From the Textile Design Lab: Chelsea’s Challenge – Insects

Chelsea’s Challenge is a monthly post series in the Textile Design Lab, in which we share design ideas and inspiration to help our students build their pattern portfolios and create work that might be outside of their comfort zones. Our latest challenge did just that by tackling a theme that I know may not be everyone’s favorite subject–insects! Lots of people can find them creepy or gross, and I feel that way too about some bugs. But I also find such amazing design inspiration in the insect world that I couldn’t keep them away from Chelsea’s Challenge, they are just too rich a source for pattern ideas! Here was one of the many awesome responses to this design challenge, by TDL member Joan McGuire:

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Joan said of her collection, “I like the idea of an insect theme that isn’t immediately obvious but instead creeps up on the viewer. So, irony and humor were as crucial to the making of these prints as formal qualities like shape and color. I worked in Illustrator from sketches to create contemporary vector combinations of creepy bug elements with traditional Victorian pattern embellishments. My approach to this challenge was inspired by designer/illustrator Dan Funderburgh.”

See more from Joan at and join us in the Textile Design Lab to take part in our next challenge: activewear!

At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.

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