My Kennard & Kennard Fabric Collections

 Hallo!  Today I wanted to chat about how I got into creating patterns for Kennard & Kennard and the current collections I have with them.  Not all the images may be available on their website anymore since the fabric may already be out of stock. 

I was approached by the company around July 2020.  They found me on my Illustrators Australia portfolio page and asked if I wanted to do some bird patterns for them based on one of the bird pieces I had in my folio.  At that time, I've not actually done any patterns and I thought that this would be a good opportunity to learn.  Nothing like getting thrown in the deep end to jumpstart a new skill, I say! 

I quickly went through a few pattern tutorials, which I tried with mixed results. In fact, it's only recently ( 2 years after my first pattern) that I found a method that currently works best for me in Photoshop and that may change as I learn more about pattern design.  All my work is hand drawn and inked first, then scanned into Photoshop where I colour up the illustration and then turn it into a pattern using the offset filter and pattern preview tools.

I currently have four collections with Kennard.  The first one is "Wonderful Wings".  Drawing the Eagles in this collection gave me a hard time as I don't really draw birds of prey (am going to change that though) and my first pattern was also rejected.  

My Red Eared finches was the pattern that got rejected.  Looking at it now, it was a bit too busy and loud, even for my standards and too dark as well.

My second collection went a bit better for me and I enjoyed it more as well.  This was "Sea Life".  I would have liked to have added more into this collection as well.  The movement in this collection I thought was much more interesting than the birds.  These are animals that travel or can be found on the Australian coasts.

Then I did my first thematic illustrations which is my Christmas Collection, "A Wild and Colourful Christmas"  You have to get the Christmas stuff done early if you want to make the Christmas cut off. I finished my designs around February this year. This was a lot of fun with dressing characters and adding in quite a bit of character to the animals.  All the animals are Australian based as well.  It was funny, cos they suggested I create this collection after I sent them a digital Christmas card last year.  You never know how an opportunity will find you.

The last collection I completed was "Coral Waters".  I originally just wanted to do a collection of coral fish but the company thought a variation of coral, other animals, sea shells would sell better.  It is the collection I am currently most happy with.

I am in the process of uploading everything from Sea Life, Coral Waters and the Christmas Collection up on my Redbubble Shop.  The art I have uploaded is looking very nice indeed on products.  I've had to make quite a few adjustments though to make them fit specific products but all in all, it's looking very schmick!

I can upload on other sites because I have a non-exclusive licence with Kennard and Kennard since am only getting royalties I just can't have them printed at other fabric companies. Some months, the payment was good and other months I wouldn't be able to buy a coffee with the amount I received. Still, this is passive income once the work is done. 

Don't be afraid to show your work on multiple folio sites, you might get lucky and an opportunity might find you.  I was certainly lucky but I also put a lot of my work out there from Facebook, Instagram, this blog and though I haven't updated them in a while I also have work on Behance, Dribble, Tumblr and I post to Linkedin as well when I remember. Take chances and take the opportunity to learn new skills.  You might just enjoy it.


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