2017 Design Challenge: January (Kid Doodles)

January is over and I am proud to say that I completed my design challenge assignment! For someone who struggles to follow through with any project this is a big deal! In case you missed it you can read about my challenge here: 2017 Design Challenge.

Kidoodle Patterns

This month’s assignment was to turn my kids’ doodles and art into patterns. I chose this assignment to gain more experience with the following:

  1. Working with scanned images.
  2. Creating vectors from complex, painted strokes.
  3. Recoloring artwork.
  4. Pattern making.

Also, I thought the constraints of working with kid art would force me to deviate from my usual design habits. Plus, the kids loved it! I especially enjoyed showing them their art on my screen. They were so excited to see it!

The Process

Although I had to give my kids some direction as to what I needed, I did my best to let them do what they wanted. Elle was all about drawing birds and snails… a girl after my own heart doodles! Ben provided me with great blobs and streaks of paint. After I collected their work and dug out more drawings that I had previously saved, I assessed how I wanted to proceed. To really make this a “design” challenge, I knew I needed to modify their art somewhat so that it was more than just scanned pictures. Mostly, I needed to add or edit colors, smooth lines, and extract paint streaks from Ben’s blobs.


Once all the images were scanned, I made very minimal edits to Elle’s pen drawings in order to preserve all of their quirkiness. Next, I filled the drawings with color and arranged them into a pattern. The results are adorable! Elle had also previously made a funny turkey/hand and a whimsical image of her riding a snail… too funny! Ben’s paint blobs made extremely complex vectors, but they worked great for making abstract patterns. I did change the colors significantly from his original painting. I really liked how they turned out, however, if I had more time, I could have composed a nicer pattern. Making patterns can be very tedious and time consuming! This will be a project that I will revisit because we had so much fun and I have been brainstorming ways to expand on the overall idea.


The Results

Here are the before and afters of our “Kidoodle” Patterns!


Free Download

Just for fun we are sharing our creations with you for personal or commercial work! Please consider crediting the Mini Mallows of Mallow World if you use the papers commercially. You are free to use the papers as part of a commercial work but you may not sell the papers as is or redistribute the images and files. The papers are formatted to fit 8.5 inches by 11 inches and have been saved as PNGs. To download, click the images below:

mallowworld_kidoodle_pattern_1     mallowworld_kidoodle_pattern_2     mallowworld_branch_pattern     mallowworld_kidoodle_pattern_4

mallowworld_abstract_circles_thumbnail     mallowworld_abstract_circles_2     mallowworld_abstract_pattern_1     mallowworld_abstract_pattern_2

Coming up Next: February’s Assignment

As I continue to learn new techniques, design genres, and tools in Photoshop and Illustrator, having access to a variety of textures is a necessity. When I do need to use a texture I will do a quick search online for one, but I would prefer to use my own work whenever possible. Having never taken the time to build up my own library of textures I thought this would be a perfect assignment for my design challenge. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see updates throughout the month. You can search by using #mallowworld2017.

Do you have a special way of preserving your children’s artwork? Comment with what you do or what your kids love to create!


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