Today I stepped away from the abstract, organic, hand-drawn fill patterns I’ve recently done. I explored a more typical gift-wrapping paper pattern to familiarize myself further with Affinity Designer and because I wanted to try my hand at one.
Residents of Berlin might recognize the color scheme of the municipal garbage processing services, the BSR (Berliner Stadtreinigung). I can’t explain why, but I regularly find myself checking their website for open positions. I’m not particularly interested in driving garbage trucks. But when my musings about trying something new after 20 years of illustration move towards project management, transformative processes, and digital transition, I often wonder about the opportunities that garbage processing offers. I don’t know why, but that’s how it is. So I decided to base this paper pattern experiment on BSR vehicles and utilities.

Board Game: Cubologic

By chance, today, I walked past a game store that focuses on children’s toys and picture books. As it happened, they showcased a game in their window and the cover immediately drew my eye; because the art for it was done by Ben Newman.

Ben Newman is a British illustrator whom I came across several years ago via indie publisher Nobrow. At the time, amongst other things, they offered high-quality gift wrapping paper, some of which were illustrated by Ben Newman. I bought stacks of those gift-wrapping papers, and for years I’d use them, and someone would always comment on the quality and beauty of the wrapping paper. I’ve since run out, but I’ve remained a fan of Ben Newman’s work. I’ve bought and gifted away books of his work, and when I came across this game today I had to buy it because it looks great.

The game is one where you recreate images using a set of color-printed wooden cubes. I’m not sure yet if I will gift it away or keep it for myself; I like such games myself. Most likely, I’ll buy another one and then gift that away.

Cubologic is a game published by french publisher Djeco. Their site is, unfortunately, not great to navigate, so I didn’t find a product page for it there.

Here is a link to Ben Newman’s portfolio.

Here’s a youtube video showing the game. I bought a different one, but the one in the video is also illustrated by Ben Newman.


For whatever reason, I found myself playing around with patterns this week. I first did a bunch of geometric stuff, but I was actually more drawn toward hand-drawn organic patterns. Here are the hand-drawn ones I have done so far.

You can click on the following below thumbnail to see the overview a bit larger.

20230225 – Zilpzalp

I really only chose to do a painting of this bird because I thought its name was funny. Also, it fits into the sequence. After doing the Starling illustration, I figured I might as well try to cover the seasons of a new year. The Great Tit for January and the Starling kicks off the song contest in February, Chiffchaff for march … and so on. I haven’t decided yet which bird I’ll do next.