Home Print and Pattern Repurposing Previous Work in Your Floor Design Portfolio

Repurposing Previous Work in Your Floor Design Portfolio


My Bachelor’s Diploma is in design with a double emphasis in graphic design and illustration. Because of this, the lessons and assignments have been typically fluid between the 2 methodologies. This fluidity has been extremely useful all through my inventive profession and particularly as a floor designer.

Certainly one of my favourite assignments in my design program was known as Advert Hoc. For the task, we got a number of graphic design initiatives to finish together with a written checklist of prompts to assist with growing it. The primary goal was to make use of current illustrations we had already accomplished, both for earlier assignments or on our personal time, to finish the brand new task. 

The interpretation of advert hoc from Latin is “for this” and in English it’s usually outlined as “for this particular goal.” Trying again, our task’s particular goal was to have a look at all of our illustration work we had at our disposal and modify it (or maintain it as is) to visually talk the design initiatives for a e-book cowl, journal commercial, and poster. 

It was an extremely releasing idea for me as a result of it made me understand that there’s not only one method to make the most of an illustration, piece of artwork, or sample.

Despite the fact that the actual task and the concept behind it was very particular, and initially felt limiting, it truly supplied a brand new mindset in taking a look at all of my art work shifting ahead. For instance, I scanned and recolored art work that I had created and saved from elementary college and used it within the format for the e-book cowl part of the task. And I started to have a look at all the pieces I had ever created in a brand new gentle.

One of many e-book cowl designs I created for the Advert Hoc task. I scanned a nonetheless life drawing I drew in highschool and repeated it on the duvet with shifting shade variations between every repeated picture.

As floor sample designers, it’s good observe to have a look at our creations earlier than and after we full them and picture all the varied ways in which they can be utilized on quite a lot of merchandise and in numerous markets. It helps by specializing in the businesses we wish to work with and ensuring our work is consistent with every firm’s product aesthetic. 

However I believe we will stretch and develop our portfolio extra by growing a mindset that we aren’t solely restricted by what we create as we speak or inside a sure interval of predetermined time inside which we’ve satisfied ourselves or presumably been informed that our work continues to be “recent.” 

Shannon’s mentioned this idea on Instagram many instances and even created a particular hashtag, #oldbutstillawesomeart, dedicated to celebrating outdated art work in our portfolios. Be happy to hitch in after utilizing a few of my ideas beneath to refresh a few of your personal artwork.

I created this watercolor for enjoyable years earlier than I scanned it for a graduate picture card design I pitched. 

You might suppose you don’t have a lot work, however you’d be stunned when taking a full stock of all the pieces you may have. There have been instances that I’ve thrown away drawings however I ended up utilizing them when taking a re-evaluation as I used to be strolling previous the trash can. I‘m often my harshest critic so I make it possible for a part of my workflow is taking a break to see my work with recent eyes and perspective. 

There’s actually so many issues that may be finished to develop our current work to refresh and develop our portfolio. Listed below are my high ideas:


It is a easy method to replace outdated work, particularly if you need to have your work match into a unique market. Attempt utilizing colours which are trending for the season, market, or 12 months. When you have a full shade piece strive it in black and white, monochrome, or vice versa. Even small shade modifications could make an enormous distinction. 

After receiving some suggestions from Shannon throughout an internet site overview, I adjusted the colour on this portfolio piece in order that it might higher match the Valentine’s Day/love market by integrating extra reds and pinks. I additionally moved the lettering to the highest in order that it might appeal to the viewer’s consideration to the highest third and swimsuit the greeting card market.

BONUS TIP: The recolor instrument in Adobe Illustrator is a good useful resource in case you work in vector and there are numerous totally different approaches in Photoshop for adjusting the colour for conventional media. 

Certainly one of my favourite approaches to regulate the colour in Photoshop is to make use of a hue/saturation adjustment layer. Clicking the colorize checkbox will take away the colour from the picture and overlay it with the hue and saturation from the sliders, which is basically helpful when you may have a scan of a coloured texture you wish to modify to a unique shade.

Simplify or Add Particulars

Search for methods you may simplify an current piece, corresponding to eradicating texture or creating silhouettes out of the motifs. Or do the other corresponding to including texture to the background or your parts to create a extra complicated design. Including or eradicating motifs is one other method to change the general look as properly.

Associated Article: Find out how to Develop Your Floor Design Portfolio


Adjusting the scale of your motifs, whether or not making them greater, smaller, or a mix of each can dramatically change the looks and magnificence of the design.

Sample Sort and Association

Moreover, the association and sort of repeat might be adjusted to create a completely totally different appear and feel. For instance, you may modify a tossed repeat right into a full half-drop repeat sample format. You can too strive rotating the motifs and altering the preparations in relation to at least one one other.

Undecided what a half-drop sample is? Right here’s an article that describes the commonest floor sample design phrases, together with half drop patterns.

Layer Motifs

Repeat and layer motifs for extra complexity and dimension. A method to do that is to layer silhouetted parts behind extra detailed and coloured motifs. 

Ever since that Advert Hoc class task, I’ve discovered myself taking a look at my outdated work to create new work all through my inventive profession. 

My sketchbooks are sometimes one of many first locations I’ll examine. After all, there are occasions I received’t use something from them, however it’s going to present me with a leaping level for inspiration. I used to maintain all my sketches saved in my workplace however that quickly turned an area drawback. So my present system is to scan my art work and maintain all of it digitally saved in folders by motif sort on my exterior onerous drive and cloud back-up. 

Now I solely have an accordion file folder of curated artwork and sketchbooks that I carry on considered one of my workplace cabinets as an alternative of a number of cabinets and enormous portfolio storage folders. Having a catalog of digitized art work is a good house and time-saver once you’re attempting to find design inspiration.

Need much more ideas to enhance designs already in your portfolio?

Shannon has a fast 30-minute class on Skillshare, Stronger Patterns Made Simple, the place she demonstrates her 4 favourite methods for enhancing floor sample designs.

Cody Moore
Written by Cody Alice Moore

Web site: www.codyalicemoore.com
Instagram: @codyalicemoore

Cody is an illustrator & floor designer with 16 years of expertise. Cody found floor design whereas working as an artwork purchaser for a nationwide picture lab. Since 2019, she has been creating artwork full-time for her budding portfolio & rising assortment of licensed designs.


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