my time with 😀  Progress is a combination of learning and making, experimenting and trying out new things, new techniques and styles. So, today, I want to talk to you about a class that I absolutely adored 💓 on Skillshare. “Pattern Design II: A Creative Look at a Full Pattern Collection” is taught by my favorite surface pattern artist, Elizabeth Olwen, a true inspiration through her work and style.

Herbal Tea Collection

Elizabeth Olwen is a Canadian surface pattern designer and she is committed at making the world prettier with her pretty patterns! And, boy, does she succeed! In her class “Pattern Design II: A Creative Look at a Full Pattern Collection” Elizabeth introduces each element that becomes part of a larger, cohesive collection: moodboards, 3 main pattern types (hero, blender, secondary), a spot graphic, a name, and a story. Each video lesson includes tips and examples from Elizabeth’s own work to get you started and get your creative juices flowing.

What you learn: how to create a full, cohesive pattern collection, starting from getting inspired by moodboards and wrapping it up with giving context to your collection, by storytelling.

What you make: if you follow the videos and start a project, you’ll create a surface pattern collection, a hero pattern and coordinates, spot graphics and learn how to deliver your collection.

Without further ado, this is what I learned and this is my class project.

I’m a heavy tea drinker, part of my Moldavian heritage. I’ve always drank huge amounts of herbal tea, but now, since I became pregnant, I drink even more (if this is even possible!). Hence, the idea for this pattern collection! I love chamomile: as a child, I would gather these plants for my grandmother to make tea and for myself to make floral head wreaths !


I started the project by sketching some ideas in my sketchbook and then I followed my usual process: scan my sketches, bring into Illustrator, live trace and create shapes.


Starting from these motifs, I designed my hero patterns, my coordinates and spot graphics. While I had fun and a continuous flow of inspiration designing the heroes and the secondary patterns, I struggled the most with my blender patterns, as this doesn’t always come natural to me.



I love bringing my design to life by using mockups, it gives me such a sense of accomplishment! I see so many projects these patterns could be applied to, but I had to draw a line somewhere :))




To see Elizabeth’s work and classes, check out her website www.elizabetholwen.com and Skillshare channel here. This is a sample of her work – source.


Have an inspired Wednesday! PS: Happy Valentine’s Day 💕