Luxe florals are just the right thing for this time of year, which is why today they have made my Monday Moodboard.
The freezing, wet weather and grey skies are atmospheric sure but the damp and cold can be a little draining day after day (last nights evening walk was a very muddy affair). So I’m warming myself with, and getting creative inspiration from, rich purples, velvety blacks, deep maroons and cerise tones as seen in beautiful, frilly flowers. I’ll be working on some sketches of these in the coming weeks with a view to working up pretty patterns and evocative illustrations.
My posts have been sporadic of late because I have been having the busiest time sending out Christmas orders and selling my ways in various Christmas markets. It’s been fun but boy has it been full-on.
Anyway, my festive mood, and indeed this Monday Moodboard, is in total full flow now working on a set of Scandi-style designs and illustrations for Christmas demos for Posca pens and for my Christmas wrapping. I’ll reveal more of this later in the week but in the mean time enjoy some of the patterns and imagery that has been inspiring me.
Joyous, colourful and breathtakingly beautiful, my folk art moodboard is perfect for brightening up this grey Monday afternoon. .
Marks, patterns and painting made by ordinary people is a constant inspiration for me. The simple shapes, harmonious composition, strong colour combinations and celebration of birds, flowers and animal life in folk art are timelessly popular in interior design and illustration. I’ve used them as a spring board for some of the work I created for my Christmas Posca pen workshops and Christmas wrap designs – look out for those next week.
After a busy fortnight with holidays, workshops and Christmas prep, I’m back with some insights from the outside world – a Monday Moodboard dedicated to henna designs and patterns.
I get trend reports and press previews all the time but every now and then a trend comes along that I don’t know about that really excites me. While I obviously know about these beautiful, ancient designs, and have even had these exquisite patterns painted on myself in the past, I didn’t know they were capturing peoples’ imaginations right now.
How wrong was I?
Every teenage girl that came to my Posca pen workshops in Manchester and Birmingham wanted to recreate mandala and henna designs. They were really very adept at creating these patterns and told me that they wanted to place these designs on their clothes and homewares. It’s good to get out there and talk to people – you can always learn something.
More pattern research this week, this time I’m trawling through traditional Japanese prints. It makes such a lovely Monday moodboard.
My original passion for these designs started many years ago when a good friend of ours sent me some patterned washi paper from her home town in Japan. Ever since I’ve been stashing away more washi papers, collecting affordable prints and illos as well as gathering lots of visual examples on pinterest.
Whether it’s floral, avian or geometric in their themes, the delicate designs, intricate composition and sensitive use of pretty, coordinated colour is sure to inspire me. I wonder how its influence will show in my new work?
I’m showing you something different for my drawing of the week – not a finished illustration but some ideas I’m playing with at the moment.
I’m in experimental mode this week, playing with different pens and drawing techniques. I often experiment with illustration but rarely share my playful doodles. However as I’m pushing out of my comfort zone I’m happy to show off my working process, and these feathers, with you.
The ‘playing process’ is so much fun. I get super absorbed with making marks and seeing how shapes and colours interact with each other. It’s a great way of thinking out patterns and new projects. I’m currently obsessed with feathers – they are a recurring theme for me and an effective way to free up my line and play with colour and shape.
If you’re short of time or money here’s a super quick, easy way of giving your walls an update. Just buy a set of embroidery hoops, stretch some over some scrap fabric (it doesn’t have to be ‘proper’ haberdashery fabric you can use old shirts or dresses) and there you go! The great thing about this is you can change the display to suit the seasons. And if you’re so inclined, you can also add a little stitching over your fabric with slogans and patterns.
One of my favourite cheap and easy decoration tips is to create a colourful wall display. Here I’ve hung some Amy Butler prints in neon frames.
Bright and eclectic, Amy Butler’s designs are so joyous. Butler gets inspiration from a range of sources, using patterns and colour combinations inspired by her travels around the world.
I’ve got loads of her fabrics and I was very excited when she released a book of her designs on paper, Amy Butler Decoupage. I’ve used the papers on many of my projects (including this one above for Homemaker Magazine). The book only costs around £11 and you get 80 colourful sheets making it fantastic value. I had a few sheets left and I’ve always felt a bit guilty about ripping them up for decoupage and wanted to show them off properly as a wall display.
Luckily I have a collection of old frames gathered over the years and picked up at car boots (I think it’s another obsession of mine) and luckier still I’ve got a whole box full of spray paint in various colours (including some fab neons) to co-ordinate with the prints. They really brighten up a dark corner and would look really fun as a grid with matching frames to fill a wall.
As an avid pinner I’ve been struck by just how many images I’ve seen this past year featuring photography, illustration and fashion pieces showcasing a range of blush pink shades.
The hues look great on their own and teamed with light colours. It also works incredibly well when contrasted with darker green or grey shades as well as more vibrant rosy pigments.
It’s been hugely inspiring for me in creating new stationery collections and prints. By replacing my usual white backdrop with soft, gentle blushes it has really warmed up some of my pink flamingo pinks and patterns (I’ll be showing you them soon). I’ve also used it as a background for my more dramatic drawings such as my raven couple piece that you can see on my moodboard.
I’m looking forward to playing with these shades a bit more, not only with my artistic work but also exploring options for adding depth to accent walls as well as seeing how I can incorporate a bit of blush with my home accessories.
This is the shop for Ella Johnston. Here you can buy original artwork, prints, stationery and homewares from my archive. Dismiss