top of page
  • Writer's pictureJo Richards

Surface Pattern Design

It's been a few months of reflection at P&M HQ, and 2019 is shaping up to be our year of business growth and development, soul searching, and confidence.

Making a living as an artist is a difficult thing to get your head around. Don't get me wrong, I made my living as a wedding and portrait photographer for over 20 years, but somehow, photographing people for a living made what I did so much easier, than sitting down to a blank sheet of paper and expecting to create something without any external help.

When I had my children, I knew I wanted more. I loved shooting weddings for a long time, but in late 2015, after the birth of my second child, I started falling out of love with the process, and a decision had to be made. I was no longer giving my brides what they deserved, an enthusiastic and absorbed wedding photographer who would do anything to 'get the shot'. Instead I began to dread the journey to the wedding, took the easier shots rather than the one that required me to lay on the floor, started clock watching after their meal was finished as to when my journey home could begin. I knew once these feelings were there, they wouldn't shift, and so I stopped booking weddings.

I shot my last two weddings in the summer of 2016, ironically two of the most enjoyable that I've ever shot, and hung up my camera. Now what? The fear had crept in, and I had no idea what I was going to do. Until I watched a class on Creative Live that changed my life.

Surface pattern design, line drawing flowers, watercolour painting

Bonnie Christine's Creative Live course was reduced to just £35. I bought it, and somewhere, a light went on. I had no ideas what surface pattern design was, never heard the term, and hadn't even considered that it was an actual real life job.

I immersed myself in Bonnie's course, learning Adobe Illustrator from scratch and it was like coming home. It was everything I wanted to do and more, and the day that I followed her careful instructions to create my first repeating pattern, I felt utterly delighted. That pattern has become my stamp of everything that I have achieved, and you'll see the motifs from it dotted all over my site. Symbolic perhaps that my 'Flying Birds' motifs started my journey into art and design as a career.

Flying Birds

Of course, this pattern has come a long was since the original, but it totally symbolises my journey into surface design, and I feel very fitting for the freedom I feel as a designer now.

This makes up part of the 'Engligh Hedgerow' collection, which you can see in full on my portfolio page.

Links : Bonnie Christine - surface designer and incredible teacher.

Check out her Skillshare classes and her course on Creative live here.

Recent Posts

See All


Birds 2019-12.png
bottom of page