Style Series part I: BRIGHT & HAPPY

This month I’ve been working on creating a collection with a distinct style and color palette. When I was preparing my portfolio for Surtex, I realized how important it was to organize my designs in collections. Due to lack of time, I prepared my designs by themes, like florals, Christmas or greenery for example. It was organized but buyers tend to like if it’s presented in collections, like French country cottage. The difference is that a collection is united by color palette, mood, feel and a specific concept in mind as inspiration. They can vary a lot in what is depicted but they share the same style. This is not only a great way to present designs that mix-and-match perfectly but also a great way for the artist to find inspiration.

I decided to create a series of blog posts throughout the rest of the year dedicated to sharing my process on how I find inspiration for each collection, how I keep up with trends, how I create a moodboard that will guide my designs and finally, how that translates into my own illustrations and patterns.

Bright and Happy Collection

So without further ado, my first collection is “Bright and Happy”. This collection is all about rainbows, having fun, creativity, being crafty and celebrating. I know that seems like a lot of things at once but hopefully, if you check out the moodboard below, it will make sense what I’m saying. The colors in this collection have lots of personality and are a guiding force in the designs. They are bright, fun and happy.


If my collection were a person, it’d be the type of person who is super creative, crafty and overall fun to be around. This person is very present in the moment, very social and confident. I chose some movie/tv characters and real life people that have some of these traits:

  • Charlotte (from Sex&The City-movie/tv)

  • Kimmy Schmidt (from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-tv)

  • Kate (from Mr. Kate- YouTube Channel)

  • Reese Witherspoon (actress/entrepreneur)

  • Brittany Jepsen (from The House That Lars Built- blog/book)

  • Joy Cho (from Oh!Joy- blog/brand)

  • Susana Torralbo (entrepreneur/photographer- Website)

  • Jen Gotch (from

I know these women are extremely different from each another but I chose them because they inspire me in their uniqueness, positive mindset and overall spirit. They might not necessarily speak to you as they do to me but I thought it’d be cool to share this part of the process too. You can share your inspirations in the comments cause I’m sure you’ll come up with other great ones for this theme!


Another source of inspiration and probably the reason I was inspired to start with this theme was a fun event I went to in New York that Minted created to celebrate their 10th year anniversary. It had a theme with bright happy colors. I’ll share some images below of the balloons, the invite, the awesome cake, décor and more.


Let’s start creating!

After analyzing my designs I realized that some of them could fit the collection perfectly if I just tweaked the colors a little bit. I love how the first one now looks like confetti and it changed the vibe completely.


I created a fun alphabet that ended up looking kind of superhero-esque. And I wanted to create an inspirational quote so, after looking around Pinterest, I found this amazing quote, which I did with that alphabet. It fits my vision of female empowerment and the collection style perfectly.


Below I’ll share some exercise designs I made to find my own color palette within this theme. Some of the colors on the original moodboard were neon but they don’t fit my own personal style and watercolor technique. It was somewhat challenging for me to think in as many colors as the rainbow cause I usually tend to choose a narrower color range from one to three colors max.


Here are some mockups and designs of the finished collection. I imagine this collection will fit great in a variety of products. The most straightforward applications are party related products like paper napkins, tableware, craft paper, wrapping paper and greeting cards. Here are some:


Finally, here's the final Collection. I'll definitely keep creating patterns with this theme in mind in the future to keep adding to the collection. I hope you join in on my next style series. Make sure to check out my Instagram: @gardeniawatercolors to find out what my next collection is going to be all about.

Bright and Fun