Sometimes, when I don't feel like sketching a design for 'fabric' per se or getting out paintbrushes to exercise my imagination, but I still feel the need to move my hand in a creative way, I doodle whatever comes out. When I'm stressed, this actually relieves some of my anxiety b/c it's just play, and there isn't any pressure for my creativity to "be" something or "do" something.
I colored in college as a stress reliever - seriously. I colored my entire standard-issue dorm dresser in rainbow colors one year, using the wood grain as my guide. (And shaved it all off with a straight razor at the end of the year, which was pretty fun, too!) I'm sure that's what all the Marketing majors were doing that year! :)
What's your stress buster?
This is a pretty typical 'whatever' above. Free-flowing, folding, bending, blending, swirling, whirling. Very feminine, very improv. It always feels good to get these moments out on paper. I don't often take inspiration directly from my surroundings; abstractions of geometric, organic shapes is my preference...again, no pressure.
Taking this a step further, I always take pictures of the pages in my sketchbook and keep them in a file for quick reference. I pull my sketches into Illustrator and use live trace to vectorize the image.
I thought I'd take you through this particular sketchpad morph to show you how patterns and shapes often begin to emerge as real potential for a simple or complex design - when I'm not even trying. Having done this a zillion times, I remind myself that I'm doing this exercise for fun - no second-guessing...just go with instincts...crop here, flip there, color here, color there....much like the original doodle, whatever comes out is what comes out!
It's kinda fun to see the morph in a sequential pictorial like this, even for me.
I ghosted the design & used my bamboo tablet to highlight a few shapes/patterns.
Recolored, recropped, reblended. Still messin'.
In the end, I really loved that simple finial shape in the center above, along with the 2 leaf shapes above and below it. I pulled them out and put them in a quick repeat. I love the way this looks! Will def be keeping for future reference!