Mossy Milieu


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I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I’m just not into the theme of the weekly Spoonflower Challenge. This theme was “Mosses.” I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired and could only visualize a sea of green. I tend to be a tad literal-minded, so it often takes me a while to come around to a concept.

There was another problem. I had plenty of reasons to NOT participate. I had a formidable task list and my schedule was jammed with stuff, including Bonnie Christine’s course “Secrets to Success in Surface Pattern Design.” (Thank you Bonnie for this incredible opportunity! What an inspiring community you have created!)

My creative muse for this theme also showed up late to the party. It did show up, though. I was struck by an idea to include lichen and salamanders to break up the monochromatic moss patch. Once I latch onto an idea, it is hard to pass on it. Even if that means staying up late to see it through.

I created the moss spores – they look like miniature cattails – and lichen first, followed by the salamanders. For good measure, I threw in few random rocks. My idea was to create a pleasant layout with complementary colors and then fill in with a mossy pattern. I went down the wrong path for a bit trying to cover the entire background with hand drawn squiggly star shapes to indicate the moss. It just wasn’t resonating with me, though.

I put the design to bed for the night. I once again seriously reconsidered skipping this challenge, but I’m really stubborn. Ask anyone who knows me. It is a blessing and a curse.

I regrouped the next day. I deleted all the mossy texture. I added some soft organic shapes underneath the design elements and colored them a dark green. I then applied some “star moss” and filled in on top of those shapes. I allowed some of the moss to spill out into the open spaces so it resembled stars. I do love some sparkle.

I was fairly happy with this design, but it was still missing something. The background was a medium green, so I swapped it for the dark green I had chosen for the organic shapes, and I changed the shapes to the medium green. Tah dah! Sometimes the simplest change transforms a design. The contrast allowed the other design elements to really pop. I called it done and uploaded to the contest.

Nope. Sometimes you have to let it go.
Getting closer! This might just work!
By Jove! I think we've got it!

Oddly enough, the Design Challenges that I am the least interested in, result in some of my favorite designs. Perhaps its because they force me outside my comfort zone and away from my go-to design elements. In this print, I find that the salamander repeat somehow evokes a soothing sort of rhythm. And I love this as a wallpaper pattern design.

This challenge, thankfully, has fewer entrants compared to last week, but you will still want to carve out a few minutes to scroll through. I always look forward to seeing what other artists create, but I think there will be some truly interesting interpretations of this theme. Please support independent artists by casting your vote! Remember, you can select multiple designs (please do), but can only submit your vote once. Voting ends February 21.


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