Pizza Box Art – did you know that’s a thing?
I didn’t! Well, not until I volunteered to make some, that is.
A local nonprofit hosted a pizza extravaganza and asked artists to donate pizza box art for the purpose of raising funds through sales.
To be honest, it’s still hard to think of myself as an artist instead of “just” a mom or a homeschool teacher. But, I zipped up my big girl pants and signed up… for two pieces.
Since I love surface pattern design, I decided a pizza showing wild west patterns on the slices would be super fun.
I came up with a catchy phrase – a Slice of Arizona History – and got to work sketching motifs (the elements that work together to make a pattern). You can see my sketches below.
If you have never designed a pattern from start to finish, here’s a brief (!) rundown of the process:
- Sketch motifs
- Scan + clean up motifs
- Vectorize + refine motifs
- Color motifs
- Arrange motifs into pattern
- Ensure pattern repeats properly
- Edit pattern for flow
- Recolor pattern
- Add texture
- Start all over for the next pattern!
Designing patterns is an incredible amount of work. So, clearly I must have been off my rocker to think I could design an entire pattern collection from start to finish in one week… I mean, I totally have time for that… especially when my kids are home from school on fall break… Rrrrrrright.
I may or may not have stayed up until midnight the day before the piece was due… which drives me insane, by the way.
Are you a procrastinator?!? I am in awe – that kind of thing drives me batty.
Well, enough about my issues with procrastination. Without further ado, I introduce you to my newest pattern collection: Cody Arizona!
Cody Arizona – A Wild West Pattern Collection
When designing this new collection, I used an awfully boring working title of “Wild West” to name my files (see: no time, above). I knew I wanted Arizona history to shape the content of the patterns since my tagline was going to be A Slice of Arizona History.
But, beyond that, I had no pattern story.
You NEED a pattern story.
This morning, while running errands, I saw the name Cody on a sign. And then, I thought, why can’t Arizona be his last name?
After arriving at the name of Cody Arizona, my imagination yanked the idea and sprinted away. Here’s the story of Cody, hatched in my ten year-old car this morning:
Cody Arizona is a photographer by day and outlaw by night. He travels from town to town by train or by horse, gathering dust on his lens and creases in his boots. The vain and ultra-wealthy mining barons pay for him to take their portraits, and Cody pays them back in his own way. He observes these gentlemen and their homes during photo shoots. Under cover of dark, Cody robs the super rich to support the poor. A master of disguise, Cody’s a Wild West Robin Hood with a heart of gold. He pours his bounty back into the dying ghost towns of the Old West. How long can he live a double life before he is discovered?
I feel like I need to meet this Cody guy.
Unfortunately, he’s not available for comment, but let’s get to know Cody better through the patterns in his collection.
Cody needs disguises if he’s going to rob those rich rascals properly. He keeps a stash of hats and mustaches for such occasions.
Sometimes Cody travels through the desert to reach the ranches where the barons live. He sleeps underneath the stars, roasting armadillos over the fire.
Cody may be an outlaw by night, but he is a darn good photographer by day. No wonder his mug shot services are sought after by those vain and wealthy scalawags!
Cody’s clients live in the high desert of the Old West surrounded by cacti. He has to watch out for barbs and barbed wire when making his getaway!
The cacti are also where he stashes his gear when going on a raid.
These high desert hills and mountains are where the mines are – and where the exploited workers live. Cody helps them by giving back the money those filthy taskmasters steal through unfair wages.
While a six shooter may be what you think of when picturing the Old West, I prefer to draw arrows. The actual arrows plus the geometric arrows (pictured in the full collection above) round out the Cody Arizona collection.
A Slice of Arizona History
So, you want to see the pizza, right?!
To be honest, I’m not 100% happy with how the pizza turned out. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and had to just to with what I had. I’ve since tweaked it a little more, but it’s still not my favorite.
I’m learning to be okay with the fact that I am not in love with everything I make. You have to make a lot of mediocre art before the really amazing stuff begins to flow.
Progress, not perfection, right?
Cody Arizona Mockups
After I created the pizza print, I wanted to add Cody’s patterns to children’s’ clothing. I think the Old West really conjures up hours of make-believe fun for little ones. Adding teepees and arrows and mustaches to baby items really infuses this collection with a healthy dose of playfulness.
Of course, all of my collections are designed with stationery in mind because I love, love, love cards and paper products. Here’s a sneak peak at what Cody might have sent to his sweetheart, Dolly Jane.
Thank you SO much for allowing me to share my excitement for Cody Arizona. If you wouldn’t mind, I would be THRILLED if you would take 2 minutes to let me know which pattern you liked best and what product you would enjoy seeing it on. That would help me so much!
I may even pick one person’s comment and make a mockup especially for them with their favorite pattern :).
P.s. – I am working on a FREE printable for you based on this collection. Subscribe by email using the hello bar at the top of the page to be the first to receive all my freebies!