Understanding the Relationship and Application of Motif and Pattern in Cultural and Creative Arts


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about understanding the relationship and application of motif and pattern in cultural and creative arts. Enjoy the class!

Understanding the Relationship and Application of Motif and Pattern in Cultural and Creative Arts

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In cultural and creative arts, motif as a word cuts across the various branches of the subject and element of an image. A motif can be repeated to form a pattern on a stand-alone in a work art. Therefore, it can be seen as a unit of a pattern. A motif can be copied, repeated and arranged in multiple to create the desired effect such as repetition, rhythm and pattern.

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In visual and non- visual art there are areas that contain designs or combination of art elements like tiles, stamps, building blocks, modules which stands out as motifs. The term also describes any key idea that is emphasized in creative writing through consistent repetition as it has become broadly used in literature and other narrative arts.

Motif has proven to be a key concept that the artist, designer, author or playwrights establishes its importance and need, for emphasis through repetition in pattern. When motifs are repeated either in a regular or normal way, the space or interval between them or how they overlap can create rhythm and cause a sense of movement. It also helps to unify the different parts into one complete piece.


The pattern is the repetition of motifs in a predictable or regular manner. It is achieved by repeating or echoing the element in a work of art to communicate balance, harmony, contrast, rhythm or movement. Around the world, a pattern as seen in various forms as every culture has its own distinct set of folk patterns that are evident in their textile, architecture, manuscripts, masks and other objects.

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In art, the pattern can be divided into two primary types: natural pattern and man-made patterns. Both natural and man-made patterns can be regular or irregular, organic or geometric, structural or decorative, positive or negative and repeating or random

  • Natural patterns:

These are patterns influenced by observing the natural patterns that occur in a pattern. Like the wave of the beach sand, shape of leaves, branches of trees, shapes of fish, insect, lion, elephant and other animals.

  • Man-made patterns:

These are patterns developed for both sculptural and decorative purposes. This can be seen in an artist basic structure for a work of art with a compositional pattern of lines and shapes.


In our next class, we will be talking about Sculpture.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

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