Yesterday I started my first evening/short course at uni - in Pattern & Fabric Printing - and I LOVED it! I've been wanting to do this particular course for a while, as I spoke about at Christmas, and just the first evening was great.
Having the course at uni was obviously easier actually getting there, and I felt more comfortable knowing my way around - especially as my particular course is in my old first year studio! We got straight into it and started discussing fabrics and inks, how to mix pigment colours and how to tell a good printing fabric from others... We talked a lot about what the course will entail, and after a few weeks of learning techniques and experimenting we get our own "project" and can create whatever we wish!
I love how open the course is: It feels great to take a few hours out each week to still be creative and learn a new skill, but to just enjoy it and not worry about criteria. It was also really refreshing to be with a whole new group of people! All different ages, all different backgrounds, and all hoping to get something different from the course. It's so encouraging to start something new and take some time "off".
Ailsa Wilson is the surface design that runs the course. She is super welcoming and it's great working with someone outside of uni that is in the industry. As her day job, she's got plenty of at-home tips which is really encouraging as a student wanting to start in this area.
One of things I liked most, was her method to reuse found objects for printing! I love incorporating textures into my work and adding it to block colours, and Ailsa showed us an easy cost effective method: Plenty of packaging and everyday objects and foods have great surfaces, so take a rubbing or fill it with plaster and hey presto! there's a stamp!
At first, I thought of linking this course directly with my degree, but after the first evening I'm thinking of just crossing over techniques. I really enjoyed keeping it separate and just having fun with the work, as we just played with stamps and colours to get a feel for the printing. I will definitely do more at-home printing now I know how, and I can't wait to see what comes out of the next ten weeks!
Starting back at uni after Christmas, I'll be taking up an evening short course to accompany my degree, in Pattern and Surface Design! It runs at uni one evening a week, so it's super handy, and is ran by a local surface designer: It'll be great to be taught by someone new and outside of uni for a change.
I've actually been looking into the short courses since I started at AUB in my Foundation year! I then became interested with the surface design course in particular when my obsession with pattern began at the end of first year. I'm hoping this will not only add to my qualifications but also add knowledge, interest and experience into an area I wish to explore as a career path.
I'm really excited and eager to start! In the last couple of years my interest has grown greatly into surface pattern design; developing my illustrations into abstract form, and learning how and where I can apply it. This short course, running for ten weeks, will hopefully bring that extra level of knowledge and understanding alongside my illustration degree. Recently, my interest in textiles has grown and I'm keen to combine my illustration skills with this area of art: It's definitely a path and idea I wish to entertain when I graduate this coming summer!
I began my illustration degree knowing it to be a highly sort after area of contemporary art and design; a great skills base to have as it is so broad and a highly collaborative subject. This is great as I now know I wish to pursue job interests into the more textile, pattern and decorative areas of art. However, these areas in their own rights, need further more specific skills and development. So in comes my new course!
I'm hoping that this will also help with my Final Major Project that we're currently in the beginning stages of. Continuing on with my Mediterranean exploratory theme - from my Pre Major Project - I'm aiming to develop this series of works into a more abstract approach, and then further into a series of surface pattern designs. I'm hoping to use the ongoing skills in the short course directly in my FMP, and vice versa.
Let's see how it goes!
(I use Pinterest to track a lot of my inspiration, but also new Instagram archive/collections)
Over the last few months, I've really been exploring the abstract world of illustration and have come to LOVE it! I'm all about those bold contrasting and complimenting colours, and find so much inspiration from the world around me -- in food, in flooring patterns, in nature; there's so much! Adding textures and shapes only makes for the better!
A lot of my inspiration comes from contemporary illustrators and designers; both established and students. I find most of them on Instagram, and a lot from word of mouth, or prints or designs I've seen out and about! I'm always searching for more.
So here are a couple of my current favourite people, that I've been looking at for my recent uni project:
Tom Abbiss Smith ( @tomabbisssmithart )
Slowdown Studio ( @slowdownstudio )
Mark Conlan ( @markconlan )
Kitty McCall ( @kittymccall )
Studio Proba ( @alexproba )
Lizzie Hillier ( @lizziehillierstudio )
Timorous Beasties ( @timorous_beasties )
I have always been intrigued by the use of colour within design, and am drawn to bold colours everywhere. So when I was invited on a private tour of Hella Jongerius' Breathing Colour exhibition, courtesy of Kvadrat with Spin Office, I was delighted! It being held at The Design Museum in London, was an added bonus as one of my favourite buildings to visit.
Visiting any exhibition you're interested is great, but having the pleasure of a tour guide to explain each piece in depth is incredible. Learning about the artist's thoughts behind each process to push to the next piece was so insightful and encouraging; the whole evening gave me so many new ideas.
Designer Hella Jongerius created a series of experiences and pieces to inspire us to look at colour more deeply, predominately using light at different times of day, and how colours behave next to others. The series mostly consisted of paper sculptures and textile pieces, to demonstrate this, under ever changing lighting systems.
One of the best things I took away from the tour, was her use of complimentary and contrasting colours, using two or a few alongside each other to literally make the colours pop! ~ I will definitely be taking these ideas into future pieces, observing more carefully the characteristics of hues and shades. ~ She also never used black to produce her shadows, which I admired; always using multiple variations around the colour wheel to build new hues.
Looking at my recent floral repeats, and creating their intricately filled compositions. Here are some favourite recent floral pieces I've been working with...
When creating patterns, I tend to start with multiple drawings of various angles and compositions of a flower or leaf, to create a series of motifs. I tend to use coloured pencils, a mix of different paints, or watercolours. I also do many rough studies and doodles as well, and play around with colours and shading in the paint.
All of this is then edited digitally, to clean up areas, adjust compositions, and offset to create a pattern repeat. After drastic changes, I like to check how the composition sits as a repeat on a larger scale, mimicking wallpaper, for instance.