Party Rabbits Spoonflower Design Challenge

Party Rabbits Fabric and Wallpaper

Have you ever heard about Spoonflower’s Design Challenges?  That’s what today’s blog post is about - a Spoonflower Design Challenge inspired me to create my Party Rabbits design above.  Firstly, if you have never heard of Spoonflower, it is a FANTASTIC website where you can upload your designs, and transform them into fabrics, wallpaper or household items such as pillow cases or tablecloths.  Three Bears Prints has a shop on Spoonflower, and I love creating designs to sell or order fabric for myself to transform into presents for my family and friends.

Three Bears Prints Spoonflower Shop

So what is a Design Challenge?  Spoonflower runs design challenges once every two weeks.  They provide you with parameters to work within to create a design.  Sometimes this might be a palette of certain colours; it may be prompts on a specific theme; and you are always directed on its final format, whether that is a fat quarter of fabric, a roll of wallpaper or a cushion.  They are really fun to take part in and participation holds many benefits.  For me, it gives me motivation and a sense of purpose.  It very much stimulates my creativity - especially when a theme resonates with me, a design often pops straight in my head.  The theme prompts often send you in a direction you may never have considered before.  Being part of a competition gives you that feedback loop on the kinds of designs people like - and you can also express your own opinion by voting for your favourites!  I really enjoy it.

Party Wall Design Challenge Winner

I thought I would share the development and application of my entry to Party Wall.  The prompt was:  “Give your walls something to dance about! Create a feel-good design that makes you want to get up and celebrate when you walk into a wallpapered room.  Consider bold, bright colors and cheerful motifs that could be used in a playroom, entertaining space or used as a backdrop for good times and gathering. Put your party hats on and get your artist tools ready to submit a lighthearted design featured on a wallpaper roll in this week’s Party Wall Design Challenge”.  You can see above the winner of this challenge.

Initial Party Rabbit Ideas

I absolutely love the illustrations of Margaret Tarrant (the Fairies series) and E H Shepard (Winnie the Pooh) - sweet drawings drawn in pen and ink with a wash of colour.  Although I can in no way emulate their incredible talent and skills, I certainly cannot fail to be inspired by them.  For some reason, as soon as I read the prompt, the thought of ‘party rabbits’ popped in my head.  I often draw animals in human situations, and I immediately thought of how rabbits may behave if they were at a party.  You can see my three initial ideas above.

Rabbit with balloon

I whittled this down to two - a rabbit inadvertently taking off while holding on to a balloon - and a rabbit tucking into the birthday cake (presumably before it has even been presented to the host!).  Their size and shape fitted together as a pattern, and somehow, I just could not make the rabbit opening presents work as a motif. 

Rabbit eating cake

I am SO happy with this design, and I have used it to create gift bags for my daughter’s friends who are celebrating their own birthdays.  And this is one of the important thing about the Design Challenges - this design received a paltry 9 votes in the challenge (I realise I did a poor job of following the brief which requested bright colours) and has only had 29 favourites so far.  But the important point is this does not matter - what matters is myself, and the other 1500 people who participated created something completely unique. That process holds ‘intrinsic value’ - it is an inherently satisfying activity which is so enriching individually, regardless of extrinsic, external outcome.  For me, this is the most significant aspect of the Spoonflower Design Challenges - that they encourage you to develop your artistic practice and tap into your creativity, taking you on a completely unexpected journey. 

Gift bag made with Party Rabbit Wallpaper by Three Bears Prints
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