HAVE I STAYED TRUE TO MY BRIEF?

WILL MY CLIENT (JOHN LEWIS) BE SATISFIED WITH MY COLLECTION?

‘Your client is a mid to high-end very commercial large department store. They would like you to create a coordinating collection of 6 patterns to be digitally printed (created using your preferred medium) for the female 25-40 age range for Spring/Summer ‘19. These patterns are going to be used for their in-house collections across various product ranges’

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During my formative and explorative studies in the early stages of this project, I chose to put keywords at the forefront of my explorative designs, some which would focus but not dictate my creative endeavours.

FULL-BLOOM, COLOUR, FORM, TEXTURE, BOLD ALL OVER DESIGN, OVERLAID PRINTS & LUSH COROLLAS.

Throughout this brief, I made sure that my ideas/concepts/designs reflected these integral keywords. incredible insight into new and exciting designers was obtained when inputting specific words into search engines such as Pinterest, WGSN and Google:

KAROLINA PRINT STUDIOS, ROBERT KUSHNER, THEVENON, TOM TAILOR, TIMOROUS BEASTIES, MEG LEWIS, ANNA MURRAY, GRACE WINTERINGHAM, ANNA JAYNE, WILLIAM BURGESS, ABC CARPET & HOME, TRESCO, DESIGNERS GUILD, GP & J BAKER, STYLE LIBRARY, BLENDWORTH, JOHN DERIAN, AXEL VERVOORDT, KAREN NICHOL……the list could go on.

I see so many designs that utilise an abstract and stylised way of working but without much observational skill that I decided to really push myself to create beautifully hand-drawn and coloured designs and motifs that could really hold up against some of the best designs currently on the market. I know how difficult it is to make a mark in the cutthroat creative industry, which is why I found it so frustrating that no core observational drawing was offered as part of this module. I have been extremely lucky to have grown up with two Artists for parents and they have always instilled within me the importance of being able to ‘see’ and observe.

I know I have fulfilled a collection which is both familiar yet forward thinking. Who says that Design is just for one specific demographic. Design is universal.

HERO

PRODUCTMOCKUPHERO

SECONDARY NO.1

FloralFoliage(+70)

SECONDARY NO.2

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BLENDER NO.1

FRONDMOTIFBLENDER

BLENDER NO.2

ROSERIPBLENDER

BLENDER NO.3

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How would I describe my collection in 5 words?

  1. TIMELESS
  2. CLASSIC
  3. FLUID
  4. ORGANIC
  5. RICH

Thank you JOHN LEWIS for allowing me the opportunity to create a dream for someone.

COLLECTION PROGRESS

I won’t lie, this project has been extremely tough for me. It has opened up a new avenue in which I thought I would never feel comfortable to work in, but as the time has gone on I realise how incredibly valuable digital technology is to me as a Textile Designer. That’s not to say that at times I have felt like throwing my Mac through the window, but fortunately coffee has seen me through.

There have been elements of my collection that I knew I wanted to use but was either scared to or unsure of how to incorporate. I decided to just ignore the thoughts of failure, putting my procrastination to one side, and just have fun with my explorative studies.

I wanted to find out what worked and what didn’t work within my collection. Initially, some of the drawings, paintings, and motifs that looked the most obvious to include, at times would be the designs that would not offer an organic and fluid pattern. Take for example the little oil painting on canvas of Peonies I created; organic, rich and kinetic, but when trying to create a reflected pattern an obvious problem presented itself.

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If this pattern was to be repeated in a reflected layout the overall aesthetic of the pattern would form unsightly blocks of the flowers travelling horizontally and vertically. However, when forming this pattern I inadvertently created some incredible motifs which could be extracted via the PEN TOOL or POLYAGONAL TOOL and juxtaposed with other elements from a different design.

Next, I began working to resolve how I would incorporate my beautiful Cyanotype motifs into my collection. Looking back through my notes, and with the help of Charlie, I began to manipulate the image by removing the scanned background and creating a new coloured one. I then shrunk the original motif design via the FREE TRANSFORM TOOL and began creating both a standard and half-drop repeat pattern.

 

Although the colour is not which will be chosen from my collection I wanted a good initial contrast between the motif layer and that of the background. I am over the moon with this pattern, and will definitely be focusing it somewhere within my collection. My next step was to explore with scale and colour.

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I chose one of the cyanotype motifs specifically as I was drawn to the shape and style. The first sample I created using a green background with the blue motif, paying particular detail to a soft colour palette and manipulating the motif opacity down to 20%. I flipped the colour palette, although not exactly, to a blue background with a green motif layer, again reducing the opacity to 55% and manipulating the motif via the Hue/Saturation slider bar. The results are beautiful, and I would be proud to include them as part of my collection.

My next step to bringing all the design elements together will be to tackle ongoing issues I have in finalising my HERO Design. However, I now feel confident to undertake this task after the wonderful Intensive Digital Workshop run by Charlie and Matt on Thursday 24th May.

 

TIMOROUS BEASTIES INFLUENCE

If I were to choose my current favourite design company it would have to be TIMOROUS BEASTIES. How did I find out about this company? It was actually my Damask bedspread that led me to TB. I have always been fascinated by the symmetrical and repeat patterns of Damask wallpaper/fabric, so a quick search on the internet for Damask and Textile Design came up with the goldmine that is this innovative and forward-thinking design company.

Why do I love this company so much? Here are a few reasons why……

(Clockwise) Beasties, T. (2017) Damsel Damask, Omni Splat, Butterfly Blurr & Grand Blotch Damask. Available at: http://www.timorousbeasties.com/shop/wallcoverings/ (Accessed: 14 May 2018)

The contemporary use of design and colour is spectacular!!! Whilst undertaking this current project at Uni, I have begun to comprehend the subtle complexities of creating a repeat pattern for the Interiors market; something I am 100% sure I would want my own designs to be available for.

‘Our Product is highly crafted and designed. It’s always quality first’ Timorous Beasties

The sheer attention to detail resonates so strongly with my own core values as a designer. I think that having OCD has actually been both a help and hindrance within my creative practice; a help in being meticulous about what I include as part of my creative output, and hindrance due to my procrastinating and always trying to make sure everything is perfect.

The designs of Timorous Beasties have allowed me to accept that I am not perfect and that these imperfections can be utilised as a strength within my designs.

Having struggled with the repeat element and to incorporate all of my ideas I decided to undertake a back-to-to basics approach in creating ideas within my sketchbook, which will ultimately be transferred to Photoshop and manipulated digitally.

I am really proud of my ideas and will spend the next couple of days really honing the concept.

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A natural progression from a more traditional style of a hand-drawn collage bouquet to that of a reflected contemporary design, influenced by Timorous Beasties.

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Utilising my strengths, specifically observational studies fused with collage, painting and drawing, I began to expand my idea of using specific elements to amalgamate into a cohesive and fully rounded design. Yes, there are still areas I need to work into and complete, but I now have a strong concept of what my final collection will look like.

WATCH THIS SPACE…….

PHOTOSHOP (4) (MEG LEWIS) COLOUR, SWATCHES, BLENDING, FILTERS & BRUSHES

I made the conscious effort to skip PHOTOSHOP (3);  the tutorial was far more focused on Web Design and not towards my area of study…DIGITAL DESIGN for TEXTILES.

Going forward, I have decided to make a note of the numerical value of a favourite/specifically chosen colour within the CMYK range. This will make replicating the colour for future endeavours really easy. Clicking on the Foreground/Background Tool will make the Colour Picker Tool to pop-up, allowing the choice of colour.

SWATCHES

Wow!!! I knew that this tool would be beneficial eventually to my ongoing creative projects, but found that it can be super useful for my current project. Firstly, select the SWATCHES Tab, which can be found at the top right of the Photoshop screen. Creating a SWATCH LIBRARY is incredibly easy; click on Foreground/Background Tool, which will pop-up the Colour Picker Tool. Simply choose the specified colour for the particular brief you are working on, and press ADD TO SWATCHES.

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I find it particularly useful to rename the colour, to avoid confusion if using at a later date. The colour will now be available in MY LIBRARY, meaning it will now be available to access anytime.

I disovered that I could remove the pre-populated (Default) Colour Swatches and replace them with my own. This feature will be invaluable for my professional career; I can create a range of individual colour schemes for different clients without bulking the palettes together.

By clicking on the tab in the top right corner of the Colour/Swatches Window I found a  menu with many options appeared. I scrolled down to PRESET MANAGER, which caused the PRESET box to appear. By holding down SHIFT and selecting the colours I didn’t want, I selected the DELETE button, removing all the unwanted palette.

Say for example I was working on a brief for John Lewis, who stipulated that they wanted a Yellow Floral Colour scheme for a Spring/Summer collection. Now that I had removed all the unwanted colour swatches I could now create my own.

The wonderful aspect of being able to save this specific palette for a specific client will allow me to have a clutter-free and tailored palette at the ready should I need it.

If I wanted to reintroduce the Default Colour Swatches back I would simply click on the top right tab, scroll down to RESET SWATCHES and select OK to replace current swatches with the default colours.

BLENDING MODES, OPACITY & TRANSPARENCY

Application to apply overlay in interesting and specific ways. I began by choosing to create a Rectangle via the RECTANGLE TOOL and renaming it to avoid future confusion. Secondly, I created a NEW LAYER and also created a second Rectangle (overlapping), which was also renamed.

The Blending Mode option can be found within the LAYER section described as NORMAL in the drop-down menu. After allowing myself a few minutes to explore the individual modes, I decided to choose MULTIPLY; a fantastic mode allowing the exact fusion of the two colours.

I played around with the OPACITY; the translucency was dictated by decreasing the percentage via the scrollbar. Although similar to the Opacity tool, the FILL tool could only be demonstrated by applying a border (STROKE) to the second shape.

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The difference between toggling the Opacity and Fill tool is that the Opacity will alter both the border and fill of the shape/design/image, and the Fill will only alter the fill of the shape/design/image, leaving the border unchanged. This could be a really helpful tool/application when looking at my current/future designs.

FILTERS

The majority that I explored really isn’t appropriate for the type of design I undertake. However, I did find a few which may have merit.

The FILTER option is accessed via the FILTER tab, and in the first instance, I decided to choose STYLIZE: EMBOSS. I was really surprised to see how interesting and abstract my design became. I actually really like the EMBOSS mode.

The CRYSTALIZE tool was equally as interesting; I actually played around with the Cell Size, to find that the design looked better somewhere within a median range rather than that of a small or large selection.

Last, but not least was the OIL PAINT mode. I really loved this application and could happily see it being used within some of my digital designs. There are 4 individual elements to explore; Stylization, Cleanliness, Scale & Bristle Detail. The overall effect was really subtle but created a wonderfully painterly effect to what was originally a stylised observational pen study.

BRUSHES

An incredible tool to manipulate, add or extend my own designs. The BRUSH mode can be accessed through the WINDOW tab and scrolling down to Brush Settings. The Brush Settings menu will pop-up, but will be greyed out. I simply pressed the letter B, and hey presto I am able to access all these wonderful features.

I must have spent around 20minutes just exploring the settings. The possibilities are endless within this feature, and this is something I am going to exploit when I have more time. Some of the effects that I have shown interest towards are as follows:

(Clockwise) I fell in love with this bold and highly textural ‘split-brush’ (306) tip effect, and strangely enough, the effect resembles the foliage and leaves of some of the flowers I have been trying to capture. Could I use this tool to help with some of the motif elements? The second effect (284) would be an incredible way to create a varied and textural background, not to mention its striking resemblance to the patterns found on some birds eggs. Finally, I love how this effect (60) can be built up to create depth and structure. Could this be used as a wonderful way to create the patterns and shapes of a tree? Exciting times.

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An exploration of Scale, Spacing, Colour, Smoothing, Texturisation, and Brushstrokes.

Always create a new layer when using a new/different brush; quicker to remedy a problem on one single layer rather than altogether.

PHOTOSHOP (1) (MEG LEWIS) WINDOWS, LAYERS & FILES

I have always wondered what the Windows were in Photoshop and what they could do; Skillshare, specifically MEG LEWIS’ Fundamentals of Photoshop: Getting Started with the Interface, Tools and Layer (No1), has given me the confidence to explore and find out more……COLOUR AND SWATCHES

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Colours can be created by toggling Sliders or by the Hue Cube, and as you can see there are so many different ways to set up a preferred way of working.

There is a preset amount of swatches which can be incorporated and new colour swatches can be added from individual designs or images; the possibilities are endless.

ADJUSTMENT

Can manipulate Layers by changing HUE, TONE, BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST, INVERSION, POLARISATION, GRADIENT and even add a PHOTO FILTER. This will looked at in more detail at a later date.

THE MOST IMPORTANT WINDOW…….LAYERS

(Left) The tab in the top right corner will create the menu (Right) that opens up some of the most important options when creating/manipulating layers.

The HISTORY Layer is a fantastic tool which will enable taking a step/multiple steps back in time, and can be extended if many steps had been taken.

Windows can be added or subtracted by choosing the middle icon, which will create an option list as above. Essentials will always default back to factory settings.

LAYERS EXPLAINED

This is the LAYER Window; the tab/icon second from bottom right is used to create a new layer. Next, the RECTANGLE TOOL was used to create a perfect square (hold down SHIFT), which became the last colour used in the HUE CUBE.

 

This will bring up the PROPERTIES Window, which can be used to manipulate the shape. colour via it’s width or height etc. It is recommended, to avoid confusion when undertaking complex design solutions, especially when creating a multi-layered images, to rename each specific layer.

Clicking on the EYEBALL hides and shows the highlighted layer; the layer highlighted is the layer that can be moved or manipulate. The Default Background layer is usually locked, but can be unlocked by holding the padlock and dragging it to the trash. A COPY layer can be created by dragging the desired layer down to the ‘CREATE A NEW LAYER’ tab second from right at the bottom of the layer window.

A fantastic way to organise the layers is to colour code them!! Simply right-click on the eyeball on a chosen layer and choose between the colours on offer. I think this could be really handy to rank importance or layer sequence.

FILES

Typical Photoshop file is named .psd. FILE….SAVE AS….CHOOSE TITLE….WHERE (DESKTOP)….FORMAT (PHOTOSHOP).

 

 

 

 

COULD YOU REPEAT THAT PLEASE?

I thought that before I tackle my 50ft wall (a.k.a Photoshop) I would try to create some repeat ideas for a Hero and Secondary design using the old school paper, cut, reposition and rejoin technique.

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This was the natural progression of this repeat pattern design; firstly using my hand to eye coordination to arrange an aesthetically pleasing repeat of one of my Rose drawings (photocopying the same image over and over and ‘ripping’ the image by hand and juxtaposing it onto the paper) within my sketchbook.

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Secondly I used Coloured Sharpie Felt-tip Pens to add colour to my initial observational study of a Rose. I specifically chose only 4-5 colours as incorporating too many for my theme would muddy the concept; a subtle gender neutral purple was used as a bridge between the masculine blues and feminine pink at the centre.

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Finally I took my finished observational drawing and incorporated the old school paper cut and reposition repeat method. Photocopying over an dover again and repositioning allowed me to ascertain a deeper knowledge of how a pattern can be successful. There are pros and cons within this specific design….the pros being how descriptive and fluid the design of flower is and the cons being how the flower looks strange just floating in the air. The moral of this story? Motifs are an integral part of the overall design and need to be worked into said design, which in turn will create a cohesive and symbiotic pattern.

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My study of leaves were chosen as a motif to include as part of the greater design.

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Although I didn’t choose this surface pattern exactly within my next design, I included it’s essence; a background of leaves (described to look out of focus) was created by collage. This collage was created by the use of torn Mulberry Paper….again, choosing only 4-5 colours. Once the background collage was created I juxtaposed my Rose observational studies, both linear and coloured and then added the leaves to create a more fully realised floral design.

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I really love the interplay between the Black & White and Colour, but think the collage background may be a little too busy. This is something I will endeavour to make work better on a high end design level.

RESEARCH: KAROLINA YORK PRINT STUDIOS

Came across this incredible print studio situated in Australia……KAROLINA YORK PRINT STUDIOS. Founded by Creative Director BRONWYN FERGUSON; inspiration is drawn from the idyllic Australian lifestyle, specifically utilising hand drawn and painted observational studies which in turn are turned into luxurious and sumptuous prints.

‘Known for our inventive updates on classic designs, feminine florals and bohemian prints, our work never fails to delight designers and buyers alike’

 

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One of the most poignant and resonating elements of this design studio has to be highly evident craftsmanship and high end finish, whilst effortlessly fusing a seamless repeat with a magnificent artisanal approach; this fusion creates a recognisable trademark via it’s own unique visual handwriting.

I believe their success is down to always being aware of local and global trends, constant visual and market research, an incredibly talented team of designers and an ability to continuously absorb from geographical destinations and their cultures.

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Being a commercially aware designer/design studio is paramount to success!! CAROLINA YORK PRINT STUDIOS always keep themselves at the forefront of design by showcasing collections at TRADESHOWS:

PREMIERE VISION (NEW YORK) – January, April, July

PREMIERE VISION (PARIS) – February, September

INTERTEXTILE SHANGHAI – March, October

COMOCREA- April, October

Their website is amazing!!! https://karolinayork.com

You can find about what they are inspired by, the creative process, trends, their social media profile, trade shows and even internships/careers. I am bowled over by the professionalism and creativity of their designs……these are some of my favourites……….

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Hand-drawn into Digital. My aim over the Easter Holidays is to continue my online resource and practical workshop tutorial learning to become a proficient digital designer!!! Watch this space………………..

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