At the start of the week, I presented in a small critique group of peers and tutors to show where I was at with the project. Using my last post and some digital images, I was able to demonstrate my theme, my want to design surface patterns. I explained my ideas to combine the two in a functional yet decorative manner through design.
I explained that taking a lot of inspiration from my own tie holidaying in the Med, I wanted to create imagery to reflect those scenes and moments through colour and abstract form. Suggestions of society and human presence, and a beautiful setting, but more to celebrate this area.
I also explained my outcome ideas and aims, sketched out in my last post: The tutors really seemed to enjoy this! Inspired by Martin Blanchard's rugs, this tightly crosses over with my Investigative Study area, to explore the themes in illustration and design concerning functionality, aesthetic, and narrative. Creating an illustration print never feels quite finished for me: I enjoy and want to apply it to something, like a product, producing something tactile and physically admirable.
My illustrations and ideas were received really well: My idea of a physical outcome with an illustrative approach, was really liked, as well as the visual approach and methods. I emphasised my decorative approach and attraction to surface design, which was accepted by encouragement to push towards illustration until my work was refined enough.
I gained some really useful feedback and insight into my work, which I will use to develop my illustrations further:
Looking towards my current practice, my area of study is focusing around landscape and finding the abstract (forms) in nature - predominantly within Mediterranean culture, with a hope to push this towards pattern design. To accompany my Pre Major Project, I shall be writing a short academic essay ("Investigative Study"). I feel it's important to follow and combine both theory and practice, to inform each other and push the development and innovative thinking.
For my Investigative Study, I shall be looking into areas surrounding surface pattern design and its integration with illustration. Illustrative approaches to surface pattern tend to focus on ideas of narrative, or the origins behind the pieces. They either illustrate the story behind the product, or around the actual depicted imagery. Most patterns, or product design pieces with surface design, carry an overall thematic area, which adds a sense of depth and extra layer to the piece; something driving the production element.
Some pieces are more about their functionality. Adding a feature of origin and narrative takes the product, pattern or piece one step further: It's not just about how you use the item, but how you perceive it; how it affects it's use and worth. It's about the relationship between the image and the story. Some products hint at a narrative, utilising their theme; others are necessarily a direct narrative, depicting a beginning, middle, and end.
Looking at surface pattern through the eyes and works of an illustrator, subverts our expectations of its traditions, and forces us to combine the two. I believe them to compliment each other. Without illustration, or textiles, or product design, there may not be surface pattern design.
I will be researching into the works of Kustaa Saksi, Yinka Shonibare, and Julie Verhoeven, as well as Martin Blanchard's work with hotel Casa Mae and Rug by GUR.
Check out my Pinterest boards, for a more visual understanding into my project!