Personal Expression In Surface Pattern Design

Nanditha Vijayan writes about how she brings her personal experiences into creating art to help ease her mind and let her “untold feelings unfold…”

How can I create artworks? was one of the questions that came to my mind in my early creative days and I am sure this is a question that many of you might be having too.

“When winter comes your way, it is time to stack yourself up in warm clothes. Darkness fills all around you and the cold winter makes your nose turn blue. But this is the time when the Joy of Christmas comes through meeting and greeting your loved ones with warm hugs and small handshakes.” This is my meet-and-greet artwork from the collection called Winter meets Christmas, created from my longing to meet friends and family during cold winter days, especially  when Christmas comes around.

My design collections generally start this way, with a story or inspiration that expresses my feelings or about events that have happened in my life. I’m Nanditha Vijayan, a Graphic and Print Designer from India, living with my husband and son in Germany. I’m also an online educator and a skillshare teacher. I was a stay at home mom for almost 7 years in Germany, as it was hard to build a career without knowing the language, the right tools and without the right guidance on where to start and what to do. I am mostly self-taught and started my artistic journey in 2018, as a quest to find an answer to a big question I faced in an Interview. “Do you know how to create Artworks and Prints?” This was the question. Back then, I knew nothing about what this meant. So I started researching, learning, experimenting and practicing art which led me to create original artworks and become a full time Print Designer.

Today, I am sharing with you the secret sauce for creating original artwork from your life. As I generally sit to work on an artwork or create a pattern design collection, I think about an event associated with my life. For example, something that I have seen, or a story that I read for my son or maybe even a feeling that I have been experiencing.

Art is a way to express your feelings and emotions, whether it is happiness, frustration, anger, sadness, or love. It is a place where I let my untold feelings unfold. A place where I can pour in all those feelings and emotions whether it is something negative or positive. These experiences help me to create small interpretations of elements associated with those stories in my life and become the main motifs for my artwork. This is a process that brings me immense joy and lets out all that I’m holding within me. Being humans, we all tend to hold things inside us without expressing them, and sometimes it lies within us and makes us feel so heavy. One of the ways that I’ve taught myself to let go of Fear, Anxiety, Overwhelm and all those negative thoughts that affect me is by expressing them through my artworks.

Now you must be wondering, how to achieve this and help yourself create original artwork from your life? Think about those moments you felt scared, happy, sad, anxious, angry, or all those mixed emotions, and ask yourself these questions –

1)  What are some of the scenes or impressions that I can recall from the event?

2)  What was my feeling?

3)  What kind of colors can speak or relate to those feelings?

4)  What elements can I bring in, to express my feelings, emotions, or story? When you think of motifs in your artwork, think of those small elements that speak about your story. In terms of colors, you can save good color palettes onto your Pinterest boards. This is something that I love to do. I also like to keep an eye on color palettes and mood board direction from Pattern Curator when choosing colors that speak of any particular feel or mood for my artwork.

Ask yourself all these questions and search for color palettes that resonate with you. Write them down one by one and start drawing. Thanks for your time and good luck creating art with your personal story! You can find my website here and my Instagram here.

Nanditha Vijayan

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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