Mock ups are a great way to showcase our work as as surface pattern designers and it’s never been easier to do so. My best Instagram post to date features a mock up and that made me take notice.
You can work with flat drawings (aka CAD drawings) generated in something like Adobe Illustrator or use an existing photograph (copyright free or your own) which can be manipulated in Photoshop for example to feature your design.
If you want to skip having to do much manual work, head over to Creative Market and for a few dollars you can buy and download mock ups of your choice (flats or photo based). The file will be set up in such a way that all you should need to do is basically place your artwork file onto the layer/smart object and voila!
To refine the look of the image and make it appear more realistic using Photoshop, I suggest using the Burn tool to trace around the outline of where the print touches the rest of the object or figure over which the artwork is being placed and then going over it again with the Blur tool so that the edges are more 3D like and smoother.
Here are some examples of my mock-ups for fashion/stationery and home decor.
Once you get the hang of manipulating your print just so it looks more realistic, mock ups are super easy and fast. The best thing about spending time with this step is that your audience/target market will be much more inclined to buy your designs as they can clearly visualise them on a product.
If you want to make it even easier for yourself, you can upload your files onto any POD (Print on Demand) websites such as PAOM, Society6, Redbubble or Zazzle and in no time you’ll see your print onto a product for sale. This is a great way to get started although on some sites you are advised to download specific product templates which also require some minimal skill in Photoshop. So what you waiting for? :)