Creative Tips of The Week – I can’t draw

“I can’t draw, how can I become a pattern designer?”



“The more you practice, the more you will improve and gain confidence. Keep drawing and please don’t worry! If you are genuinely struggling, then you can simply work in a more abstract style and focus on creating unique icons. There are many renowned designers out there that create popular and commercial artwork that is non-representational. Two of my personal favourites are Lucienne Day and Jenn Ski. There really is room for a variety of design styles. Remember surface pattern design is more than just drawing – successful designs incorporate movement and energy, they decorate and have an inviting colour palette too. There are also no mistakes! Save everything! I have used so many of my own ‘mistakes’ in the background of many of my designs.

If drawing by hand isn’t for you how about trying:

  • textured marks and shapes with paint, ink, chalks etc
  • apps like procreate or adobe fresco to create digitally
  • paper cut outs to create shapes and motifs
  • stamps or stencils

I never delete my work. I always keep everything as I may go back and revisit it on a later date. I like to think there are no mistakes just ‘happy accidents’. If you are struggling with a pattern, it’s good to take some time out or start a new piece. Revisit it a later date. Also, just by changing the scale and the colour palette of a pattern you can really reinvent it.” – Rachael Taylor – excerpt from Designing Your Way (Module 1)

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Photography and artwork Rachael Taylor

Photography Adobe Stock