This week we’re visiting Southwest Virginia to meet illustrator and designer Annie Parsons, known as anniedrawsthings in the Spoonflower Marketplace. Inspired by the farmland and mountains of her quaint town, Annie describes the region as, “full of art and history, and home to a vibrant bluegrass scene.” She goes on to say, “my home also served as the inspiration for my newest collection, Fine Little Country.” And, if the name Annie Parsons sounds familiar, it may be that you’ve had a glimpse of her whimsical watercolors in our Party Pennants DIY tutorial. You’ll want to bookmark that one for later. Right now, we encourage you to settle in and spend some time getting to know our dear friend, Annie. You’ll be glad you did!
My day starts with…
“YouTube videos of the ocean, painting without a plan, and as much quiet as possible.”
Our next interview features hands-on surface pattern designer, Micklyn Le Feuvre, otherwise known simply as micklyn in the Spoonflower Marketplace. Micklyn, her husband and their eleven children reside in beautiful Somerset West, a small town situated along the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. Their bustling home is full-to-the-absolute-brim of imagination, love and inspiration as artistic talent runs in the family: Micklyn’s grandmother had a passion for painting and one of Micklyn’s daughters shares the creative spark as well. We hope you enjoy a bit of inspiration yourself with a dip into her daily life.
My day starts with…
“A cup of Earl Grey or Rooibos tea made for me by one of my lovely children as I snuggle with the baby. Then, I read my Bible and drink more tea. Because we homeschool our eleven children, our mornings are lazy and laid-back affairs, nobody has to rush off anywhere. I love it.”
Up-and-coming surface pattern designer Katerina Izotova joins us on the blog with her brilliant patterns full of whimsy and texture. Hailing from Moscow, Russia, Katerina draws daily inspiration from the world around her, bringing to life a unique vision of playful watercolor motifs where vibrant color work speaks for itself. We are absolutely swooning over Katerina’s design aesthetic and jumped on the opportunity to find out a bit more on how she moves through her creative process. Read on and get inspired!
My day starts with:
“Breakfast, coffee and ‘morning pages’; an idea I got from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way.”
While we can’t guarantee we’ll be seeing mermaids, yetis and dragons co-existing outside of the Spoonflower design challenge world, we can promise the winning designs will brighten your day with whimsy and fun! A round of applause is in order for FIRST TIME WINNER, Lindsey Marsh ( aka mintedtulip) for her design, Watercolor Mermaid! Lindsey will be receiving the grand-prize of $200 in Spoonflower credit and a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription. The 2nd place winner, nouveau_bohemian will receive $100 in Spoondollars and a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription. The 3rd place winner, heatherdutton will receive $50 in Spoondollars and a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription. The rest of the top 10 winners will receive $20 in Spoonflower credit. See all the top 10 winners.
Don’t forget, for the first time ever, all submissions into May’s design challenges are automatically entered to win the grand prize full of design goodies worth over $1000!
1. 351 votes for watercolor mermaids by mintedtulip
2. 324 votes for Mythica (sea foam) by nouveau_bohemian
3. 313 votes for Under The Sea – Nautical Mermaid Watercolor Blue by heatherdutton
4. 267 votes for WatercolorFairies by blairfully_made
5. 263 votes for In the Garden by susan_polston
6. 255 votes for Fire dragons in orange and blue watercolors by heleen_vd_thillart
7. 252 votes for Merry Mermaids in Watercolor by micklyn
8. 250 votes for sea unicorn by bruxamagica
9. 234 votes for sweet mermaids by cjldesigns
10. 219 votes for Nessie by artfully_minded [Read more…] about Announcing the Winners of the Whimsical Watercolor Fantasy Creatures Design Challenge
We are so excited to announce this month’s Challenges sponsored by Skillshare! Skillshare is an amazing e-learning platform with video classes covering a wide range of creative categories. The top winners each week will take home Spoonflower credit and a Skillshare Premium subscription to start learning everything from how to create a surface design using motifs (taught by Spoonflower community favorite SammyK) to “The Basics of Photoshop”, “Hand Lettering” and so much more! And, for the first time ever, all submissions into May’s design challenges are automatically entered to win the grand prize full of design goodies worth over $1000! Ready to get started? Then dust off your watercolors because this month’s themes are all about using this soft, painterly medium to create motifs and surface patterns. If you’re more of a digital kinda person, there are plenty of great watercolor Photoshop brush packs out there to give you a similar effect that are a lot of fun to play with. We can’t wait to see what you create!
New to watercolor and need some help getting started? Check out our post from renowned Spoonflower watercolor designer, Emily Sanford to help guide you!
Whimsical Watercolor: Fantasy Creatures | Results Announced May 4
We couldn’t decide which mythical fantasy creature we loved best — fairies, mermaids, yetis, dragons, unicorns — they all capture our hearts and our imaginations. Use watercolors (or digital watercolor brushes) to create a whimsical surface patterns inspired by fantasy creature motifs. Entries will be previewed at the fat quarter size: 21″ x 18.” Submissions close April 25, 2017 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Voting begins April 27, 2017. See official rules.
Whimsical Watercolor: Abstract | Results Announced May 11
Big bold brushstrokes, paint drips, and gestural, broad swaths of color and shapes. The best abstract designs can change your mood and lift your spirits — and they just happen to be some of our favorite designs for garment sewing and wall art alike. Whip out the watercolors and give us your take on an abstract surface design! Entries will be previewed at the fat quarter size: 21″ x 18.” Submissions close May 2, 2017 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Voting begins May 11, 2017. See official rules.
Whimsical Watercolor: Fruit | Results Announced May 18
Sometimes we like to get our recommended 2 to 3 services of fruit in the form of a surface design. Nothing says spring and summer fun like a whimsical watercolor fruit pattern! Entries will be previewed at the fat quarter size: 21″ x 18.” Submissions close May 9, 2017 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Voting begins May 11, 2017. See official rules.
Whimsical Watercolor: Insects | Results Announced May 25
Creepy, crawly, and in some cases — surprisingly beautiful. Get inspired by your favorite backyard bugs (…or at least maybe just the ones that don’t totally freak you out!) and create a watercolor design worthy of collecting and saving forever in a shadow box! Entries will be previewed at the fat quarter size: 21″ x 18.” Submissions close May 16, 2017 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Voting begins May 18, 2017. See official rules.
Whimsical Watercolor: Cityscapes | Results Announced June 1
We were so inspired by our friend SammyK’s Skillshare class about creating motifs inspired by your city, that we knew we had to turn this theme over to our community! “Throw down for your home town” and create a watercolor design inspired by your locale or one of your favorite cities. Entries will be previewed at the fat quarter size: 21″ x 18.” Submissions close May 23, 2017 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Voting begins May 25, 2017. See official rules.
The 1st place winner will receive a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96) and $200 in Spoonflower credit. Winner will also receive additional exposure in our email newsletters, professional photography of their printed designs, and social media mentions, the extent of which shall be in Spoonflower’s sole discretion.
The 2nd place winner will receive a 6-month Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $72) and $100 in Spoonflower credit.
The 3rd place winner will receive a 6-month Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $72) and $50 in Spoonflower credit.
The rest of the top 10
4th through 10th place winners will receive a $20 Spoondollar credit.
All of the top 25
Each of the top 25 entries, determined as set forth above, not receiving one of the foregoing prizes will be automatically proofed and made available for sale in the Spoonflower Marketplace (approximately a $5 value) (the “Runner Up Prize”) if Winners are verified sellers.
Randomly Selected Giveaway:
- All design challenge entries submitted during the Skillshare partner design challenges (04/12/17 – 05/23/17) will be entered into a drawing; one lucky contest entrant will be randomly selected by Spoonflower for the Grand Prize on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The grand prize winner will receive a 1-year Spoonflower PRO membership (valued at $249), a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96), one Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet (valued at $218) and a 1-year Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud subscription (valued at $240). The grand prize winner will be announced Thursday, June 1, 2017.
Good luck, designers! We can’t wait to see what you come up with! See the current top 10 winners.
What happens when you mix ice cream and watercolor? Beautiful DIY napkin projects, that’s what! During the hot & sticky heat of summer, few things are as delicious and refreshing as ice cream. We love it so much, in fact, that we’ve combined it with another thing we love, watercolor, to create our newest (and dare we say sweetest?) DIY napkin project.
As part of our new Meet the Designer series, today we’re introducing you to a designer who captures the vibrant flora and bright palette of her home city of Miami. Judy Quintero (Shopcabin) is a designer and talented painter who balances energetic colors with a laid back watercolor medium. Keep reading to see what inspires this Spoonflower designer!
Today we'd like you to meet designer Kristi Heck as part of our new Meet the Designer series. Hailing from Panama then California, and most recently the great, green rainforest of the Pacific Northwest, Kristi is inspired by her natural environment and uses acrylic paints to create scenes involving friendly creatures, soil, vegetables, and lots of vivid color. She's down to earth in more ways than one–keep reading and get to know what gets Kristi's creative juices flowing.
Where do you currently live? I live in Hood River, Oregon.
My day starts with the little dog whining to be invited on the bed. Once she’s up (sitting on my chest, attempting to lick), the big dog arrives. His warm fuzzy head smells like corn chips. After a quiet moment, I’m up: feed dogs, make coffee, drink coffee with husband, pack lunches, wake kids, get dressed, breakfast kids, walk dogs and kids to school, return with just dogs. Then it’s down to my studio to work…
I fell in love with fabric design when… I turned around. This love (sort of, not really) snuck up on me. Our house is chockfull of textiles: Pendleton wool, reverse appliqué molas by the Guna Yala of Panama, Indian kantha quilts, chunky knits, plush flokati, African Dutch wax block prints, and a crazy variety of patterned throw pillows. I’ve always loved designing with fabrics; I’m brand new to designing actual fabrics. Our family moved to Hood River mid-December 2013, our first winter in about ten years. Time lived in Southern California combined with six years in the Republic of Panama had left us cold. Literally. So I over-dressed and began painting creatures hibernating. Soon, the animals migrated into human beds. Painting their bedding was my favorite part. I thought I’d try designing fabric versus just painting it, but the ability to create a repeat pattern eluded me… I have dozens of horrible designs stashed in file folders titled “Trials” and “Tribulations.” Then I found the class “How to design fabric” at creativebug.com featuring Spoonflower. Click! Apparently, my visual brain required a visual demo, as I later uncovered near-verbatim written instruction in multiple fabric design books I already own!
Belt sander? Check. Power drill? Check. Saw blades? Check. Watercolor paints and brushes? Check. Sometimes sharp objects look better with softer edges. We threw a wrench in our contests this week and were blown away by the designs you submitted. Check out the top ten watercolor power tool designs (and the limited edition fat quarter bundle!), and a big congratulations goes to first-time Design Challenge winner Cecilia Mokfor her winning design! Check out photographs of all the winners printed on lustrous Silky Faille by going to our Facebook page!
1. 404 votes for As Far as I Saw the Sea by cecilia_mok
2. 403 votes for AquaPower by juliesfabrics
3. 347 votes for Holes & Drill Bits by Friztin by friztin
4. 346 votes for Painterly Power Tools by heatherdutton
5. 336 votes for Crafty Power Up! by cynthiafrenette
6. 322 votes for Cutting disk circles by ruth_robson
7. 317 votes for build me a painting by betsysiber
8. 310 votes for Power Spin by mariaspeyer
9. 304 votes for Power Tools by emmaallardsmith
10. 279 votes for power tools by karinka