Sketch of upright green & yellow Ginko leaves and some unnaturally colored berries.
I’ve been obsessed with the shapes of Ginko leaves for about as long as I can remember, having grown up around them. The tree species was one of a great handful introduced to the United States via my hometown of Philadelphia by avid botanist and horticulturist named William Hamilton in 1784. Other than the admittedly terrible smell of the berries dropped by the female trees, they are simply incredible and beautiful.
Falling Ginko leaves and berries gathering on the ground.
Last week I started sketching and doodling with some variations on Ginko leaves, berries and textures. Here are a few of those doodles, designs, sketches, what have you, and I also put them all up on both my Flickr account and over in my Spoonflower portfolio as well. Feel free to comment and let me know which you like best, or, conversely, if you think they stink like a Ginko berry.
The further I went, the more it not only felt nice to be sketching, but it felt as though I was working on a textile pattern, perhaps bedding. Which, is extra nice. Sleeping is nice, and I’ve always been very interested in textiles, fabric, bed inens and their design. Odd, maybe. But true nonetheless. Still, it’s clear that I need to learn a good deal more about how to make repeating patterns. Even so, I figured sharing the designs might be fun.
Sort of a free-for-all in color, texture, and overprinty-ness.
The Ginko is an incredibily ancient species, with fossils dating back to the Permian period, some 270 million years ago. Amazingly, the Ginko’s loveliness almost died out, only to persist in such small numbers that the species is listed as a living fossil. There is something very comforting and assuring to me about the lovely fact that something so beautiful could last for so long and throughout so many massive changes.
Yes, I am corny like that.