A Fascination with Patterns

“Pattern (n) something that happens in a regular and repeated way” –Merriam-Webster

A pattern can refer to more than just a visual repetition of elements. There can be mathematical patterns, weather patterns, patterns of data, and others, but for the purpose of this entry, I’m just thinking about visual patterns.

Endpapers Pinterest Board
A Pinterest board collecting various endpapers

I’ve always been fascinated by how a pattern on endpapers of a book can tell a story by calling out its most important symbols and elements. Patterns can also be decorative backdrops, but even there, there’s something mysterious about them. They seem to still tell a story. Perhaps the mystery is in just trying to find the repeat, but for whatever reason, when I see a pattern, I feel like it makes more meditative and reflective.

Patterns1

The first patterns I knew were polka dots, stripes, and cheetah print. With time, I’d learn words like camouflage and paisley.

Patterns2There’s a special joy that comes with knowing a specific word to attach with a pattern. I remember learning the word “argyle” in the seventh grade and winning a game of Pictionary later that week because of my newfound knowledge.

PictionaryPattern

From clothing, to wallpaper, notebooks, and wrapping paper, patterns permeate our lives. Lately, I’ve wondered, if I think they’re so delightful, why have I never really tried to make any? So, this year, I’m going to try and post some patterns of my design here.

To start, I made a free-hand pattern through layers of drawings in Photoshop based on Sun-mi Hwang’s The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly.

TheHenPattern

The book is about Sprout, a hen who stops laying eggs because she is tired of the farmer taking them from her. After being left to die, she is rescued by the words of a duck and she begins to pursue her mission in life, raising a baby of her own. It’s a sad, but inspiring book. I tried to select the important characters and symbols.

Have you seen any recent patterns that have captured your imagination and interest?

2 thoughts on “A Fascination with Patterns”

  1. I’ve been intrigued by aboriginal designs being repeated as patters lately. I’d also like to experiment with more succulent/cactus/leave patterns. Once my hand heals, I’m going to give it a go! Your little chicken pattern is the cutest. 🙂

    1. Thank you! Aboriginal designs are beautiful! I’d love to see some succulent patterns drawn by you. I hope your hand heals soon.

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