Well, after four years at AUB, today was my FINAL deadline and I finished uni!!
My degree has been a back and forth fight between understanding, getting it right and enjoying my learning process. Through this, it took a few projects and some break downs to get my practice to where it is now: Whatever happens with my grade, in the last few months I feel I have created a strong portfolio I am happy with and enjoy showing to people!
I veered away from "typical" illustration as I just didn't enjoy it, which led to a lot of frustration throughout my degree, but I persevered and found a method I now love. A lot of my work is colour strong and this has become my biggest influence and material. For my major project I focussed around the theme of the Mediterranean and creating an idyllic, romanticised holiday landscape.
I want to create versatile, bright illustrations that through application can be enjoyed by their buyer. I see myself as an illustrator and surface pattern designer, and wish to head down the textiles/interiors route: Check out my Professional Practice report on my about me page to see what I'm aiming for! So for my final project, I created an array of prints and printed textiles to showcase my colourful Mediterranean.
I am so so pleased with my overall body of work for this unit and finalised outcomes, that I hope to continue to produce to push me into a career path. Creating colourful, fun, typical holiday-esque compositions that I can adapt and utilise as surface patterns. Using the bold process colours (cyan, magenta, yellow) as my palette and playing with overlays to produce new shapes, I designed a series of screen prints, risographs, and fabric deck chair covers: Bringing the Mediterranean to Bournemouth beach!
Following my love of risograph print, I've fallen in love with the screen print process! It's definitely longing and more tasking BUT the results are beautiful! I'm definitely going to need to find a print studio to use after I graduate...
This week, I've been printing like crazy! I spent all of Monday to Wednesday in the print studio, screen printing some recent designs in my current project process colours palette. I'm so pleased with the outcomes, and can submit them for my Final Major.
The beauty - and stress - of screen printing, is all of the little hand-done aspects along the way: It takes practice and learning from mistakes, to get 5 decent prints from 20 printed (one design proved particularly tricky!) For instance, I'm back working with the half-tone bitmap dots to shade and add texture to my work, which can prove tricky when printing. I've really enjoyed re-learning this printing skill for paper after printing on fabric for my short course. I've since received my own at-home print kit to experiment with!
Since being commissioned by and working with Art University Bournemouth's TheGallery on an event for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, I've been really interested in screen printing. I was honoured to attend the event evening and my limited edition screen prints proved popular! I was even lucky enough to feature on the catalogue for the evening's show.
For our final year at uni, we were encouraged to source and enter some competitions, for practice with shorter briefs and a chance to win some exposure or awards! This year I have entered a number of competitions to challenge myself. I chose competitions that I really liked the look of or I thought best suited my practice, and would add to my portfolio. Take a look at the variety of work I submitted ...
Pitch a Papergang by Ohh Deer x Papergang
You've probably seen it all over every creative's instagram, so I had a go as it felt perfect for my work!
Everyone's UK favourite stationery company Ohh Deer recently opened their design to us (woo!) for Papergang's October box. They asked for designs of the box itself, a desk pad, coaster, gift card, and pin badge, to be submitted on Instagram. I decided to adapt a nature-inspired abstract repeat, of bold colours and collaged shapes. I also submitted my favourite blue marbled print to experiment with options.
Unfortunately, I was not shortlisted, but I was heavily featured on all three of their Instagram accounts and on the Papergang’s blog “Best So Far!” competition post! This felt fab and gave me great exposure.
D&AD New Blood Award – Hotel Indigo brief
This illustration-meets-interior-design brief suited my practice perfectly and acted as practice for my career aspirations. With the open task of creating three images to use where I saw fit, I created some bold artwork. I chose Hotel Indigo’s Barcelona hotel as my current project tied in nicely in terms of theme and colour. Using bold colour palettes, I abstracted landmark architecture and skyline imagery to brighten up their hotel rooms’ feature walls and textiles.
(The results have not been posted yet!)
Inspired by the warmth and colour of Spain and incredible Gaudi architecture that lives within Barcelona, I aimed to create fun, contemporary forms to reflect the Catalan region. Bringing an element of interpretation to the hotel will invoke intrigue to explore the city, and happiness through colour. The beauty of this abstract nature to my illustrations, brings versatility in application: A feature wall mural lightly depicting the city landscape; taking elements to form a working repeat pattern, to be used on textile products in and around Hotel Indigo.
Looking to the current interiors of Hotel Indigo’s Barcelona hotel - the lobby areas and hotel rooms - I didn’t feel particularly inspired, and that the hotel didn’t feel particularly inspired by its incredible city. Yes, the hotel explores the tremendous architecture and surrounding characteristics of the region, but I felt it typical photographic relations to the area.
Colour, form and warmth are such vital aspects of Barcelona. They are the elements people travel to see and experience, and so I felt it was taking pure inspiration to use these qualities and take direct from the city to give to Hotel Indigo’s guests.
Taking inspired, landmark architecture and vital Spanish aspects, I abstracted their forms to encourage interpretation and interest. Giving Hotel Indigo a more contemporary and fun edge, will really bring it to foreground of hotel interiors.
Using a more abstract image of the city, this allows for versatile use in textiles and application.
Taking elements of the city’s skyline and famous landmarks and colours, I have recreated Barcelona and brought it to the modern hotel. Colours are such an important aspect of my work and inspiration to a peace, and it only felt right and more necessary to bring this to Hotel Indigo’s Barcelona. Colours speak to people, as these designs should give you the experience of this amazing city.
Batsford Art Prize – “Craving Colour”
With this year’s theme of Craving Colour, I aimed to use ‘colour’ as a physicality and tactile material to illustrate its innovative properties. Interpreting colour seemed ideal for my portfolio as it’s the basis for a lot of my practice.
The theme of colour has always played a major part in the inspiration and drive of my illustrations and design work. I find much of my imagery derives from the environment and travel, with the colour and texture of objects and landscape being the main focus. It is natural for us to be drawn to, enjoy, and be in awe of colour, as it affects so much.
I tend to build up a flat illustration or textile print with colour, with tones to contrast, and texture to add depth: Colour is my main inspiration and focus, and art only gets more intriguing with more. To interpret the theme of “Craving Colour”, I wanted to really use colour. Manipulate it as a 3D material and object as well as an appearance; build it up physically not just as a property. What if colour was the object? A physical thing we can touch.
Taking a more abstract approach I used paper craft to build a variety of 3D shapes. Using coloured card and print outs of my patterns and illustrations, I forged them into their physical and created loads of these shapes.
(The results have not been posted yet!)
Over the last week, I've been working on an exciting new idea to combine my love of surface design and new fabric printing skills to bring new ideas to my Major Project! Here are my latest - probably most favourite so far - illustrations. Using my bright colour palette really brings to life the Mediterranean visual themes, and simplifying and abstracting the imagery a little allows more versatility and and a refreshing visual language.
(The following three images were created digitally, working from a hand sketched rough composition layout, BUT after printing them out, I actually prefer the re-scanned images! I think it helps to mattify and give texture to the image)
For a more final outcome to this project - as my final deadline is looming at only 8 weeks away! - I would love to print these designs and/or similar onto canvas material, to up-cycle a Deck Chair for the beach!
I think a brilliant way to realise this project, would be to bring the Mediterranean to Bournemouth beach (where I'm studying). I will be able to hand print these myself and think they would make for a fun photoshoot on the beach here! Bringing together my love for bright colour, abstract illustration and print, and surface pattern design, I have begun to digitally mock up some deck chair visuals ... and have begun to test small paper and fabric samples (scaled down) on a miniature deck chair.
Here are some of my favourites ...
As initially intended with my current uni project and practice, I've begun to adapt certain aspects of my recent work to use in pattern repeats/surface designs. I've really enjoyed doing this; there's so much you can do with a more abstract, free approach, especially with pattern design. Although, there is an art to it! Beware pattern that have too much odd negative space or too much planning and order; and ones with too "straight" repetitive shapes...
I've been experimenting with current imagery; taking certain forms and elements of a piece and abstracting the composition. I've mostly been playing with the shapes and idea of creating a pattern from them, so wish to do this more in the next couple of weeks. But! I think they make really interesting, colourful prints.