Behind every design on Spoonflower is an independent artist from around the world.
The Spoonflower tradition of Weekly Design Challenges had its start way back in 2010. Nearly every week since then, our community of artists, makers and all-around Spoonflower lovers have participated by submitting original designs and voting on their favorites. Together we hit a major milestone with our 500th challenge: Your Artistic Voice. With over 1200 designs entered, this was quite possibly our most popular design challenge to date. Today, we’re going behind the scenes with first-place winner Elmira Arts as she shares the process in which she created her winning design. Be sure to catch interviews with second- and third-place winners here and browse all Your Artistic Voice designs, including staff favorites, here.
— Meet the Artist —
IG Handle: @elmira_arts
Share a funny story about yourself:
Last week while swimming I confused a man who was wearing a colorful snorkel and diving mask with an unidentified exotic bird due to my bad eyesight. I very curiously came closer to examine it before realizing my mistake!
Creating on the road: First sketches for Elmira’s first-place winning design, Zen Jungle
What was your creative process like when designing for the 500th challenge?
I was trying to picture all of my favorite characters harmoniously into the one happy and peaceful landscape. I started with rough sketches and I drew it in Adobe Illustrator® on my laptop.
Any stumbling blocks you came across?
I literally did this pattern with a laptop and touchpad on my knees in a car and camping while traveling which sometimes was not too comfortable to design on the road. But this trip has a lot of exciting moments: changing views, people, cafes and cappuccinos were my building blocks.
Which Weekly Design Challenge was your very first?
I submitted my design, Mermaids, to the Mermaids Design Challenge in 2015.
What motivates you to participate in these challenges?
The challenge themes engage my creativity. I like to “dive within” the theme, to discover new things and it’s exciting to do something new you’ve never done before.
Share your secrets to success in relation to design challenges:
Be yourself. Draw what you love and love what you draw.
If you could collaborate with any person or brand, who would it be?
Endangered species rescue centers and projects. Ecology, organic brands.
What have you learned that has positively impacted your career?
Traveling and wild nature are endless sources of inspiration. Participating in design challenges, too.
Do you have any creative goals for 2021?
Don’t procrastinate too much. Create little sketches on a daily basis, take small steps, dream BIG. Travel, too.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Hugest thanks to the Spoonflower crew and community for your support and many thanks to my friends and all the people around the world who like my designs, I’m very grateful to you for your votes, likes, and kind comments!!! I really appreciate it. 🙂