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Pattern Design: From Hand to Screen to Surface

Lesson 1 of 11

Introduction: Tools and Source Images

Molly Hatch

Pattern Design: From Hand to Screen to Surface

Molly Hatch

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Lesson Info

1. Introduction: Tools and Source Images

Lesson Info

Introduction: Tools and Source Images

And this is my first time teaching this material so I'm really excited to be showing you how I make my pass service patterns for all the products that I make I'm going to start today just going to quickly tell you what we're going to get out of the day we're going to talk about everything from how to make a simple block repeat so a repeat that we make that could be tiled easily either in photo shopper and other applications and then we're going to talk about uh how to make a more complex paper cut repeat and then I'm also going to show you how to do a basic repeat in photo shop on and these are all self taught I sort of have done my homework elsewhere but I started my career as a ceramic artist so I've had to kind of acquire all these skills on my own overtime so if you're an expert in some of these places then I might be doing something differently than you've done before but bear with me because this is how I've taught myself how to do it so I'm going to jump right into a black repea...

t this morning and I'm going to go over some of the materials that I'm going to use this is ah really smooth paper that I like because when you're scanning I've learned over time that if you have a rougher watercolor paper that can start to be a little bit uh uh you the tooth will show when you scan it so I started out by doing all my designs because I was using wash and watercolor on watercolor paper and that started to become a problem because you could see that texture when you do a scan a high resolution scan so the borden and riley paper is a really good smooth about paris paper for pens its life like illustration paper so I also khun do my pen and ink work on this although today and women he basically just be using paint uh for that so pull all these over my supplies some water in a cup um some tape which will use for some paper cut and then these air some goulash paints that I'll have um for all my different colors I brought the whole set this's a basic set of leaves watercolors are there washing eso therefrom a whole set weakened by of colors that range there's few others that I've added in but you if you were to go out and buy these today you could just go and get this one set all in one sitting and it's not overly expensive however ge wash can be expensive more so than water color and the difference between wash and watercolor is watercolor tends to be more transparent and washed tends to be more opaque so one of the things that can do is sort of end up being painted over itself and you can sort of start to do layers of color similar to acrylic even sometimes and some wash some of my favorite quash are actually acrylic based so it's kind of a cool through in the middle place um I also have a pair of scissors and a ruler let's see through and these are all my like clay and painting tools, so there are a little dirty from that um and then I got this this is actually a makeup brush ah package that I used to bring my tools with me when I travel so I have a variety of watercolor brush is that I'm going to use from a really small I think this one is a double zero to zero and that will also become your own personal preference in brushes I've arranged from sort of most of the brushes that I use are round because I tend to like that lying quality and it's easier for me to blend with them. But sometimes having a bigger flat brush like this can be helpful to you so you don't necessarily have to spend a ton of money on brushes I think e I mean, this was like one I think that was left from my daughters you know, walmart set and these some of these are prices here are ones that I use a lot more often are winds are new newton or coachman watercolor brush is, but I also use these in clay, so I tend to ruin my brushes really? So know that, you know, just you'll find what you like it's worth experimenting, and then if you find that it is you like the spring of ah, of a nicer brush that's worth buying, and I know some of you are coming at this from other materials, like I have from ceramics, and you're interested in figuring out how to paint and draw, and some of you are well rehearsed in surface design on the computer and your wanting to bring a handmade look into what you're doing and just trial and error. This is all I did. I started as a ceramic artist with some love painting and drawing, and then I just started to figure out the materials that I liked, so it might be that you love acrylic and you just go for that, but no, that work, if you're working on paper and scanning that the best thing to do is start out with a smooth paper, so you're not getting that tooth in in what your, uh, what you're scanning for your end pattern? Um, so the other thing, um, you know, I'm going I'm going to talk about I have, you know, an eraser on here and I put one in the pouch, my little makeup. This was an awesome purchase from the designer caf kitson who's, a british designer who has like an empire, but I was at her airport store and it was it was amazing. I was like, oh my god, of course a makeup bag would be perfect for my art supplies s o I have a pencil on or no racer in there as well, I like mechanical pencils because they have ah, like more consistent, fine edge and I could just I don't have to keep sharpening on dh then the this is a prism, a color magic eraser, just a white eraser. I tend to go through them a lot and I just keep them everywhere in my studio, so having a bigger racer is good and one that's not goingto like color your paper, this is just a cheap pencil that, like this eraser, you'll start to get frustrated with really quickly. Um, so those air the supplies that we need for the basics and then I'm going to be using pretty much for everything that I'm doing today. There's a few exceptions, but it's also good to have actually won got enormous role, but one piece of paper tell for blotting your brush is the other thing that all that I'll use um, today on then this is a palate for painting on and this is just a no old piece of enameled ten that I found a day yard sale and I think I'll often use a white ceramic plate and I think people have different preferences for what they use for pallets and by no means do you need to go and buy some fancy equipment this there are larger versions of this that you could buy with sort of like a blue rim that will also be really helpful this is just one that I happened I don't even know what it was thank for it's got like holes in ends very nice but it's it's perfect for me because it's flat like I like having I don't have to get inside of something um so I think one quick question and that is from marjorie okay who's winning can you tell us again the kind of paints that use that random and yeah I smell it I said that pretty quickly it's I use a bunch of different brands there's actually a japanese brand that's quick acrylic wash brand that is a crillon I believe is that I could be wrong but I didn't bring that but I have also um I'm like looking at this and I'm like this is environment I'm pretty sure we can probably write a couple links for them but the set that I mentioned earlier is a reeves guac r e s on dit comes with you know I think it was like a sixteen color set and for me I haven't really had to build out much beyond that original sixteen color set and it was like maybe thirty dollars so it's the kind of thing that I mean it's a little bit of an investment, but we're certainly not talking about going like I don't know about you those of you dabbled in acrylic but like all of a sudden you could be spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars so this is actually a pretty inexpensive low risk investment. Yeah, so for those of you who have questions here to just feel free to like you don't can interrupt even I'm going to do better and we're gonna have a better conversation today you're shooting him out as you go, so don't feel like you have to hesitate I'm an open book so you can ask anything tio personal whatever we'll you know I'll tell you if I don't want to answer it, but you'd be surprised how little answer. So I want to talk a little bit as well about source imagery I so I start with my materials and could talk a little bit to my process about how I come up with ideas and sometimes it's I'm I'm responding to something that I've seen out in the world so ah lot of my artistic process is grounded in research online or in person at museums and historic institutions and that came about in a really interesting way I started as a ceramic artist as a studio potter mostly grounded in that tradition which means I was making my living making pots and selling them in galleries and directly to customers and when when that sort of progress into a larger the separation of my career being focused on a combination of making designs product designed with both oneto one prototypes with my studio pots which is really how my design career started into splitting that between that the design work and fine art work with my gallery in new york the there it became really clear that I needed to be more direct and how it was sourcing the imagery that I was looking out for my fine artwork and then that led into also doing the same for my for my design work and and also the books and I'll talk about that maura's we go this afternoon a little bit more about my career trajectory after we come back from lunch but just to talk to this process here I've kind of come to find that I love history and I love looking at something that we are already familiar with from the past and reinventing it in a new way so appropriating that imagery on dh reinterpreting it riffing on it if you will if you're a musician and then reinventing it for people out in the world to see in a new way, so and I think that's part of why my relationship with anthropology has been so successful they're really good at taking something historic or something that we already know and like giving another twist and giving it a new life, whether it's a color palette or like crazy pattern or something along those lines on dh. So I went, I started going directly to museum archives, and these days you can go teo museum archives online. Most museums have almost everything in their catalogs and their collections digitally represented online, so I highly recommend and there's a list of resource is for some, um cem copyright free imagery online that I'm giving you, but I must we're giving you some additional ones right now is going to museum web pages like the victoria and albert museum in london has its entire collection online and it's mostly decorative arts, so historic fabric patterns, historic done furniture, ceramics, same with the metropolitan museum of art in new york, they have an amazing online catalogue and resource collection. The cooper hewitt just re opened after being closed for a while and their entire online god log is like it's just amazing what you can research from home these days I mean, even just in the last few years this has changed so I highly recommend keeping your eye out for inspiration and source imagery and doing the research on your own beyond some of the places that maybe we're used to looking on the internet, like pinch arrest or instagram like seeing what other people are making, I think it's really important to kind of find your own threads of what you're obsessed with, an interested in and follow those things, rather than always looking to see what other people are making in the world and responding to the trends you're saying, I think it's, good to know, what's going on, and contrasts and online people are going to respond to your own your your interests and your passions more than they're going to respond to something that, you know, sort of a response to a trend, and I think that's also molly, think that people often ask people like yourself, like, what are your sources of inspiration? Right? And so I love that you're looking outside of your genre a cz well, how much time do you actually spend looking and conspired to get, you know, source material? Yeah, a lot of time, so I spend I think my mind is open to ideas all the time, and it when I can think elizabeth gilbert actually gave this amazing ted talk about about what the creative genius and how it end of possesses you at times, and I do feel sometimes like I almost like a vehicle for an idea, and I think that is a result of the collaborative nature of my career. My career has become, and I think you have I think you don't have to, but I think it's a good practice in some ways, as a designer, to think of what you do is a collaboration with the company or with a client on, even in my fine art career, believe it or not, I really feel like everything I'm doing is a collaboration of my interest and my assertions of ideas with my gallery, with my clients there, and the same with the clients that I'm working within the design field. So I think, it's important, teo, find those things that you respond to and go with it, because I think you'd be surprised how much you have to say more than respond to trends, and then you're going to also be a trendsetter, or rather than someone who's responding to trends all the time. And I think in the design world in particular, if you're already working there, you're going to find that people want you to respond to trends all the time and that's it because they're wanting to make money off of it, but I think if you can respond to those trends and if that if they're you're getting a direct design directive from an art director or something that you're working with and they tell you to look at something specific, I think it's also, if you find that that takes you somewhere else, that's a good sign that you're like, may be on to the net thing that's going to come after that trend and it's a good practice, teo, submit those ideas as well, if you can round out what you've, what you've done on in response to that directive with things that you feel like coming like that are coming out of that because inevitably that's probably the next trend, right? It's just a natural progression. I think sometimes we forget to submit things outside of what and every time, like I just had this happened with anthropology, I did, they asked me to do cem things for home, and they said, give me some direction, and I did a whole bunch of stuff and I was like, well, I'm gonna make I can't tell you exactly what it is because I can't leak what I'm doing for them, but I can tell you that what happened was that I wanted something for myself and I was like, well, even if they don't like it, I want to live with this and they took that thing that was the thing that they went with me in the end and the other ideas that I thought they were going to want we're the ones that they were like way want that that's you know, so it's a really good lesson learned right that you what you're interested in making is probably sometimes or the thing that you think might be like not that interesting to someone else's actually more because you want it they want it so I think it's good to remember that and take that risk too like it was so totally out of the box it was a different a different part of their business and in the end that that was interested in taking that thing but it worked out really well um so I think I want to talk a little bit too about the um so my process is in and garnering inspiration is often this like doing research online going I physically go to museum collections and talk to curate ear's about what specifically for my fine art career. I will set up appointments with curator tze and museums to talk about the things that they feel like art maybe underappreciated or under exposed so that I can as a contemporary artist draw attention to those things that I mean it I'm going to a specific department about a specific kind of work that I'm interested in but then sometimes new things and exciting things come out of those conversations for me with the curate er's and that's. How my book with chronicle, which I'll talk about this afternoon when we talk with my chronicle editor, that's, how that came about, it was a whole project that was me reflecting a museum collection of teacups in a book format, so I think the more you can listen in and intuit what you're obsessed with and what you're interested in those threads and recognizing those threads will pay, pull out other things for you and it's like going back home every time I revisit the eighteenth century and amuse him, I'm like home, I love it, marie, in montana, and I was like, all this on, and then good things come out of it again for me, and I think also looking back at history for me is, and it might be for you, it may be a trend that's, more less historic and more vintage or something. It doesn't mean I'm just giving you an example of what get to meet my creative inspirational juices going my muses and for me, I think as especially is a ceramic artist in my sort of core of what I do, I'm there's such a long history of ceramics, right, like how many mugs have been made in the history of the world like, am I really going to add something new to that conversation? I don't know one of the things I'm trying, one of the things that you conduce so or what I've set myself up for doing is looking back and thinking about how I'm making making work in a continuum. So I'm maybe responding to ideas that have been going on for a long time, but I'm adding to the conversation, and I think that can also take away some of that, like you can make anything wait, I think it can give you permission, teo, respond to something that you feel kin to in the past and continue that conversation into the future. And I think that's where so that realizing that about my career, maybe think about the sources I was researching, maura pointedly, and I have a few images that I want to share, I don't know, we can put them on screen from above. So these air some images that I pulled off of some graph graphic sites like these are actually all off of graphics fairy and so there's a list of sights and resource is that I have in our bonus materials, I believe that our places that you can go to look for a copyright free imagery and imagery that's in the public domain and some of you are going to be familiar with copyright issues, and some of you aren't, and this is something I had to start to understand myself, like, what can I access or re appropriate into into my artwork without without stepping on toes and infringing on someone's copyright? And I think that the most important thing is understand, like, I really think of this as a starting place and this imagery as an inspiration, so creating an inspiration board or a mood board for a collection gives me a sense of how I want to color it, or how I want teo, how I want to go with the direction of either what the company that I'm working with is giving me combined with my own interests, or if it's, um, if it is something that I want toe, you know, just play around with, and sometimes I'll end up losing imagery for the collection, you know, and sometimes I'll end up going in other direction, but one of the things that I wanted teo give you permission to do is to look at those sites like graphics, very, which is a woman, who's, and now a team of people, I believe, who are just out combing the world for things that are copyright free and posting them for youto have for use of andi, I think and these that's what the I pulled these off so that I'd have some imagery that we could maybe play with during the day today and you can see me responding tio and then creates and patterns from hopefully and and I think the thing to know is that you really want to make sure if you're reproducing something exactly like if I was to take I could because this is copyright free I could reproduce this exact image on something on a product, but then you are also having ups you have access easily to this imagery in the same way that everyone else in the world does. So now that I've tell you all about graphics very you know there might be twelve mugs with this on it tomorrow, but you know that you're dipping in the same pool as everyone else is looking at graphics very so it's in your it behooves you, teo reinvent the image rate in your own way right like to make something new and original that I mean any company can go and do this so why would I they like your I mean, maybe you're curatorial understanding of imagery is really great, but andi, I think there is something to be said for that like how you put things together are collage things together can also be incredibly valuable and I use that as attacked for making new imagery all of the time but I think it's it's important for you teo teo think of this as a resource for garnering inspiration for something new and I think we could talk for hours about copyright and concerns about copyright and I'm more than happy to field questions as we go things that have come up for me or for you and the design community and getting permissions and things like going to museums and photographing their collections aiken use those myself because they're the things that I'm researching at those museums are his story are there out of copyright they're not on they're not there in the public domain the things that I'm choosing to look at and so when I take a photograph of that I own that photograph and I can use that for whatever I need to use it for I can't use the imagery off of the website without permission and they have actually a really nice you can download high resolution images on the victoria and albert museum website but they go through a hole you know fairy like what you can use this for andi you have to pay us if you want to put it into a publication. So a couple of times I've run into this thing where I've used source imagery from a museum and then I have to ask for permission when I'm promoting the artwork because I can't publish the source image without their permission or paying them for uh permissions to use it in publication so that's been a limitation for me and things like that yeah people do are asking questions about with regard to copyright sure about your own work as well then so eh? So thank you for letting us know about the the older pieces what we can use now what about copy writing your own work then so for example and somebody did ask if on the back of your computer if that is your desire yes, that was my that something that you then go on copyright yourself yeah, so there's a few things that can happen so if your work is a derivative of someone else so a derivative is on dh this is I am not a copyright lawyer I mean a disclaimer this like I have intellectual property rights, a lawyer who works with me on copyrighting and things and that's so that I can understand so I could be sure that I'm doing things correctly. But my understanding is that if you're making something that's a direct derivative you cannot copyright it because you're using someone else is in madrid. So that is something to be aware of. Like I think it's really important that you know, a lot of my contracts required me to coffee, right things with designer with my clients in the design world like my fabric patterns and things like that so if you're making something that's a derivative of something else you can't copy right under your own name, so if I were to use this imagery in something very directly, then I can't my understanding is that if your if this is inspiration and you're generating new imagery that is maybe inspired by that that's a totally different thing and there are percentages of change, you know, I mean it's a very grey area, and there have been a lot of issues that have come up more and more, I think recently in the design community about what's an infringement, what isn't because of our access to imagery and things online, like what I'm telling you about, uh, these the resource is that I've listed I think it's just really important that you're making something that's your own, and I think it's it's a challenge and it can feel intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you're starting out, you could make things for your private use that are, you know, you can go toe wild abandoned, deriving things, but when you see it seems you're making money off of it it's a whole another ball game, and I'm hope I'm answering that question, but I think the best thing to do is look up there's, a government site called copyright dot gov and it's just it's theirs is listed in our resource is online on the clock for the class and I think do your homework and find out what the copyright law is and if you're infringing it you you khun dear and I do implore employees I do it please because I think you know we all have respect for each other and were all influenced by each other as designers and I think you know there's a reason why trends happen and just be careful and make sure that you're you know, retaining integrity and what you're doing and it can be a struggle at times especially when you're trying you're an idea factory is a designer really and I think we all have moments when we're struggling and I think it's good to step back maybe you need a vacation e don't know whatever it is and I've also had you know, direction from art directors pushing me in the direction of another artist's work and caught that and been like I can't do that like this is too close to this other artists work there's also if you're really concerned you could do a google reverse image search you can put an image into google and do a reverse look up and it will tell you there's another composition out there that's yours are the same as what you're doing and you will know that you're either infringing on that or someone else's infringing on you two it's a really helpful thing to know that and I've only a few times felt like I needed to do that most not same situation where I felt like this is getting really close to someone else's artwork and wanted to do a reverse look up to see if I was infringing on anybody's and it I wasn't but I also I had a pretty hard conversation without art director and that was like one of the harder conversations I've ever had tohave because it felt like it was it was you know I mean what you're calling someone out on something and I don't know if they were conscious you know messy but I think the because that was such a hard conversation I I'm so proud of myself for doing that because I think I have so much respect for what is already out there I want to do something new and different and separate from what other people are doing and retain my voice so you're losing your voice when you start heading down that other path I think um and I think there was another sort of part to that question and I'm trying tio what was about copyrighting your own pieces what you could go teo you can do in a collection at a time so I think sometimes the understand you feel like oh it's so expensive to copyright my imagery you can go and do a collection at a time so that could be your entire twenty fourteen collection for one thirty five dollars registration fee you're going to have a harder time defending your individual images within that collection if you see someone else infringing on your coffee right legally it easier if you have each registered separately to go after somebody for infringing on your copyright it's my understanding from my lawyer but at least you're copyrighting it and I think the only way that you can it's really hard unless you have clear established your image has been put online first or you know there's a date mark on it the stamp on it saying that it was done first you are going to have a hard time proving that without the copyright so that's the advantage and then also you know, the companies that I worked with often asked me to copy right things so I can either decide I'm going to do a whole collection of things together or you khun dio one at a time and I you know to be honest I like I you know, I wait until I've got all the way through a collection of something and then I'll do it one at a time and it's something that I'm still learning a lot about I'm still pretty new to opening my career beyond working with anthropology and a certain court few core companies and that's it's all kind of coming coming to fruition for me and understanding some of the nuances of that. So I wouldn't be intimidated by it. And I wouldn't feel like that was a limitation by any means. You don't have to copyright. And chances are you're not going to go through any legal action with anybody, because it is so gray it's, a really it's a, not it's, it's. Hard to see somebody for infringement, although I've had friends who've gone through it and been successful.

Class Description

Many designers are so well-versed in the art of working digitally that the idea of creating things by hand can feel daunting – but it doesn’t have to. Join Molly Hatch for Pattern Design: From Hand to Screen to Surface and revisit the tactile experience of making images.

Handcrafted artwork and patterns can open new doors for you – both creatively and professionally. In this course, you’ll learn how to develop a creative process that combines hand work with digital to get results you and your clients will love. You’ll learn how to:

  • Create repeat patterns by hand, using cut paper and block repeats
  • Scan and adjust patterns in Photoshop
  • Hand-color line art to capture unique textures
  • Give companies and clients the handmade look they’re craving

If you’re ready to make your designs more unique, more appealing to clients, and more of a reflection of who you are as a designer, this is the course for you!

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

About Molly Hatch.pdf

Molly Hatch - Basic Photoshop Repeat.pdf

Molly Hatch - Paper Block Repeat.pdf

Molly Hatch - Paper Cut Repeat.pdf

Molly Hatch - Source

Molly Hatch -

Molly Hatch - Web Book Resources.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Miranda Kate

This was just the kind of course I was after to build on existing knowledge and formal training in art and design. There was so much information provided, not only for the work Molly was producing in the demonstrations but also in her candid and honest discussions surrounding building this type of business, PR and working with clients. What a great resource to find CreativeLive. I am so inspired and don't feel nearly as overwhelmed at the prospect of starting work in surface design. I actually appreciated Molly's instructional style particularly for the demonstrations and acknowledge how she was able to create a new beautiful artwork all while responding to questions and talking through the process. Loved it, so thanks a bunch!


I didn't know who Molly Hatch was, was attracted by the subject and it absolutely blew my expectations. I took the course as a mosaic artist who wants to create more of their own patterns, and I learned a lot and felt tremendously inspired. I loved the creativity, the insights and tips on creative life from someone who lives it, and a new skill beautifully explained. Sometimes it felt a bit slow but it was absolutely worth going with the given pace to try and absorb this artist's intuitive, freestyle way of working, that works! I found it so enjoyable that I will watch it again. Yes in the beginning you couldn't see the drawing that well, but that was solved later and didn't really matter (as she started filling it out with black later).

Bunny Bear Press

I was lucky enough to be in the audience for this course and I loved every minute of it. I have enjoyed making patterns for some time but it was so awesome to see her different techniques for getting a better fitting more technical pattern for infinite repeating. Molly was an amazing teacher and I know I will be referencing this class over and over again to find new information that I might have missed the first time around.