Bonnie Christine - Surface Pattern Design and Resources

Whimsical Whales

New Clipart Set -- this one features 5 whimsical whales! I'm having a great time working on this theme of underwater creatures using the same color pallet.


Eventually, I'm hoping to make some patterns with them. It is slow going but I'm not letting that stop me. Between work and life it is tough to make time to create. It takes discipline and better habits.


Bee Curious

I took another skillshare class and this is the result. Keeping it simple and trying not to get frustrated or give up too soon. I am warming up to using Photoshop for illustrations. I really love that it can feel like actual sketching or drawing. Illustrator is still my first love (actually Freehand but that is really dating myself!)

Here is a link to Stephanie Fizer Coleman’s skillshare class - I know I will be returning to this class because she really packs in a lot of info. I finally understand clipping masks in Photoshop!! Thank you SFC!!


The Happy Bee


One of the best parts of the long memorial day weekend was painting with my daughter. I painted this happy watercolour bee and then scanned into Photoshop to clean up and adjust. We started out just having fun with no intention of making anything special but I rather like this bee. Maybe I’ll turn it into some clipart for my Etsy shop.

Perhaps some sauce has been spilled?

2019 is the Year of the Pig and pigs are trending alright!! I had to dig into the archives for one of my favorites. This was printed by Campus Customs for a Charleston restaurant’s staff tees. 


One of my favorite things to illustrate is animals acting like humans! The customer was very specific about what they wanted  - a pig with a monocle riding a unicycle, wearing a gondolier’s outfit, carrying a butcher knife while eating a plate of spaghetti. “Perhaps some sauce has been spilled?” was written in their notes. So much fun to work on and they were very happy with how it turned out.

facebook post_indaco.jpg

You Are Loved.

I found some old journals of mine from about 20 years ago. There were some difficult parts to read as it was a pretty lonely time for me. Now I can look back and see that even when I didn’t feel loved…I was loved. I can see that now. And I have so much love in my life now. Things always get better. I made this quick sketch as a reminder.


font used is Little Noo Noo by Lisa Glanz which you can find here:

Here's to cold emails and taking chances!

A year ago tonight (Jan 12, 2018), probably around this exact time (10:30 P.M.) and after a glass of wine (also having one now!), I decided to email one of my idols and ask for a job.


As I’ve mentioned in the previous post, listening to The Honest Designers Show was extremely influential to me making some seriously positive changes in my career. I am a dedicated listener and in one of the episodes towards the end of 2017, Lisa Glanz ( mentioned that she was looking for an assistant and would be interviewing after the holidays.

Should I apply?

She was probably looking for someone local (she’s in South Africa), She’s probably got so many people emailing her with their huge talent, I’m too shy to apply, she won’t hire me, I’m probably not what she’s looking for, etc. etc. etc. All the negative thoughts that discourage us from taking chances…you know the ones.

The holidays came and went. She had said “after the holidays”. Here it was January 12th. Was that too early? Was that too late?

After a glass of wine on the couch, scrolling through Instagram, Friday night…I said “Why not?” Just send her a casual email, tell her you’re a fan of the show and inquire if she is still looking for someone.

The next morning when I woke up she had replied! Yes she was looking for someone and yes I should apply. And less than a month later I was hired! It’s been almost a year now and I still can’t believe my incredible good fortune.

So here’s to taking chances! Why not put yourself out there? Have a glass of wine first if you must, but take that chance, send that email, make that call or apply for that job!! Why not???

If you like the beautiful eucalyptus watercolor in the image you can find it here:

And if you like that font, you can find it here:


I can’t help but reflect on the year that is coming to a close. So much changed for me career-wise. And it all really began when I discovered Lisa Glanz’s work. I started listening to her podcast: The Honest Designers Show. I joined Instagram. I launched my own website.

Before that, I was seriously considering giving up on graphic design altogether. This show offers so much real-world advice and inspiration. I started listening in August of 2017. By the end of 2017, I had started drawing again and sharing my work online via Instagram. I decided to get a website. Both of these things led to job opportunities and totally re-invigorated my love of design and illustration.

In March of 2018, I found a part time job with an extremely flexible schedule. Just what I needed to be able to spend more time working on freelance projects and illustrating, while also trying something totally new.

I really hope 2019 brings more of the same. All I can say is, put yourself out there, find a community of people with shared interests and don’t hold back. It’s amazing what happens when you do. Happy New Year! has an awesome freebie font this week

I’ve discovered one way to build up your font stash is to sign up for DesignCuts and Creative Markets mailing list. They give away some pretty cool stuff for graphic resources on a weekly basis. It’s a nice way to promote the artists and it’s only offered for a short time. I really like this new one called Violetta. Comes with 4 different typefaces. Design Cuts gives you the chance to enter to win a prize by submitting a design using their freebie of the week. I think this is not only a great way to build your community but also a genius marketing tool. Those who decide to enter, not only get a little practice in but also create something that they can share on other platforms…further spreading the word about Design Cuts. Since I don’t have a lot of time to keep up on the suggested “posting” schedule, this can kill a few birds with one stone, so to speak. What are your favorite design and typography resources? Do you ever enter contests for the practice alone? I’d love to know your thoughts.


Finally started a facebook business page...

I’ve taken several skillshare classes on marketing. Researched the internet. Listened to the Honest Designers advice on social media…but I’ve been very reluctant to start a facebook business page. Part of it is because I’m super shy and rarely talk about, or boast about, my accomplishments or work I’m proud of. I’ve been working with a particular incredibly talented illustrator who asked me to set a facebook page up for her. This proved to be the little push I needed…after all, I wanted to have some actual experience doing it for myself first! What do you think? Have you had any experience with this yourself? I’d love to know your thoughts…

Blueberries for July!

I had so much fun on the sketches for this set, but when it came time to turn into vectors and colorize, I really struggled. I'm going to keep pushing it to try and get it to what I want it to be. While doing this I definitely had a moment of "This is terrible, you suck, why did you ever think you were a good illustrator, just stick with packaging and the admin work you do for more talented people, maybe go back to waitressing, etc, etc"

I know everybody - even my heroes - have moments of self doubt. I think listening to The Honest Designers Podcast - link below - has really helped me realize that this stuff isn't easy and just because you may have always thought you were a good illustrator doesn't mean you don't have to practice and work at it. All of their stories are incredibly inspiring and, well, honest. Check it out if you need some insight, inspiration and camaraderie in your creative struggles.


happy girl reading

Having fun with brushes and sketching in Ai. Added an old paper texture as an overlay to give it a little oomph. Practicing everyday and getting better.