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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THE POWER OF FLOWERS

Having always had an affinity with Nature, I didn’t quite realise how therapeutic drawing flowers is; a continuous line to create shape, pattern, form and texture soothe my soul. My Dad always has instilled within me the mantra that ‘there is no right or wrong way to draw, but rather an expression of your own self and individuality’.

The last few days have seen me at my most creative and I am struggling to reign in all my ideas, but one of the core ingredients of my success would have to be the ability to deconstruct an idea then reconstruct it in a number of different ways, which is what I have done.

I am not proficient on Photoshop or Illustrator, but have the technical know-how to create repeat patterns and juxtaposition by the good old fashioned way….BY HAND!!!

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This exercise was extremely labour intensive; photocopy each image numerous times, ‘cut out’ with my fingers, arrange by eye, and then spray mount and adhere to the sketchbook page. However, I am really proud of my effort. The flowers I I have drawn are: ROSE, IRIS, & HYDRANGEA.

The process of Repeat Patterns is extremely cathartic for me, it feeds my OCD rather nicely, plus it looks great!!

I concentrated deliberately on form, line and shape first and made the conscious decision not to overburden studies with colour until I knew that the design was strong enough to take forward.

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Again, playing around with the size of the image can create a wonderfully cohesive and fluid pattern, not to mention its a wonderful way to make sure that the image works well within the overall space.

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Experimenting with the stylisation of Roses within a surface pattern context, adding BRUSHO and water, and then strategically placing an acetate replica of the same image over the top, but making sure that the image is slightly off kilter to allow for a 3-D effect. Colours specifically chosen as a nod to WGSN.

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I photocopied (A3) my Felt samples (from my Felt workshop @ Art Van Go) and began by creating a ‘busy, colourful and textural collage background. I didn’t want to use colour within my observational Iris drawing, so photocopied it numerous times and cut out each image (time consuming!!!! 2hours!!!), juxtaposing them to create a repeat pattern. I am incredibly pleased with this design and would love to incorporate this somehow into my final coordinating designs.

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Now, this was a labour of love!! It involved experimenting with BRUSHO and water in an atomiser. The idea was to create a range (around 4 A4 pieces of paper incorporating the mixing of BRUSHO colours) colour palettes, which when dry could be ripped up and torn to create a highly textures and fluid (Busy) background. Some of my quick Rose & Hydrangea sketches were juxtaposed as a repeat pattern, eventually being embellished with Gold (Pilot Fine-liner). The result is fantastic, and I am really honing my own individual visual handwriting.

WATCH THIS SPACE.

 

 

FLORAL STYLISATION

Continuing on, I decided to utilise some of the skills I had acquired during my previous floral explorative studies; now was the time to incorporate colour, line and pattern.

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This study used a stylised approach to flowers you would see in a garden, specifically within my Mum and Dad’s garden. Poppies have been stylised, and the Forget-Me-Not’s and Viola within the rockery section of the garden have been described with Derwent INKENSE pencils and a Derwent Water Brush, with a particular use of the pencil and brush to create texture. Faber Castel PITT Artist Pens were also used to suggest the quality of grass/fronds/leaves. This was an enjoyable experience in mark-making, but more than that it gave me the confidence to use these new instruments, having never used them before.

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Having applied the principle of vibrant and exploratory mark-making with the INKTENSE pencils and FABER CASTELL pens, I decided to draw directly from life. I  picked up a reduced bunch of flowers from Aldi (only a few were still in the land of living, but considering I only paid 5p for them I couldn’t complain) and spent no more than 10minutes on this ‘sketch’. I was really bowled over by how fantastic and descriptive these instruments could be when used in conjunction with each other; a dynamic texture, colour and pattern has been created. A cohesive, fluid mark-making exercise turned out to be really successful.

Creating surface pattern/background with simple INKTENSE pencil shading and Derwent Water Brush. The image on the left is the original design, whilst the image on the right has been enhanced in my Mac ‘Photoshop’ via the Enhance tool. I absolutely love the colour and texture of the design and will experiment with applying some of my designs over the top of it; printing directly onto the surface and cutting out shapes and adhering them to the surface will allow me to explore the possibilities of the proposed final digital design.

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Playing around with stylisation and motifs; layering and mark-making. Additionally, I have incorporated a kineticism within these designs which draws the eye all over the page…allowing the viewer to choose favourite elements and interpret patterns, which would be incredibly useful when researching for a future client/s.

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Observational studies of one leaf at various different angles. The skill of observational drawing will be essential to me as a practitioner as it will differentiate me between the designers who cannot draw. Drawing is paramount to an artist!! It allows ideas to be conceptualised and carried through to a full and thought out design.