I Realised after much thought that my artwork could be perfect for surface pattern design. Perhaps this is a way I could actually support myself as an artist. A long time ago someone told me that I'll probably end up designing the background patterns of biscuit tins and perfume bottles. Perhaps they were right.
My first attempt is quite simply the same image repeated over and over. It's not the most imaginative approach to my first pattern but it will be useful to use as backgrounds to other patterns. I have to start somewhere and this is where I started. It's all very trial and error.
What became evident, but should have been obvious, was that any repeat pattern I made can be changed in terms of size, colour and brightness. The above is the same design as the first image but altered. It actually makes it an even more generic surface pattern design.
Which brings me to this next development. I've built a node with flailing perfectly measured limbs sticking out that can be connected to similar nodes. When these are connected I can build a massive grid making to overlay on top of any other pattern design I want.
So overlaying a grid can make the pattern slightly more complex. Slightly more interesting... hopefully slightly less predictable and generic. It does remind me of the back pages of very fancy old notebooks. Though it wouldn't really work as a pattern design for an item of menswear. Unless.....
Print this onto a shirt and in it's larger form it could look like a shirt for someone bending the fashion rules and attempting to look like a more subdued 1970s. For the less loud the pattern can be shrunk and it would look like a checkered shirt from a distance - but when you get close up it'd become obvious theirs something a bit more going on with it.
After a while of cobbling these together I did have to start realising that my personal identity as an artist is getting lost in each and every image. These say nothing - they aren't even meaningless voids they are actually made for companies to print onto whatever they want in whatever size and format they want. So producing these images should really have some negative impact on my self esteem as an artists. They give me a strange creative satisfaction that's very plastic and empty. Like blowing up balloons.
What has always been my ideal in creativity is to try to make things nobody else could make. None of the above have managed to do that. I'm not sure if that is completely achievable with surface pattern design because most things have been done with it. But the idea of doing it well in order to generate money to support my more idealistic endevours is appealing. Any business plan is appealing to me at the moment.
This idea will hopefully be quite lucrative once I get going. I'll still make artwork and still carry on writing my book. But if I can make some good surface patterns and make some money from that then perhaps I'll be able to go self employed when I get my voluntary redundancy next year. I just need to build my website and portfolio. I think the best philosophy to approach this venture with is to make sure I carry on at least attempting to make the designs unique and personal - that way their will be nothing else on the market like them.
If anyone has any advice feel free to comment. Also feel free to express your sheer disgust at my new corporate leanings.