I've recently been invited by my beautiful friend Mardi to participate in a blog hop amongst creatives.
Mardi is such a beautiful soul & we clicked instantly when we met when we were both teaching in Port Lincoln a few years back. She's a very sweet, caring & wise old soul. The kind of person who I immediately feel comfortable with & makes me feel like I am enough. Mardi makes beautiful stitched vintage & thrifty gorgeousness which she sells in her ETSY shop; Dudley & Grace from time to time.
And of course what better way to kick start the ol' blog again with a creative post so it was a big 'yes' from me!
The idea of the blog hop is that I'll write a post about the things that I make, then tag a few others. Around the world the tagging will be linking creatives everywhere & sharing the creative things we love to do. Isn't that fun?
Ok so here are some of my recent projects & the list of questions answered.
What am I working on right now?
As of this minute, I am between projects. I have just finished some surface pattern designs which I'll share today & then I'm about to embark on something new. Ok, so at the moment I am doing a summer school in surface pattern design online - yes UK summer, clearly in Australia its a freezing winter!
Last week, I had to complete 3 assignments involving current trends: water rays, geometrics [with specific colour palette] and tropical. So here are my finished projects.
The patterns that I have made can now either be licensed to companies so they can print my designs on their products, OR I can arrange for them to be printed onto various products including fabric, myself.
I am having lots of fun & working very hard behind the scenes making art that can be applied to many things in the future, not just wall art or prints which I have been doing for so many years now. I look forward to the day that I walk into a real bricks & mortar store & see something with my design printed onto it! * dream *
How long does it take to create a project?
Well it certainly depends on the project. I spend as much time as I have in any given week. Often I will dedicate 30/40+ hours to a design if I am loving getting lost in the process or wanting to re-work parts.
For this project, I was limited to less than 10 hours for all 3 of these designs last week.
I had designed them in my head already in the days leading up to the project so it was just a matter of sitting down & making them happen very efficiently. I started sketching shortly after lunch one day & submitted my completed designs shortly after midnight. Take out lunchtime, making dinner, homework & bedtime with the kids and this time it was a very quick turnaround for me.
I would have liked to spend more time on them & give them some more depth, but the minutes were not available. They are quite simple this time but simple is just fine.
What are my fave things I love to create with at the moment?
I absolutely love drawing & painting, I always will. So first, my sketchbook & pencil. Kikki K pencil is my fave right now. I don't subscribe to using only the "right" materials in art making. I use whatever feels good & I love the feel of this pencil. Its a click retractable pencil using thin leads so I don't have to sharpen, thats suits me big time. I keep them all over the place, in my handbag, in my office, always one with my sketchbook. Seems I have collected a few!
I'm using watercolours a little more often than acrylics at the moment as they are so quick to dry & so lovely when working with pencilled illustrations. I use a few brands plus my palette watercolour set. All nice to use.
I'm also using Copics. Just for mockups at the moment but I hope to experiment with these more.
And my other favourite tool for putting my compositions together & finishing off designs is of course Photoshop on my beloved 27" desktop Mac.
How does my creative process work?
When it comes to surface pattern design or illustration, the two main things I am working on these days, I always start with a bit of research. I select reference images on Pinterest or Google, mostly photos, of the subject matter I want to draw. And then I get sketching. Once I have a bunch of icons or motifs that I want to use, I start to think about the style & medium that would best suit the icons. Sometimes its straight digital, sometimes watercolour, sometimes acrylic or collage. Mostly its a combination of the lot + some digital textures & overlays. Then I get sketching.
So following sketches & planning, I start working with any traditional media that needs to be made & once dry, I scan that in.
The next really fun stage is pushing all the elements around on screen & forming my composition. Finally I get to the details. I generally like to add some extra details or layers of distress, maybe an interesting background. For example these ordinary & imperfect black lines scanned in, cleaned up & coloured, added a extra layer of detail over the papaya looking fruits in the tropical pattern. I love little details.
Once I'm finished with a piece, there is then lots of re-sizing work for various products to do. Very easily I can arrange for my artwork to be printed onto tote bags, pillows & now even some clothing items but I also want to spend time making more stationery products & sending my artwork out to clients. When I finish all my studies, I will be doing alot more of that!
In the meantime, here's some mock ups I have done with these prints.
How do I become inspired and stay inspired?
I'm constantly inspired. I keep a list of things I want to work on & I'm always adding to it. Inspiration is everywhere! I don't go looking for trend information as I like to work on things that appeal to me however its hard not to notice the saturation of what is on trend so sometimes I like to do my slant on things.
I am also loving studying various courses in art licencing & surface pattern. Working on assignments that other people have set is a great way for me to work on subjects I wouldn't ordinarily choose. For example, I don't love geometrics, which is very on trend right now, and I didn't love the colour palette that I was given with it, but it was good to stretch myself & just give it a try. So I concentrated on shapes and decided to work on a seed pod theme. And I think this lady actually looks ok in this little swimsuit. More of an organic style geometric.
What is my signature style?
Well I dabble in so many things I have trouble in narrowing this down. I guess a few words/things that could describe my general style are: pretty, feminine, whimsical, hand drawn/organic, naive, textured, colourful & tiny details. I try to apply all of that across all my pieces.
With each year that passes I build on my skills & my tastes change a little. I am working with more fresh colour palettes these days & whilst I still like things a little busy, I'm working on the balance between clean & cluttered. Loose but also a bit organised. Next year, who knows?
Ok, so there you go, a little about my craft. Now I have some lovelies who will be posting next week.
Karma Voce - Karma is a lovely new friend who I met 'virtually' online through a Lilla Rogers Studio School eCourse. We haven't met in real life yet but I hope we'll meet next year in May when we'll be exhibiting our work. Karma is from Melbourne and is a talented full time working artist/ illustrator/ surface pattern designer here in Australia.
Zoe Ingram - Zoe is my lovely new friend who I also met through Lilla Rogers school and she lives in Adelaide. Zoe is a very talented designer, is represented by Lilla Rogers herself and has her art printed onto products everywhere! We've met in real life a couple of times now & she is the sweetest, so warm & funny too. She has girls the same age as mine & all they all adore each other already! So its lovely to meet a new friend with kids the same age that get along! I haven't told Zoe yet but one day I'd like to do a collaborative painting with her. Maybe next school holidays, we can slosh paint around a canvas! I think it would be super fun!
Erica Hite - yet another lovely new friend, Erica is designer who I met through, yep you guessed it, Lilla Rogers Studio School. Erica lives in the USA and is very talented in digital & traditional art making. She has been working on designing fabric lines recently. I cannot wait to see the new collection. I am hoping to meet her in real life next year too!
Next up is YOU! If you are a creative person and would like to share with the creative community what you do, please consider yourself tagged! And make sure you leave a comment or email me so I can come and read all about it!
Thanks for coming to visit, I'm off to do a quick little blog hop myself before I get started on some work. xo