Pattern Progression No. 1

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 in Pattern | 6 Comments

pattern progression no. 1 | mara dawn
I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately (thanks pregnancy insomnia) and have been spending a lot of time in front of the computer trying to wrap up client projects before this baby decides to show up. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts to keep me company and have been going through the Elise Gets Crafty series. I love Elise’s upbeat, positive and creative outlook. Two of her podcasts really stood out to me recently: Making Time to Make with Emily Jeffords and Maintaining a Creative Habit with Crystal Moody. As I mentioned with my goal for 2015 I’d really like to ensure that I’m continuing to be creative despite the tiny, adorable whirlwind that’s about to hit our family. So, how to do that amid chaos? I keep coming back to that question. It (literally) keeps me up at night.

Awhile back, I got really inspired by patterns and started making a few patterns/abstract illustrations of my own. And then, life and client work just got in the way and I quit. I hadn’t thought much about it since.

After hearing about Crystal Moody’s commitment to making one drawing/painting every single day, I got to thinking, “Surely I could make one pattern a week. She makes something every. single. day.” I know in actuality amongst spit up and toddler chasing and client work, it won’t be easy. And, I know that I also just resolved not to make any big resolutions and focus on just adjusting and finding a new way. Internet, I can almost see you shaking your finger at me. Don’t worry, I’m shaking a finger at myself too.

However, I started the 52 series last year for photography and never finished. Gasp. I don’t regret it. I learned a lot about photography in the process. The learning along the way was worth the failing. So, even if I fail again at finishing this year, I know I’ll learn something more about patterns and design and illustration and all those loves as I go.
pattern progression no. 1 | mara dawn
So, here’s my first attempt, pattern progression number 1 of 52. It’s been forever since I’ve made a good old fashioned potato stamp. It felt great to just play around with paper, paint and potatoes for a bit. I think I’m going to keep things loose and call designs that don’t necessarily repeat patterns. I’m already behind, so I’m going to allow myself grace to post late. Look at me, cheating already!

Update: I’ve been given a suggestion to make this into a series that others can participate in. If you’re interested in exploring print/patterns, you should definitely join in on the weekly creative challenge. It’d be great to see others participate. If you do, please send me links to what you’re doing.


  1. Jessica

    Mara, I love this and what a wonderful project to commit. I will check out those podcasts, they sound like worth listening. I’m in a similar position, due with my second child in less than three weeks! although I haven’t done much freelance work lately (and I’m not as super talented as you are!) I have the same struggle to keep trying new things, staying creative and challenging myself even when time is so little (when having kids). Would you like to make this a series so other creatives can join and share? I have also tried pattern design exploration in the past without much success but I would find it challenging and interesting to join series for inspiration!

    • Mara Dawn

      Jessica, congrats again on the second baby (boy I think, right?). I’d love to make this a series for others to join into. I’ll update the blog post at the end to suggest that others join in. You should totally do it! I mean, I understand the crazy time constraints, but it’d be a good exercise I bet.

      • Jessica

        Thanks Mara, that would be great! looking forward for that.
        P.S. I’m expecting a baby girl this time 😀 very happy x
        Do you know what are you having or it will be a surprise?

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