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| All images & designs are subject to copyright | Copyright (2012) | © Michelle Manolov |


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surface pattern design

Geek Chic for KESS InHouse

patternandco at kessinhouse

patternandco at kessinhouse1

So cool to see the Simple but Significant Geek Chic styling patterns as pillows, throws, duvet covers, even fantastic shower curtains over at KESS InHouse!
Geek up your home with the Spectacles and Cubic range and keep an eye out for some fabulous florals coming to the store soon!

Photos taken from KESS InHouse.




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A-Z of Flowers F is for……

forget me not patternandco

Forget me not!!!  The letter F is finally finished (a more muted version of the work in progress from earlier)

The A-Z of Flowers Project is a no pressure, design project – doddle a flower pattern every day or paint one every week, if you need a bit of inspiration or when the moment takes you go with it! Please feel free to join in – patterns, art, prints, mixed media – any type of art and design that you love …… just start with the letter A!

If you do join in be sure to let me know by posting to Patternandco’s Facebook Page and  tag things with #atozofflowers then we can check out each others designs and share the floral goodness!

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Simple but Significant – Geek styling


A retro, male collection focusing on the quote from Don Draper “Make it simple but significant”


Couldn’t resist a poster!


I love the peachy tones with greys and brown.

All images Copyrighted © Michelle Drew 2013.  All rights reserved.


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How to stretch an idea into multiple designs.

With all the challenges, projects and competitions about make sure you don’t waste an idea (or design), build on it and let it grow!

That is what I have been trying to do with my designs, starting from a sketch or a doodle or simply a thought and then transforming it into a bigger idea, a pattern or a piece of art and then taking it one step further –  stretching the design by recycling the concept in a new way, freshening up the colours or completely transforming the motifs into something new!

Take my pattern yesterday for the A-Z of Flowers (A is for Anemone) Lets start at the beginning…..

anenomes art

From initial painting (or sketch) to illustrator – For me this is where I can start to really experiment, drawing out the motifs in illustrator is great, mistakes are quickly erased or turned into something else, colours can be changed, points can be pulled and manipulated a million different ways!

ideas in illustrator

And I have  totally fell in love with these colours! TIP: This is where a mood board comes in handy as I only hit upon adding the blue having slept on the design and awoken this morning. It was in my original painting but I decided to go with reds and purples to be a bit more truthfully to the Anemone – fresh eyes really help sometimes, (so does a blue sky outside!)  Not a problem though I can either rework the colours or save the palette for another design!

Talking of recolouring one of the quickest way to digitally transform a pattern or motif is to change and mix the colours up! As I started with Anemones I restricted my colours to purples and pinks to begin with but I also really like the retro vibe of the orange and muddy greens or the vintage blues!  They would look so pretty printed on cloth!


Always try to think outside your box! If you make patterns make a placement print! One for myself – If you love florals try something coordinating with geometrics!

Take elements and work them into a different arrangement!  Flowers are great because they work as patterns (think of a field of flowers) or an illustration (like a bunch of flowers)

And try adding different textures! Experiment!


One thing that is new to me is adding quotes to images!  I will often hand write a little sentence like the one above but I wanted to challenge myself further and make the quote and pattern big and bold!  It’s turned out to be a fab print that is hanging on my wall!


Finally taking the idea  down a new path – a little sneak peek at a design collection I am working on!

anemones reworked_patternandco

If you are designing with a purpose in mind, for a client, a competition or project and the pattern or print doesn’t fit but you love it don’t hide it away, make it into art work, start your own etsy shop and if you are into surface pattern design definitely read Developing a Print Collection, great ideas to turn one pattern into a whole collection!

Here’s my designs over at my shop.

How do you stretch an idea?  I’d love to hear!

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Creative Christmas wish list for creatives from a creative.

A Christmas wish list for creatives from a creative!  As a surface pattern designer I would be happy with anything from this list but I think you could easily adapt most of the ideas for other fields, such as graphic design or illustration.

1.  First up buy them a font.  There are some super cool fonts about try Typefont or Anodyne from My Fonts.

2.  Buy handmade…..from other artists!  Try your local craft fair or from places like Folksy and Etsy.   If all the choices are overwhelming grab a notebook or journal (you can never have to many notebooks right?).

3. Online courses seem to be really popular at the moment – my favourite The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. It is the definitive guide to becoming a surface pattern design professional.  Packed full of ideas, really valuable information and is an absolute quality course!

4.  Any product from Wacom.  I have had an intuos for many many years and really could not live without it.  I would also be happy to play with the Inkling for when I am on the move or maybe if I have been a really good girl Santa will drop the Cintiq 24HD touch in my stocking!!!

5. Subscription to Adobe Cloud – get the whole shebang and play with all the adobe goodies!

6.  Can’t afford the Adobe Cloud subscription? Have a tablet?  Try Adobe Ideas, it is a digital sketchpad app to create vector drawings.  Great if you find yourself commuting or hanging around between appointments!  Adobe have made a few other products available as apps so definitely worth checking out!

7.  A pattern book.  There are so many on my wish list that I would be happy with any.  For some great suggestions check out Patternjots board over at Pinterest BOOKS.  At the moment I am loving the Geometric Book from kapitza.  It features a collection of 264 colourful and monochrome pattern illustrations and comes with a CD containing 100 pattern fonts.

8.  Pens, pencils, crayons, chalks….whatever floats their boat.  From the cheap and cheerful to the rolls royce of pens there is something for everyones budget.  Photo and absolute amazing “doodle” from Lei Melendres.

9.  An inspirational poster!  Because we all need a bit of motivation now and then. Try Society6 or Etsy, type in inspirational poster and it will return a huge selection to choice from whatever your style! “The only way to do great work” poster by Chris Piascik.

10. Keep them up to date with a trend report.  Again lots of places where you can buy from but I like Mix Magazine as you can buy a single copy or a subscription.  A great gift!

That’s my Christmas wish list.  I am sure I have missed a lot, any recommendations feel free to leave a comment and if you are a creative and people say you are hard to buy for casually open this post on your laptop and leave it lying about – you never know who might read it 😉


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A little Bird told me….

A little bird told me……that the fantastic Tigerprint featured me yesterday!!!  (Insert Happy Dance) and he also said that we should all dream big!!  What does your little bird twitter to you?

(Credit // A Little Bird Told me gift card)


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Creating Sunshine and Showers – A starting point

Where do you ideas begin? From a doodle, an image, a colour?

I thought I would try something a bit different and start with some simple shapes from tissue papers, I love the textural properties of tissue paper and the way you can blend colours and so easy to rearrange into different shapes and patterns.

Here’s a few of the patterns that I created from my Tissue paper designs, the Summers End Collection.

I ran with the idea a bit more and the next part is really exciting, seeing and selling your designs!

Working on some fabric and cushion designs from the collection which will be available soon along with the iPhone covers, cards and prints available from our shop.

I love the tactile nature of hands on pattern making and getting away from the computer for a few hours and just letting imagination take over!  Any other creative inspirational ways in which you have fun and begin the design process I would love to hear!


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Tigerprint Male Fashion Icons & Symbols – Runner up!

Very happy to announce I am one of 3 runners up in the Tigerprint Male Fashion Icons & Symbols!

“Gorgeous pattern design here and so clever with the bow tie element used. We particularly loved the use of textures in all of Patternandco’s designs. Great work!”

Read more…

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