Recently, our 8-year-old niece was asked to list her three favorite places on earth. Among these favorite places was our studio, where she said, “magic happens.” I would like to say that she has glorified or exaggerated exactly what goes on in our lives every day, but the reality is that what we do is incredibly fun and rewarding! As long as she is still interested in becoming an artist when she grows up, I’ll be here to cheer her on and teach her how artists can actually make money :)
She has been keeping up on our #365patterns every day on her mom’s Instagram account and has made a couple patterns of her own. Today we sat down together and I taught her how to make her pattern in Illustrator. We discussed how to best translate her vision of the pattern, so for example, I showed her how to make a perfect diamond vs. an imperfect diamond, and asked her what her pattern looked like in her head: perfect or imperfect? I’m glad she went with imperfect! My kind of girl.
I taught her how to use the pen tool to make the imperfect diamond shapes. After I did a couple, she took over and did the rest. After she was done, I made some adjustments that she suggested, chose a few colors based on her original pattern, and grouped the diamonds.
Then, the fun part, I taught her how to select a color in Illustrator using the magic wand tool, and I showed her the CMYK sliders. We discussed how colors mix together, and then she was free to choose the EXACT colors that she wanted. She had said that when she made her original pattern she was limited and disappointed in the colors that she had available to her. I think that she chose fantastic colors here, well beyond her years! Great vision!
After she choose the colors and we finalized the shapes, I grouped each diamond, and turned the computer back over to my niece to choose the spacing and position of the diamonds. So I’m happy to say that most of this pattern was straight from my niece with just a little help and guidance from me!
At one point, she asked me how long a pattern like this would take me to make. I told her that to RECREATE her pattern wouldn’t take me much time at all, but often the most time-consuming part of creating a pattern is to find the right idea, or try out a lot of wrong ideas. So she had already done the creative part of making the pattern, which is the hardest part.
This was such a fun collaboration, and I love her final result!