I have uploaded my latest design into this week's Spoonflower Challenge. The theme this week was Center Stage. We were supposed to "create a repeating pattern inspired by the actors, dancers, musicians and entertainers who are stepping onto the center stage and into the spotlight."
I chose to celebrate the Spaghetti Western with my pattern repeat. Spaghetti Westerns are a subgenre of Western films produced and directed by Italians. Many actors spoke little English and so they are definitely B flicks but they have a bit of a cult following. Actually they helped Clint Eastwood launch his career. His first three films including The Good the Bad and the Ugly were Spaghetti Westerns.
I wanted to introduce quite a bit of humor in my pattern so I chose to draw several western icons in continuous line drawings and make them look like they were drawn with spaghetti noodles. I took all of these motifs and turned them into a half drop pattern. The pattern was well balanced and had a nice feel but it lacked the humor that I was going for - and frankly like plain spaghetti noodles was a bit boring.
So I hit upon the idea of adding cowboys into the pattern. Honestly I wasn't sure I could pull it off - I haven't spent a lot of time drawing human characters - it's definitely something I need to work on. I began each figure with a really simple stick figure template that I designed - each of them beginning in exactly the same way and then trying to 'bend them' into various positions before adding the clothing and details. It worked pretty well. They are so tiny that I was worried about depicting the hands. In the end I settled on LEGO man style hands and I think it worked well!
So I shrunk down all of my little cowboy figures and hid them in the pattern trying to make them interact with one another. The pattern still looked a bit plain, however so I took it one step further. I decided that since they looked like little comic characters anyway I would depict their gunfight as if it were in a comic book. And what better ammunition than meatballs?!
Below is the pattern pretty close to scale. I'm considering revising just a few things and then I will likely release this one for sale in my Spoonflower shop in the coming months.
I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions. Would you be interested in this pattern on fabric? What would you use it for?