I have always enjoyed illustration and once I found out that St. Norbert College was offering a course for the spring semester, I was ecstatic. Every project we did as a class, the more fun and creative I had the chance to be. The one project that stuck out to me the most and the one I felt a true passion for was the surface design project. We were allowed to choose our last project for the end of the semester. I chose to do surface design and I wanted to create 3 patterns that would end up on clothing and shoes for streetwear brands like Vans, Bape, and Supreme.

I started the process of the final project off by creating a mood board which indicates the type of aesthetic feel I wanted to present for the patterns. I found 3 artists that inspired for this process. I love Yayoi’s abstraction and I enjoy Fred’s colorful palette. Sarah does a great job of using certain shapes to convey her patterns. I also wanted to incorporate a map of a Chicago somehow but I ended up going against that idea and stuck with the other 3 ideas.

I drew about 10 rough sketches in order to create some choices for my peers and classmates. They leaned towards the tiger and snake pattern for the most part. Some also chose the abstract multi-colored pattern as well.

I created the patterns in multiple colors so my peers and “client” could chose which one they like the most.

These are 3 patterns that my peers and I ended up selecting. One of the problems I came into while making these patterns was trying to figure out if I wanted the color palette to be cohesive or if I wanted them to be independent. I ended up making the decision to let them be independent color wise. These are also the final drafts of the patterns.

These are the patterns on a t-shirt mock-up and shoe mock-ups. This would be what I would present to a future client, along with the swatches and multiple colors of the patterns.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this project and would love to continue with surface design in the future. I have enjoyed it so much, I even have looked into it career wise after graduating from St. Norbert College. Illustration has been a wonderful course to take and it has helped me progress tremendously as an artist in many ways. I would highly recommend to anyone who is thinking about taking this class. I am sad it has come to end but I am excited to use the skills I have learned in the future for my career.