Designing for You Instead of the Market with Roger Vaughn

Noise. Smudges. Accidents. Chaos. How Roger designs what makes him happy.

Creating for You Instead of the Market with Roger Vaughn


Today I’m excited to share with you the work of Roger Vaughn. He’s new to the surface pattern design game, and has jumped in feet first. He designs what makes him happy and follows his own style.

I love the freedom of Roger’s work and the edginess he brings to surface design. And I’m thrilled that he has decided to enter a field that tends to be dominated by women. I think you’ll enjoy Roger’s point of view…he’ll get you thinking about the work you make and what motivates you to create.


Please tell us a little bit about your background as an artist and how you got into pattern design.

I’d been doing visual art stuff for a few years, solely for my own amusement. It wasn’t a committed practice and it arose out of a desire to do something other than music.

Initially I had no interest in turning it into a career, professionalizing it.  But then I had a number of conversations with my partner, Sofia Englund. She was working towards becoming a surface designer, and together we came to the conclusion that it was probably a field that would suit us both.

Now that I look back, I realize that I’ve had a latent interest in surface design for awhile. I’ve long been a wearer of floral shirts, I have an interest in the work of Liberty London and I’m a fan of William Morris because of his political work. Long before we started looking into becoming surface pattern designers, Sofia and I visited the William Morris gallery in London. It made a pretty strong impression. Continue reading “Designing for You Instead of the Market with Roger Vaughn”

The Power of Illustrator’s Recolor Artwork Tool

Behold the power of the recolor artwork tool. It’s pretty cool. Seriously.

The Power of Illustrator's Recolor Artwork Tool


Are you familiar with the recolor artwork tool in Illustrator? I love it, and use it every single time I build a pattern.

It’s a great tool when you want to develop a new color way, or just confirm that there isn’t a better color palette than the one you’re already using. (Which happens to me a lot, I’m not always so good with colors!)

Today, I want to show you the power of the recolor artwork tool. BEHOLD!

Here is a pattern I made. I used the rotate tool to create symmetrical motifs and then layered them. Continue reading “The Power of Illustrator’s Recolor Artwork Tool”

Fear, Change and Getting it Done with Rebekah Strunz

 Rebekah moved from Australia to Nepal while creating her first collection. See how she did it.

Fear, Change and Getting It Done with Rebekah Strunz

I met Rebekah a few months ago when she posted in a Facebook group we both belong to. In the post she said that she was thinking of starting a blog to get her new collection out there, but was anxious about going public. I volunteered to interview her here on the blog, in the hopes that it would help her ease into the blogging world.

Little did I know how wonderful it would be working with her, and how much her story and creative process would inspire me. I hope you enjoy this interview. I think you will find a lot in Rebekah’s words that resonate with you.


Please tell us a little bit about your background as an artist and how you got into surface pattern design.

In 2011 I moved from my home in Newcastle, Australia to the Blue Mountains, which is a very relaxed, artsy community full of vibrant, colorful people. I fell in with a group of patchworkers, learning to sew and quilt, and that’s when my love affair with patterns and fabric began.

It wasn’t until I read an interview with Rachael Taylor in Mollie Makes magazine that I realized surface pattern design actually existed. It blew me away to realize that actual people, just like me, were designing the beautiful fabrics I was fawning over! I searched online to see if there were any courses I could take, and came across the International School of Colour and Design (ISCD).

I remember attending an info session at the school and standing there crying as I realized this is where I wanted to be, and this is what I wanted to do. The next day I enrolled. During my 18 months at ISCD I learned a lot about surface pattern design and, more importantly, started to explore and discover myself as an artist. This is a process I’m still working through and hope will never end!

I finished school in 2013 and over the years found myself straying from design as different things happened in my life. However, something continued drawn me back to pattern design and a few months ago I made the decision that I want to be a designer. I made the commitment to pursue my passion with passion! Continue reading “Fear, Change and Getting it Done with Rebekah Strunz”

Seven Instagram Feeds Inspiring Me Right Now

Instagram. Rocks. I can’t wait to share some of my favorite feeds with you.

Seven Instagram Feeds Inspiring Me Right Now

Aright, it’s official – I’ve been bitten by the Instagram bug!

Instagram is a great place to share projects, connect with other designers and find inspiration from all over the world. I’m constantly in awe of the ideas people come up with and how willing they are to offer advice to others in Instagram’s creative community.

So far on Instagram I’ve been inspired by abstract artists slapping paint around and the delicate details of a florists bouquet. I’ve been inspired by the gradient of colors in a majestic landscape painting and the rough textures of an old worn down building. All of these things are pushing my surface designs to the next level and inspiring me to make better art.

Today I’m going to share with you a few of the Instagram feeds I’m loving right now…ones that are inspiring my creativity! Continue reading “Seven Instagram Feeds Inspiring Me Right Now”

Finding Your Passion Instead of Just Following It

For years I struggled to follow my passion…then I relaxed. And it started unfolding naturally.

Finding Your Passion Instead of Just Following It

I have so much fun connecting with artists thru Instagram and highlighting amazing designers on the blog. I’m finding that lifting up artists, supporting them and encouraging them, brings me joy.

As I’ve talked to artists I’ve discovered that many of them, when telling me about their career in surface design, often apologize. They say ‘well I didn’t go to art school’, or ‘I’m just now getting into this field,’ as if it is a bad thing that they are new to the game and just now building their art business. Continue reading “Finding Your Passion Instead of Just Following It”