We’ve absolutely adored sharing Katrina Potter’s designs with you all and hope you’re all enjoying this installment of The Designer Project! Kat is on a mission to make the world a happier, brighter place with her art through her label Little Black Kat creative! The designer’s ‘Funky and Fruity’ collection has been made available in our Fabric Shop and features a wonderful range of designs inspired by our adorable native critters and all things funky and fruity! What’s more is we’ve been so very fortunate to have the artist herself put together a guest blog which is shared below! Keep reading to find out more about Kat’s work, inspirations and typical creative process!
Hey, I’m Kat Potter …and I love colour!
I’m on a mission to make the world a happier, brighter place! So, making artwork and seeing it out there in the big beautiful world, gives me an incredible amount of joy.
I studied Visual Art straight out of high school, majoring in illustration. It was there I learnt and developed a love of digital art and design, which led me toward a career in the print and graphic design industry. An industry I’ve worked in for the past 20 years. I’ve freelanced on and off during that time and started my Graphic Design and Illustration business “Little Black Kat Creative” in 2014. I took my biz full time in 2020 and more recently, I’ve been obsessed with learning all things surface pattern design.
My patterns are inspired by everyday little things, happy memories and family adventures with my children. Most of which involve pets, animals and the outdoors, which you can no doubt see in my work. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Digital Fabrics Designer Project and even more excited to see where this little turn in my creative career takes me. There are a couple of different ways I work when it comes to developing a pattern. Sometimes I’ll start by drawing whatever is inspiring me that day (usually a collection of different animals) and eventually make it into a pattern.
But when it comes to client work, or if I have too many ideas and need to be a little more structured, I’ll start with a theme and keywords (like “bright happy summer” for example). I’ll then jump onto Pinterest and search for all things “bright happy & summer” related. I’ll pull out images and colours that I feel will work well together to fit that description and put them together to form a mood board. From there I’ll cull back my images, so there’s a cohesive theme, develop my mood board and create a colour palette. The images from my Pinterest search usually give me lots of ideas on the motif subject matter, but I’ll also write a list of possible motifs to draw.
To find even more reference images to work from, I’ll either do a “google images” search, take photos on my phone, or refer to the thousands of photos I have saved to my camera roll. Photos don’t have to be great, as it’s usually just the shapes I’m looking at. I’m a little old school …I don’t have an iPad, I either draw directly into Adobe Illustrator using my keyboard, mouse and/or Wacom table, or I’ll draw basic line sketches, scan them in and redraw them in Illustrator. My Illustrator pasteboard is (much like my tiny home studio) messy, with oodles of reference images that I can refer to for each motif. It doesn’t exactly look amazing in the development stage, but it works for me.
Once my motifs are finished, and I’ve decided which ones I want to use, I’ll create a new file and start the process of building my pattern. For me, putting together a pattern feels like doing a puzzle. Getting all of the pieces in just the right spot! I adjust the scale of each motif, rotate, flip and really just have a play around to see what fits and looks the best. When I’m happy with the pattern, I’ll fine tune the colours and motifs if needed, to ensure everything is working well visually, and voila, she’s done!
If you want to collaborate with us on The Designer Project and become part of this creative club, please apply! Send us an email with your portfolio and why you would like to be part of this initiative, and we will be in touch!