Monday, 31 March 2014

Graduate collection update

After so much hard work I finished and submitted my dissertation last week which has made me so happy and reduced my stress levels so much! I can finally get back to doing what I love and so I have been putting in lots of long days in the design studio working on my graduate collection. I've got back into the swing of things, working with a gorgeous summer colour palette and I'm feeling really positive about where it is all going!

Designing for both the adult and children's market in one collection has been very challenging but I know it will enable me to showcase my talent in the best way within my graduate show.. it's getting so close to the end and it's so exciting!

Here is a peek at what I have been up to so far...

These are just developments, but I like how they are looking as they stand together but showcase my different design talents and methods. I know the colour palette needs work but composition is the most important thing at the moment.

Thanks for reading, Stephanie

Friday, 28 March 2014

My Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap entry

I recently took part in the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap, which I have now done a couple of times as I just love getting crafty and then receiving a handmade little surprise from someone at the other side of the world. Take a look at my contribution, the theme was 'Create'. I liked the idea of using my ladybird print design as the background and then developed it from there. I think the result is really cute and fun!

This swap is now over, but sign up to the mailing list and take part in the next one.
Thanks for reading, Stephanie

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The beginnings of 'Tropical'

For one of my elective modules at University, I have been studying the theme of 'Tropical', observing birds, plants, fish and tropical colours. I have even taken an educational visit to Tropical World in Leeds, although obviously I was also very excited by the prospect of seeing the little meerkat family who also happen to be at Tropical World!

I have been working primarily in graphic pen, which is a trend I have identified from my research and am continuing with in order to get those all important development marks! I absolutely love working in this style and so it's easy and fun for me to sit drawing for a couple of hours, which is how long most of these intricate pen drawings have taken me. The first piece (below) was a bit of an experimentation, as I usually just add colour at the digital stage of the design process by dropping it in on Photoshop. I think this way of working the opposite way round is really successful as the colours are so bold and make the use of graphic pen look a little less overwhelming.

I'm not the greatest fan of the work being so black, but drawings this intricate are time consuming enough without having to swap pens every ten seconds. I can always change the colours in Photoshop or NED Graphics so it's not really an issue at the moment. I especially love the drawing of the parrot!

Thanks for reading, Stephanie x

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Memories: What initially inspired my love for design: Part 2

I will always remember the gruelling twelve hourA-Level Textiles exam at the very end of my time at college. Thirty hot and stressed students working and the only sound you could hear was busy sewing machines (exam conditions for all that time, AAAH!). I went back to basics regarding the theme for my final textiles project at college and just observed the simple patterns, textures and shapes of fruit. This really kickstarted my ability to look at something simple and then make it original by just finding pattern within my imagination and extending a more intricate version of what I observe. 

I enjoyed this project, and the use of bright, bold and contrasting colours. I created a garment from screen printed fabric which was sewn into with hand embroidery, machine embroidery and beading. I was so proud of the result at my end of college exhibition, and I would love to return to these drawings in the future and work them into digital patterns as I could see them being successful within the kitchen surface pattern market. I think this work really shows that simplicity can be most successful at times.

Thanks for reading, Stephanie x

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Memories: What initially inspired my love for design: Part 1

Over the past few days I have been looking back at my A-Level Textiles work, and it seems unrecognisable when compared to the digital surface pattern work I currently produce within my University work.

When I was at College the idea of a career was still pretty far from my mind and so I just produced the work that I loved using an array of mixed media from clay to screen printing to painting to sewing... I pretty much tried out everything!

For me, it has never been about creating a realistic interpretation of whatever I am observing, but to capture the movement, sounds and mood of a scene, and I feel like the use of craft techniques allows me to achieve this so much more than just using paint. 

Although I have loved studying at Leeds University, I feel that within the first two years of study I was were steered away from the craft based techniques that I developed whilst at college and I would really love to incorporate some of these techniques back into my work as they bring such interesting and original qualities to a design.

So today I would like to share one of my College Textiles projects based on the theme of the seaside and the beach and reminisce about what initially drove my passion for the beauty of design. 

Thanks for reading, Stephanie X