Sunday, 29 April 2012


I have recently added a link to my Pinterest boards. For those of you who are unfamiliar with  it, it is a site that lets you organize and share all the inspirational things you find on the web. People use pinboards to collect images, make visual plans, and organize their favourite things.   As well developing your own collections you can browse pinboards created by other people discovering new things and getting inspiration from people who share your interests. 
If you want to join you need to make a request you can do that here.

Beware it can be addictive!!!!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

wallpaper brief

Our final brief has recently been set with the input of Kate Usher a wallpaper and surface designer based in the North East. She describes her designs as ageless, timeless and elegant with a playfully cool and quirky edge.

The basic brief is to design wall coverings for either boutique hotel or children.  To the surprise of many I've chosen to design for children.  As a challenge to myself I'm determined to branch out from my usual neutral and monochrome colour palettes and use colour!!!! 
With previous briefs I've usually had a fairly good idea where my designs would go from the outset however this one has proved more challenging , being so open the possibilities are endless so where to start....

When I'm not sure what to do I find returning to mark making very grounding and gives me time to think about how I could apply the marks.  I think the actual marks I make are just as important as the final image so I want to explore ways of combining the two, particularly if I am to use colour on a large scale.

Along side this I researched into trends for 2013 -14, these were more difficult to find as not many trend predictors are willing to give much away too for future seasons.  However I did find some information  on colour trends and created several inspiration boards as possible colour palettes.

Love the fresh zing of this colour combination, perhaps not immediately identified as a traditional choice of colour for children but I think would give a room a playful contemporary feel

This colour palette feels calm and light.  These colours remind me of time spent in scandinavia where water plays an important feature in the landscape complimented by houses painted in dark pinky red tones

I like the depth of this colour palette colours together the colours create a sense  of security and cosiness

The images used to create the mood boards are not directly related to my theme of rock pools, instead I decided to look at a wider range of images and object to expand my thinking. 

After looking at some of the work of children's book illustrators (see earlier post) I was inspired by the hand drawn qualities of many of their work and thought that this was something I wanted to retain in my work. I decided to begin teaching myself Illustrator in order to scan my drawn images in and convert them to vector images which would make them easier to manipulate at a large scale if I chose a digital route. Something I have become interested in is using my marks to create a range of papers for collage. It took a long time to get to begin to get to grips with Illustrator and many stopping and starting YouTube videos before I had much success. Here are the first results not perfect or the right colours yet but they will be useful for preliminary work. 

Looking back over this post, particularly the mark making, reminded me of a little video I captured a few weeks ago of sunlight shining through my rainy window so I thought I'd share it with you!  The patterns really intrigued me.

Having worked on my mark making images and beginning to make decisions about which ones I will use to create my collage papers I have begun to tackle the central theme of my design through the idea of childhood memories. Part of my research suggested that in times of economic restraint societies tend to look back to the past for reassurance and comfort. One of the trends coming through a variety of media, including film, was the notion of childhood and simpler times. I decided to use this as a starting point reflecting back on things I enjoyed myself and with my children when they were small and I settled on the idea of rock pools.  Having made this decision i began drawing a variety of sea creatures and artefacts from primary and secondary sources. here are a few examples.

Pencil drawings using fine hard pencils and graphite sticks

Colour work using negative space created in photoshop image, coloured using watercolours with lines drawn in masking fluid.  Pattern work developing from close detail found in crustacean shells

sea urchin sketches using pen and pencil in a variety of techniques.

Li Edelkoort

Whilst having my daily dose of blog and youtube browsing I came across this short video clip of Li Edlekoort a trend forecaster and publisher of Trend Tablet sharing her views on the future of textiles . I think what she has to say is really interesting and important to all fellow textile lovers.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Book Illustrators

For our new brief and the last one of this year ( I can't believe time has gone so quickly) I've been looking back at some book  illustrators for inspiration which I loved as a child and a teacher. There are so many amazing artists out there so I'll share my inspiration board highlighting a few that I particularly like and inspire me just now.

Oh I do like to be beside the sea....

Always find a walk along the coast a seriously good way to blow the cobwebs away and get back in touch with the world. Doesn't really matter what the weather it's often more beautiful when its a bit grey.  Like the brooding  dark skies - what an inspirational place it would be to have a studio!

Also had fun playing around with the Hipstamatic app on my phone. you can create some interesting effects, I like the vintage polaroid feel it creates.

Lots of lovely patterns in the sand too - you really don't have to look far to find inspiration

But for some really inspirational sand patterns look at the work of Andreas Amador.  His patterns and shapes are both geometric and organic, sometimes using the topical landscape to help him sculpt his art. While his landscape art is impressive and beautiful it is also fleeting and rarely does his work last more than a few hours before wind and tide erase his artwork and leave a blank canvas.

British Craft Trade Show

I was lucky enough to attend the British Craft Trade Show on a vista organised through college. It was a really interesting to gain entry to this show and see the working end of surface design in action. There were many stands showing sue really good design - not all to my personal taste but variety makes the world go round.
Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photographs but I did get the chance to chat to quite a few of the designers and hear about their journeys and experiences, also found one or two possibilities for placements next year.  Although photographs were not allowed I have found a couple of images on Jessica Hogarths blog.

I like her use of drawing and simple colour
One of the things that surprised me was how small the display stands were. I think you must need to be very selective in terms of product which not every one was

After the Show we had some time to explore Harrogate - spent far too long in a pen shop and too much money but came away happy with some new ink pens to try. Also found Duttons for Buttons a most amazing shop selling primarily buttons - any shape, size or colour!!