Well I can hardly believe its been a whole year since I entered the 2014 Lilla Rogers Studio School Global Talent Search. I've had an amazing year in so many planned for & unexpected ways.
- I've had offers of representation from agents, offers of licensing & collaborations with fellow artists. Some of this I've taken up, others still under consideration.
- I've been overseas to an art gathering in Brighton UK, spent a glorious weekend touring/shopping/eating in Paris, and travelled around Scotland with my Scottish mum who happened to be visiting family at the same time!
- I have more course extension work under my belt & took on a teaching role in an online mixed media course.
- I've taken my retail shop to the Adelaide streets to meet locals at several markets and I've started wholesaling too!
Somewhere in between all of that, I've managed to care for & keep all 5 children fed, cuddled & loved too.
So right now I'm in the midst of the 2015 Global Talent Search and last week submitted my entry for the semi-final. We had to decorate tins for the gift market.
The gallery of entries is now open for public vote and you can
vote for me by clicking HERE.
I would really really appreciate your vote as I would love to continue learning & growing as an artist from one of the most inspirational women I've met, Lilla Rogers.
The winner of this competition receives two years representation from Lilla's agency which ultimately means... paid work, a chance to be mentored, an opportunity to grow & learn a lot about the commercial world of illustration & surface pattern design. It could potentially mean illustrating a children's book, which has always been a dream of mine!
Here's my submission.
My aim was to develop a concept so that consumers couldn't stop at one. I wanted them to want several or even the whole collection. To do this the tins needed to be delicious but also be functional. By having an overall theme of shops & other buildings in a village or town, a collection idea was formed. By making sure each tin had a purpose beyond just being a lovely tin, they became a visually stimulating organisational strategy. Creating storage for all the 'little stuff' in a home. Everything in its place, a place for everything....
I thought about all the little things someone like myself needs to make day to day life easier. One tin for recipes and/or seed packets was an obvious one. As is a tin to house tea bags etc. But a mini post office I haven't really seen before and in fact it is really useful to have a few gift tags, a book of postage stamps, maybe some washi, little gift or note cards all in the one spot... that kind of tin is useful.
And then I brainstormed about a bunch of other ideas. I didn't have space to put these on the page but I still wanted to sell the concept fully. One of my favourite ones is the idea of a 'First Aid Hospital' kit with bandaids, antiseptic, aspirin, gauze etc.... And of course I myself would have carry about my 'Mini Travelling Art Mart' with me everywhere with tiny set of watercolours, a water brush & mini sketchbook.
Beyond decoration that shows my style, I wanted to demonstrate how all the little icons I love to draw, could be used not only in gift, but in other markets too. Paper & stationery markets, fabric definitely but also branding & packaging surface pattern design.
As usual I packed a lot in to the surface of those tins because I like to offer a lot. Of course all of it can be scaled back as required & if necessary. I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment. Fingers crossed I get through to the next round!
Next up is my first submission where we had to design a pair of sneakers. From this entry, I was selected by Lilla Rogers to be included into the top 50 in the semi final. For that I am so grateful.
For this entry we were given a demographic to create for. A fictional character was developed along with snippets of her life, her style, things she loved. It was the perfect brief for me. I loved & identified with it all. In fact I wanted to create an entire book about this character, 'A Day in the Life of......'
But the brief was just the sneakers. And although that sounds easy on the surface, there were many things to consider. Did I want a huge pair of sneakers on the page so I could show all the detail? Or did I want to create a scene with lots of details. Tricky. I decided I wanted to show that I really understood the character. She was feminine, a bit badass, definitely quirky, loves French chic style but she also needed practical sneakers that would fit with her wardrobe and could ride her bike in.
So I started setting the scene inside a little boutique [quirky, grungy, feminine, interesting] that had a little view out onto the streets of Brooklyn. You can see her bike leaning up against the yarn bombed tree.
Then I focussed on her. The delicate spider web tights, the henna tattooed hand. She needed some shoes that were able to be worn with the highly patterned vintage clothes that she sometimes wears but that could also offer a bit of colour pop when she's wearing black. She tried on a few pairs of prettily patterned shoes and even some boots with her initial on them but neither were quite right.
Then she found them..... Black high tops with a delicate monotone floral pattern. They weren't over the top and didn't compete with her other clothes. But then if she wanted colour, she could fold down the high top to reveal the brightly coloured larger scaled floral.
Yes I really had fun with this. And the name of my shop? Mimi Bluebell, named after my 3rd daughter Amelia Bluebell. When she was very little, she told us she wanted to be called Mimi. SO Mimi Bluebell she is.
Well now I wait for semi-final voting to finish on Monday 21st September and I'll either be moving on to other projects hanging in the wings OR I'll have the opportunity of a lifetime and win a place in the grand final!
Wish me luck!