Well - this is what I did this week - plate designs based on Bromeliads (no - I didn't know what they were either - they're Amazonian succulents!). This assignment was really challenging. Any surface pattern designer will have to design using florals at some point in their career. Some excel at it, others do it formulaically, others try to avoid it. I actually really enjoy designing florals but struggle to find a way of doing it that excites me. After a slightly bewildered start where I questioned every approach I tried, I went with my instincts and lost all sense of time exploring! The process of sketching a bizarrely unusual flower, creating my own patterns from the patterns within, and basically just seeing something NEW in a fresh way was exciting!
I made a big point of using Photoshop and scanning work in because I caught myself writing on a thread in the MATS Facebook page that I don't want to go back to using Photoshop and I hate scanning. And I thought - why do I have this restrictive internal censor? Why am I making rules and building obstacles for myself?
I don't know whether I succeeded in meeting the brief. I don't know whether these are so busy you wouldn't dream of using them as plates, or so brightly coloured you wouldn't want them interfering with your carefully planned decor - but I know I enjoyed doing them. One of Lilla's key themes this week was about transmitting your joy to your designs. A couple of my fellow students advised me to 'do what makes your heart sing' and 'do what is your joy and your heart' when I admitted that I was bit lost. Thank you Eva and Stephanie! I called the group 'Song' because it really was the design equivalent of singing for me - loudly, enthusiastically with real happiness!
Here are some of the sketches below - some I scanned, some I re-sketched straight in to Photoshop.