Last week, I presented Pot Bear to you, today I’d like to show you a little bit of my design process while making a new pattern like his. I hope you’ll enjoy it :)
(This proves that you don’t need to know how to draw to be a graphic designer :p)
I always start by sketching what I have in mind. Those drawings are far from being artworks, but they help me to see the shapes better. This is the first step but I will keep on sketching during all the process. You can see on this sketch that Pot Bear was first imagined to be standing up. When I realized that he would be cuter sitting down, I made a new sketch to know where I was going to place the legs and what size they should be. It’s much quicker than to make it in crochet right away and then realize that they are too long or to big, and having to start over.
2. Notes and prototype
This step is quite random. You may get it right on the first step, or get stuck on details and have to start over and over again.
I made this first prototype using very cheap acrylic skeins (1€/100g = approx 1.14$) in order to see what was going right or wrong. At this stage, Pot bear had way too big shoulders and his head was made separately from his body which was quite difficult to sew afterwords.
3. Testing and final touches
New try, with the final yarn (Drops Paris). This time, the arms have a better size and the head is made directly attached to the body to prevent tricky assembling. But the snout is a bit weird and the mouth difficult to sew on properly, plus the head is a bit too large… Try again !
…Until that moment when you look at it and you know “that’s it !”.
4. The name !
It’s quite the same process actually ! You grope, you write you ideas down, you strike them out, you rewrite others…Until that moment when “that’s it !” too :)
5. Photo shoot
Pictures take place during the whole process : during the work for the technical explanatory pictures and at the end for pretty presentations photos. By the way, it determines my work schedule because even if I’ll edit them a bit, I can’t make pictures when the sun is down.
For the record, I made this last picture at least fifty times because I wanted a bit of smoke in it… I was blowing candles just before taking the picture but it seems that candle smoke is pretty unpredictable :D
6. Photos editing
I’m far from being a photographer and I don’t shoot in optimal conditions. I have a small handmade light box but it’s too small for big projects like Pot Bear, so I have to take the time to edit each and every pictures I make. I crop them, add a bit of contrast, a bit of light (when the sun was to shy at my window !) and finally, my signature.
7. Felt patterns
I start by drawing the shape directly on the felt, then I cut it out and transfer it on paper with a black marker. Then I take a picture (as I don’t have a scanner).
Finally, I use it as a guide on a vectorial drawing software to make neater lines.
I also made a little personalized logo for Pot Bear (and the others to come^^)
8. The layout
Last step, and one of my favorite ! I love to organize each of the differents elements that make a pattern : texts, pictures, felt patterns, in order to make it nice, practical and easy to follow :)
And it’s done !