First thing’s first: when I start a pattern, I often either have a sample to go off of or I need to sketch out my idea. Artists are very visual people and sketching just helps finite my idea. Using the research I pulled from Google of a pile of magazines, I base my sketch of the pattern off that. Using a square shape is a classic repeat for patterns and easier to show the repeat.
Now that my sketch is done and I like how everything is placed, it’s time to start drawing up the magazines and for that, I shall move into Photoshop. I currently use Photoshop CS5 and an old WACOM tablet for my art purposes. I’ve set my document at 4.2″ x 4.2″, which is a standard repeat size and appropriate for a simple pattern such as this. Pro-tip: if you want to work in digital art, always remember this: save often! You can’t account for computer lags, or systems shutting down on you, or even power failures. It’s something every digital artist has faced and been tormented by. When you get into the zone, often times you won’t have saved and when you least expect it, something goes wrong… something always goes wrong!
I’ve made a list beforehand of what magazines I’ll be illustrating for the print and made sketches of what they might look like. I’ll go through one so you can understand the art process per-each magazine.
I’ll start with the generic “HAY GURL” girly magazine cover I came up with. Working in a separate file, I can have as many layers as I want without messing with the original print. I’m using a guesstimate sized box behind my sketch so I know just how big it needs to be to fit perfectly in the print. I’ve quickly sketched a first layer to see where everything will be placed and if I like it where I have it set up. I do this so I can move forward to another layer of sketching to get a clearer look before I ink. I’ve also pulled some of the colors from the palette I’ve made to start figuring out which to use for this magazine. The light purples look good to me, so I start color blocking to make sure everything looks okay.
Molly Flood, a Wisconsin native, graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. She works mainly in digital mediums, though was self taught in traditional medium. She is currently employed by Kohl’s Corporate in Menomonee Falls, WI as a textile artist for the brand SO 7-16, and takes up residence in Milwaukee.