FUTURE PATTERN

My newest project is entitled Future Pattern – Designing for Fashion and the aim is to produce a collection of 6 repeat designs for a fashion context. My initial inspiration comes from a recent trip to Iceland where I was lucky enough to see the northern lights. Thinking about this amazing phenomenon and how I could link it to my project, I started a mind map which led me to a range of ideas along the lines of futuristic and sci-fi where I want to explore light in depth. Examples could be backlights, lasers, holograms, projections or neon signage.

Following this I bought some glow sticks and started experimenting with photographing them in the dark.

As you can see from the photos above, they are quite effective, and I did experiment with a variety of shots including movement where I tried to make shapes with the light, however these were not as successful as I’d imagined. It was quite fun playing with the longer exposure times and I think I would be able to improve if I kept practising.  Moving forward from these images, I was struggling to translate them into drawing, as I could not achieve the same glowing effect. However I was not going to give up, instead I started  to experiment with material manipulation with various plastics and other materials.

This helped me a lot, as it gave me the opportunity to loosen up with the ideas and just play with what outcomes and materials I was creating. I am hoping over Christmas to gather more visual research and develop these current ideas even further, to really push the final outcomes to their limit.

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WELLBEING – PART 4

The wellbeing project is now over, and I can happily say I concluded the project with 4 prints that I am proud of. The collection – Fruity Fix – looks really fun and exciting and I believe I achieved my aim of designing for young children.

I am pleased that I listened to the feedback from the mid unit review which was to add text into the designs. It begins to give the designs a narrative, acting as a reminder to young children that fruit is tasty, which will hopefully prompt them into eating more of it. I felt it wasn’t necessary for text to be included in all of the designs as that starts to take away the light side, by becoming too serious. I believe the imagery alone in a few of the designs is strong enough to get across the reminder about remembering to eat fruit, without it being too full on, or too much for young children to read.

Once I had settled on these 4 prints as finals, I decided to create a product booklet which would show the four finals and their contexts. The aim of this was to display a variety of products in a professional manner, and I think it works better than if I had presented the designs on a board because there was such a variety of contexts I was willing to try that this was a clean and simple solution.

For hand in, one of the designs will be printed onto fabric, and the other 3 will be on paper, as most of the contexts are materials other than fabric.

Given more time, there is definitely room for me to progress this project even further forward, by actually producing some of the contexts or by interviewing schools/children to see their thought on the collection. However there are time restrictions and I cannot afford to overrun on this project however much I would like to.

WELLBEING – PART 3

It is nearing the end of the project, and I am not far off from completing my collection of 4. The range of designs that I have fit together smoothly, and it is now about refining the selection to become a crisp and final collection.

I have managed to create a wide and varying selection of designs from a somewhat limited range of motifs. By changing the colour and having some more tonal designs, these become more sophisticated compared to the designs full of every colour, as these look too busy. I also prefer the designs where the scale is larger, however this does not show the repeat element of the design.

In the second series of designs I also began to work the designs onto a darker background rather than a lighter one. This really makes the bright motifs pop out however they do not seem to have as much of a playful feel in comparison to the ones on a white ground. However as this will be a collection of four, I will be able to include an example of each, and this will prevent the collection from being too similar.

I have applied some of these designs to a few different materials, before I began to place them in context. This helped me to consider possible outcomes.

I had 4 designs printed through the digital fabric printer, and I have also printed some designs onto acetate.

I have slightly changed my idea of context, it will still be for young children in schools but not necessarily solely in the school cafeteria area. The patterns are applicable to a variety of products and areas, and I have tried them in a stationary format as well. Within my research I have found a trend report on WGSN about mindful stationary, and I am using this as a prompt for my context, as I believe that having nice stationary makes us feel better, and I am hoping that it will be exciting and encouraging for young children.

Because of this, I am also considering going back to an older idea about including text within the design which will act as inspirational quotes. I didn’t follow the idea through the first time however now I feel it could possibly work quite well on some designs, and not even necessarily within the repeat, the quotes could just stand out in the foreground. This is definitely something for me to consider, even if they don’t become final designs.

WELLBEING – PART 2

Since my last post I have begun to experiment with some designs and colours in the print room, and this has started to inspire some ideas for what I could produce for my four final designs.

Above shows some A3 paper print designs using pigment ink and binder. I prefer these dyes on paper as they don’t soak in to the paper and make it go soggy like procion dyes would. Because it doesn’t soak in, it has a slight raised surface above the paper and I feel the tactility of this is suitable for the way my designs are intended to be handled. By printing individual designs on each A3 sheet, this has given me the idea to think about larger scale pieces, and what context I could place them in within an educational environment. Along the idea of tactility and developing motor skills in younger children, I also discussed with John the idea of including a sensory element to the design, therefore I am researching whether it would be possible or not to infuse my designs with the scent of the fruit.

In addition to these prints, I also started to experiment with sublimation printing onto fabric. I find this a really loose and fun way to create prints, particularly because I enjoy working with collage in my sketchbook. I see this method as a form of collage printing, which means that the outcome is often unexpected and unpredictable, however this stops me feeling so constrained and restricted with my outcomes.

As you can see in the prints above, they are not constrained to the six colours shown in my colour palette. This is because with sublimation printing, every time you reuse the paper the colour fades a little. However the pigment is so strong it lasts for quite a few presses. I am pleased with this as it has added a tonal range to my designs, enhancing the depth – particularly of the negative space aspects.

I now feel the need to refresh my drawings and subject matter, therefore I plan to introduce vegetables, which will add variety to the shapes I have been using. Furthermore I plan to start drawing details such as the skin in more detail, in order to add a range of mark making to my work. I will then start to develop this digitally, as I can  apply that design to either screen printing, sublimation or simply fabric or paper. This does not mean to say my designs will then become flat, as I have the intention of working into them the tactility methods that I have already discussed.

WELLBEING – PART 1

My newest project comes under the theme of wellbeing, where I must choose a certain aspect to portray through textiles. The outcome must be a collection of 4 designs which will all take the form of repeat pattern.

I have chosen to take my project down the route of promoting healthy eating for young children in schools. I believe this is such an important and ongoing issue, whereby young children are not receiving their 5 a day. It is my aim for my designs to promote fruit and vegetables as a fun and tasty option rather than junk food, and hopefully the designs will encourage them to choose healthy snacks at lunch and break times.

I started the project off with some simple fruit drawings, experimenting with line drawing with posca pens, and also using watercolour to create shapes and backgrounds.

This has given me a good start for my drawing, however to push the design development further forward I am going to experiment with the layering and repeat techniques that I learnt from the workshops with John. This will allow me to play around with my drawings and trial out different compositions and patterns. I have researched children’s pattern designers to help inspire me with content and layout as you can see in the images below.

Taking inspiration from Vanessa Waller – Mondaland, and big brand company Paperchase, I am looking at how other designs talk to young children and how they encourage healthy eating. Particularly like on the Paperchase lunch boxes, where the designs are placed in a relevant setting, linking the subject matter to the item it is placed on. i.e fruit on a lunchbox – acting as a reminder to eat healthily.

Over the next week I will use this research to begin to take some designs into the print room and start experimenting with colour and print compositions.

PLACEMENT WITH ELEPHANT AND FEATHER

Over the past week I have been on a work placement with a local company to me called Elephant and Feather. They are a quirky and individual gift shop in Potton, Bedfordshire. https://www.facebook.com/elephantandfeather/  http://www.elephantandfeather.co.uk     I have undertaken a range of tasks over a few days, which has helped me to understand a lot more about running your own business and all the elements about what is involved and what you need to know.

The first day involved working from the home office, where all the personalised prints are created, cut and framed before heading to the shop.                                                                     I was given the task to come up with some designs for age/number birthday cards, which I found quite challenging. Diving in head first to sketches is an unusual way of working for me as I am so used to undertaking lots of research before I start drawing. However I overcame this by just sketching out the first things that came to mind, and after lunch I began to put them on illustrator to get a feel for how they could look.

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My brief was for them to be funny or quirky, with use of bright colour. Imagery wasn’t a requirement, but I tried it out in a couple and I think these are the more successful designs. My aim was for the designs to be in the style of Elephant and Feather so they would be appropriate to be in the shop, and I feel the two designs with illustrations fit the brief of quirky more than just the ones with type.

On the second and third days I worked in the shop and was given a few tasks, one of which being visual merchandising. As the new stock had arrived, it was necessary to rearrange the display to fit everything in.

The above pictures show the before of the display. It was my challenge to reorder the stock whilst keeping relevant categories together. I noticed there was a lot of animal themed products so chose to focus on that as the main point of the display, as you will see in the images below.

Children’s products are very difficult to merchandise, as the display has to look appealing, however I find because of the vast range of colours and shapes it can often look messy. Overall I am pleased with how the display turned out, and I learnt a lot about things like selling points, and featuring certain products in certain spaces, which really makes them more sellable compared to when they are tucked behind other objects.

I really enjoyed the few days I spent with Elephant and Feather, and it has given me a heads up about what I want to do myself in the future. I feel confident about producing my own work, and selling my designs as prints or cards is definitely something I am considering doing. It is now down to more research and other placements to help guide me along with this.

GROUP COLLABORATION – PART 3

As I did with my own colours, we came together as a group to mix up our 4 chosen colours and test how they looked against each other before printing.

group colours

This was a quicker process than when I worked on my own, as we all took a colour each to mix up and test, referring to each other for help and questions.

Printing day came around quickly, and we were happy to be printing at the beginning of the week as we were excited to see the outcome.

It took a while to set up our screens, as it is vital they are all measured accurately against the printing tables so that the repeat lines up without it being obvious where the cut line is. Once this was done it was time to apply to colour, and it has to be done 1 colour at a time, each being done in 2 stages so as not to disturb the wet print and also to allow the screen to dry in between washes.

I think we worked really well as a team for the whole day, as we were constantly being productive. This included taking it in turns to wash the screens, taping up the next screen ready for printing and drying off the print.

The colours are not quite what we thought they were going to be due to an error in scaling up the recipe, however I am still delighted with the outcome, and feel all of our hard work has paid off.

GROUP COLLABORATION – PERSONAL COLOUR WAY

Before the weekend, I spent 2 days in the print room mixing up colours and testing them before we created the final repeat print. It took a long time for me to get my own colours right, however I was ensuring accuracy so that the print would look the best that it could.  In the future I would possibly start the colour testing a little earlier because of how long it took, especially as I want to ensure 100% precision.

It was exciting once I started testing the colours as they were how I had envisaged them whilst I was doing looking at the WGSN trend report. Colour Testing

It was important that I tested the order of the colours layering up as well, to ensure that they would work against each other and would be visible once other layers had been placed on top.

Before the design was printed, I created a digital mock up of how the outcome would potentially look in my colour way. This was a relatively quick task, as I already had the black and white version from the one I used to create the group colours. I used the eyedropper tool to get the colours from the Pantone colour palette, and placed the on the layers I thought most appropriate for each colour. I was pleased with this design and looking forward to seeing the final print in the flesh.

Below shows the comparison between the digital and printed samples.

Overall I am pleased with my own print, and happy that the colours came out how I had planned. As a S/S 18 colour trend, the design has a cool and light summery feel, and would be appropriate for a variety of applications such as bedding for interiors, or a fun summer skirt.

 

GROUP COLLABORATION – SKETCHBOOK WORK

In order to help with advancing our group design and to help my own practise, I have been developing drawings in my sketchbook along a similar subject matter. I took inspiration from various clocks around the city, and began collaging and drawing these using various techniques in my sketchbook.

After the layering workshop with John, I took my simple pen drawings to the photocopier and began experimenting with overlaying sketchbook pages to create further depth and layering with my drawings. This has helped to produce new shapes, which is useful as it will prevent the work from looking too repetitive.

The second workshop with John was about hand drawing different types of repeat pattern, and how they work on coloured backgrounds.

The first design shows a hand drawn tile using motifs found in my sketchbook. I then traced this design and used tracing paper to place the motif in a block repeat around the page. I found this method difficult because I drew a lot of small, detailed elements, and this slowed down the process a lot compared to if I completed this task on Photoshop. This is an ideal technique for quick and simple motif sketches.

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The second design was a spot repeat, which used simple cutting out of my motif in multiples and placing them methodically around the paper in a structured design. I found this perhaps the easiest of the 3 repeats, as it was the quickest to complete and also used very simple shapes. It also offers a lot of variety for composition of the work, as the motifs can be placed in various squares around the grid.

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For the third repeat, we used the half drop method, which I prefer to block repeat as it flows the design a lot better and the overall design can look almost seamless. With this design I started to draw the motifs outside of the square guideline so as to stop the final design looking so structured. As a start I think it works well however it has given me lots of scope to carry on this method with drawings in the future and the ability to develop them further.

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