The Day arrived to share my progress with the group; at 37 I should not really be nervous talking about my work, but for some reason I thought that the work produced so far was not up to my usual standard, hence why I was slightly nervous.

The group was split into 2 ‘teams’, with the sole purpose of documenting the creative and research journey of each person so far. Helen and Sian were available to direct and funnel my ideas into a more coherent design.

WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THIS GROUP CRIT? I found it extremely useful in how we could all help each other progress, not just within our own ideas but rather as a collective. Sharing best practice allowed us all to gain valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each others as artists; knowledge is power, and knowledge deserves to be shared. I was actually really surprised at how positive my feedback was from the tutors and really took all of their advice on board.

AREAS TO CONCENTRATE ON? I need to completely reconsider my Moodboard to allow  a cogent style to underpin my individual style/theme/handwriting. The overall theme was fusing way too many styles, genres and colours…LESS IS MORE!! I completely agreed that the concept needs to be concentrated and more thought out, although I do wish that the tutors had mentioned this in the first place, saving time, energy and resources.

As I had described how much I have enjoyed continuous line and observational drawing, I thought that this could be one of the core values of my collection. Helen told me to research into designers and artists featuring this style within their own work and to deconstruct these concepts, with the prime goal of reconstructing ideas in my own fresh, unique and contemporary way.

What I will need to explore in conjunction with my linear observational studies are the elements of rich, yet subdued colour, bold all-over print, texture and the theme of GENDER FLUIDITY.

What I want to encapsulate within my collection is the core value that GENDER SPECIFICITY no longer matters when looking at design. The roles of Men and Women have blurred, and this will become obvious within my designs. Who says that the target of audience of a 25-40 year old woman has to incorporate pinks and ornate florals. Would my choice of colours, heavily influenced/inspired by the COMMON GROUND trend, allow a greater audience to enjoy, and ultimately buy into my my brand/me as an individual.


NEXT STEPS? To combine observational studies with a palette of colour.Sian mentioned having a look at a company called TIMOROUS BEASTIES, which are comparable to the gender fluid designs I aim to create.

The company acts as a global design studio tackling commissions for Interiors, Exteriors and Exhibition, and also collaborates with other stores, consultancies, studios and artists. Founded in 1990 by Alistair McCauley and Paul Simmons Both Textile Designers), the company has gone from strength to strength and is now considered an Internationally Acclaimed Icon of Design. I genuinely think they are creative pioneers, covering the whole market; is there anything they cannot do? Their designs span to areas such as stationary, commissions for hotels, aeroplanes, gift sets, eateries, luggage, book covers, wallpaper, fabrics, soft furnishings, designs for food vans, music programme visuals, confectionary wrappers, luxury cake and biscuit tin design….the list goes on.

I must now push on to consolidate my style, theme and visual handwriting. My task this week will be explore/experiment in mark-making and incorporating all the elements I have discovered to make this a fresh and exciting take on a classic idea. WATCH THIS SPACE.


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