When I made my first repeat pattern the last thing on my mind was making products. When I decided to draw repetitive shapes and symbols it was at a low point. All I wanted was to feel joy in the present moment even though the real circumstances felt so far away from my dreams.
Instead what I was thinking in that moment was, "How can I transform the sadness I feel inside?"
Many years have passed since that fateful afternoon.
That's how I became somewhat of an accidental textile designer. Textiles adorn our world, bring joy to our everyday routines, and share pieces of the creator’s culture and unique experiences. My mother has rarely worn a solid piece of clothing. As a kid I took notice. I learned it takes boldness and courage to opt for a floral top and ruby-red jeans with glittery butt pockets. The key is confidence. Strut like that’s how things should be.
Here’s how my journey into drawing textiles started. Like everybody else, I’ve had jobs that drained my wildflower spirit. It wants to roam free. I know yours is a wildflower spirit too. We want to bask in the sunshine while skipping through rolling hills, create beautiful things, and make a positive impact on the world.
Many years ago, during my lunch breaks, I noticed a growing sadness in my belly. It felt full and hollow at the same time. I knew I had to listen. The facts are that sometimes we can’t change our circumstances no matter how much we wish to. So I started bringing a watercolor pad and watercolors with me. Every time I sat down to eat and that feeling crept up, I would draw. I drew without a plan. I drew to give voice to those feelings. What happened naturally was repeating patterns of shapes and symbols that brought me peace and joy.
I started making lemonade out of the muck I was feeling. Or finding hope where there didn’t appear to be any—one mark at a time. Now many years later, I have a large collection of patterns I’ve started reformatting into small collections of homewares. Each design encapsulates a moment of healing.
It was because of that decision that I ended up teaching myself how to make repeat patterns. Something I never considered doing before. Past moments of difficulty turned my future into an ocean of possibilities.
Sometimes there are moments that feel hopeless, and maybe the truth is that there’s nothing that can be done right away. Redirecting some of that energy into a simple mark-making practice can be a small start toward seeing a different possibility.