Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Coy Blooms and an Exciting Oppurtunity

As well as Lilla Rogers' Make Art that Sells e-course, there is also the Make It In Design The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design e-course that I've been considering taking on in the new year to really launch this new career path.  Both come with excellent testimonials and success rates for their graduates.  Make It In Design are currently running a competition for a scholarship to their e-course for next year!  Deadline for entries is December 12, 2014, with the course starting in January 2015.  Entries need to of a few words on why Surface Pattern Design is interesting to me as a career path, as well as why I think the course would be valuable.  It also needs to include two patterns I've designed.  Here are the two I'm currently considering:

The first pattern is from Coy Blooms, the collection I shared in my last post.  The second is the first from a collection with the working title Oriental Paisley.  It features traditional Japanese repeating pattern and peonies, with paisleys and the Liliflora roses. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and can't wait to get stuck into developing the designs for the rest of this collection.

Speaking of collections, Coy Blooms (thanks Mum!) is now available to view online at my Spoonflower shop!  It's not yet being offered for sale, as I've just ordered some sample swatches to check that the colours are as true as possible to the computer images.  Once I'm happy with it, it will be available for purchase!

I mentioned on my Facebook page a little while ago that I was going to do a quick walkthrough of how I create a repeat pattern from scratch.  It's not really a tutorial, just an indication of my process, however if you have any technical questions about my methods or the tools I use, feel free to ask in the comments!

Here's how I made the repeating polka dots and rosebuds from the Coy Blooms collection:

 I started with a simple pencil sketch and then coloured it in.  I then scanned it into Photoshop, adjusting contrast and brightness and smudging some of the colours to make them look a bit less grainy.  Then I used the magic wand tool to select the white background and delete it to make the rosebuds float on a transparent background.
 I made a new image which was square, and applied the warm grey and cream polkadot background, then copied and pasted the rosebud onto it.  I then used the eraser to remove some of the polka dots (I wasn't planning on the diamond shape, it just turned out that way).  To test the repeat, I made a much bigger new image and used the paint bucket tool to apply the image as a repeating pattern.  This way, I can be sure that the pattern will work without there being mismatched polka dot halves or lines through the pattern where the edges of two repeats meet.

 Now, wasn't that just fascinating?  If you're a fabric geek like I'm becoming, it probably was!

I'm currently working on a proper About Me page for this blog and hope to have it up and running in the next few days.  Until then, let me know what you think of Coy Blooms and what sort of projects you think it might be useful for!

Take care,

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Craft Fair Consideration

The Tasmanian Craft Fair is a huge event, taking over the township of Deloraine in Tasmania's mid-north for 4 days at the start of November every year.  Over the four days in excess of 20,000 visitors pass through to see and buy the work of hundreds of artisans and craftspeople of all kinds, both local and interstate.  I haven't made it up for the last couple of years, but this year I was going with a mission.  When I first decided I wanted to start fabric designing, probably only 6 months ago now, I had thought about being a stall-holder at the craft fair in 2015, however I wasn't sure exactly how to present a stall as a fabric designer.  I went to the Fair looking for ideas on how stalls for artists can work and came across the work of lovely local artist Lara Hardy (among many others, of course!).  Lara's work includes beautifully detailed pencil sketches of plants, animals and people and she had them printed and made into cushions, as well as available as prints and greeting cards.  The link above goes to her Facebook page, where she has posted photos of her stall setup, which matched her work beautifully without overshadowing it.  I asked her where she had her work printed on fabric, as the recreation of fine detail is hard to achieve on fabric and the printing was done here in Australia.  She kindly put me on to a printing company in Melbourne, Frankie & Swiss, who print on all natural fabrics using their two-tonne digital printer, whom they have name Florence.  For some reason, the fact that their printer has a name tickles me.

Today, I've just had swatches of their fabrics arrive and they are all lovely, and I'm particularly looking forward to having some Cotton (good for quilting and clothing), Cotton Canvas (good for bags or stretching over a frame as wall art), and the Silk (soooo nice!  Great for rubbing.  Oh, and probably a scarf or something) printed with my work to turn into projects, kits and make available as fabric generally.

To that end, I guess I better design some fabric designs!  I've been working steadily on defining my style and creating art as part of putting together enough quality work to submit to DENY (no I haven't forgotten that!), and to build an online portfolio (most likely on the MOYO Directory).  But so far, I've been making one-off designs with maybe one or two co-ordinates for a few of them, not really focusing on building a coherent collection that all works together with several different prints and co-ordinates.  However, this is changing!  If you follow me on Facebook you will have noticed a change in my cover image, which is reflected here on the blog background.  These pretty roses are part of an as-yet-unnamed collection (title ideas welcome!) of prints for fabric.

This collage shows part of the collection, there are still a few more co-ordinates to come, and then experimenting with the colours to give some variations.  Then it gets sent off the Florence to have some samples printed to test how well the colours on my screen translate to the fabric.  All going well, I will then be able to launch the full collection!  I've been working on some simple sewing projects and gathering ideas from Pinterest for lovely things to make with the fabric, so I'm hoping to be able to show it off not just as the flat images, but as useful, beautiful accessories and home decor as well.

These two pictures are the starting points for the next two collections, and I have another one that is just a drawing in a sketchbook at the moment that combines paisleys and roses with Chinese-style peonies and Japanese repeating patterns.  Busy, but fun times ahead!

Blessed Be,