SPOTLIGHT ON: Uni week 1

SPOTLIGHT ON: Uni week 1

Now with starting any new university college or even job you are bound to be given the obligatory starting off project just to dip your toes into the water. This was no different for me with starting at GSA with our first project Drawing Beginnings based no the practise of mark making and drawing from still life. In an effort not to make it as mundane as it appeared I decided to try and make the project very much my own by developing some pattern designs from the mark making and still life sketchbook work. So this week I am taking you down a small trip on memory lane back to starting off at university (those long 4 weeks ago).

After being told to go on somewhat of a scavenger hunt to find possible mark making materials (please say you hate that term mark making as much as I do), after slopping them in some ink and various paint materials as groups we created these large mural like images all out of our different marks. When creating these all ideas of being neat and precise went out the window in exchange for being expressive and abstract. 

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Offending items for mark drawings and final experimentational images.

As you can probably see compared to the rest of my group I decided to work solely in black and white just using ink and ignoring the brightly coloured paint used by others. This decision was based on the fact that I knew from starting this that I wanted to take these drawings into photoshop to edit and manipulate into patterns so didn’t want to overcomplicate them with colours and with not yet deciding on a colour scheme (although the odds of it starting off as a variation of red and blue were pretty high) I didn’t want to tie myself down within any of the source drawings. 

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Taking this combination of lines as a whole this is the design I produced this with my usual style of mirroring and rotating. I’m very pleased with this design with it being possibly my favourite coming out of the whole process (I promise it doesn’t go too far down hill from here) with one of my favourite aspects being the fine detail within the thinly crossing lines contrasted the the larger black spogges. Although I thinks it works really well as a finished black and white illustrated design I think this one would look really cool if colour was added to it creating an almost paisley inspired design but obviously in a slightly different style however when it comes to adding colour I would have to deconstruct it and go back to the beginning to create a repeatable section of it instead of trying to colour in the whole thing which would be madness. 

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2 more created from mark making experiments

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When it got down to creating some of our own smaller scale mark making experiments I did decide at this point to start adding colour and surprise surprise as I had preempted earlier on red and blue were the chosen suspects – with a smattering of orange and various shades of blue to not limit it too much. A while ago I had the idea within my pattern design to of using oil paint to blend together a background with the pattern arising with various marks over the top. This was a perfect opportunity to try this idea out. Using some of the earlier mark making techniques I layered these on top of an acrylic paint background starting to make a pattern with it.  As well as adding on top with the black ink with using oil paints as a base I was able to mark into them dragging the paint around creating another element within the design. I really wanted to try and replicate some of the flowers I had found and used for mark making within the designs by using the colours of them within the choice of paint and using the flowers them selves to print with creating the black flower splodges.   

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As I did with my earlier back and white drawings I mirrored, repeated and layered these scanned in images to create the new designs. Im really pleased with how these and the previous black and white ones have come out however I can see how my work is all becoming very similar using the same ideas and techniques with a lot of my designs. This could be considered as my style of working however I think it is still quite simple and could be pushed further and maybe isn’t the style which I ideally want to be creating.  

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In order to do this I took the jump and decided to try to start using adobe illustrator as well as photoshop. After plenty of blood sweat and tears (maybe subtract the blood for watching countless youtube videos) I started pick up some of the effects which I wanted to try and create. 

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I found that the marks I created using the feathers when sectioned out and played around  of By some sort of happy accident when using the pattern brush tool created a really cool butterfly image. This wasn’t really what i intended to create but I’m very pleased how I managed to create it.  Unable to leave my beloved photoshop for too long, I took this motif I had created and used and manipulated it in there, adding colour from some of my previous designs and layering design behind it until I has created a design with them which I was really happy with. 

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This final butterfly design is a lot more muted than the work I usually do however I still really like and it and is a good start at varying my portfolio a bit. I also love it when I create a design which has a lot different designs and layers involved in it knowing that a lot of different work came before it and wasn’t just simply created in 5 minuets.        

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Drawing from still life of a dream catcher. The still life element of this project was an area which I definatly struggled having not gained much inspiration from the items we were drawing. The dream catch was the only item which caught my eye with the design made out of wood in the centre and the lovely feathers hanging off it. I did first draw it in its natural colours of brown and beige but changed it when paining it into red and blue to link in more with my collection of other designs.

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          Final design of dream catcher kaleidoscope

Thankyou for taking a look and reading, I will be doing regualr updates on my uni work so please make sure to come and check back in the future to see what I am up to.

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Designer Focus on Archie Mac Ldn

SPOTLIGHT ON: Designer Focus on Archie Mac Ldn

Now if it is bright and colourful, like a magpie to a milk bottle top, I will be flocking towards it at high speed. Hence the reason that I have chosen Archie Mac London for my first Designer Focus post. 

With bold, abstract and kaleidoscope effect designs the brand really is one that you won’t be able to walk past on a shelf in a hurry. 

Archie Mac London (AML) was set up by self taught designer Robyn Parker. After going back to college to try and find her creative path and inspired by her granddads old drawings she’d found (those of Archie McMillan – where the brand name was also derived) , AML was born!  

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This was another designer that I found while surfing the realms of Instagram

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All of her work is digitally created pattern designs starting out life as photographs and then repeated and rotated to create these beautiful designs.  

The way I design is largely a process of repetition and rotation. I think this comes from a real curiosity with seeing how patterns are formed within our universe. I’m fascinated by sacred geometry and fractals, and the patterns that appear in nature. The process of sort of kaleidoscoping an image leads to my designs all having something hidden in them.’’ 

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The kaleidoscope effect is one of my favourite elements within her work, as she mentioned, almost emulating the patterns found within semi precious stone and fossils. With being a lover of semi precious jewllery it makes a lot of sense that this is a reason I love it.  However I was most intrigued to find out that is wasn’t paintings or drawings or nature photographs she used to create these designs. With her current collection all based around children toys and childhood objects it is only when you look at the designs up close that you notice it is objects such as barbie dolls and toy robots that have been repeated and rotated to create these intricate kaleidoscopes.   

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I love her use of photography within her pattern designs being able to show so much more in print than you can achieve with traditional printing and dyeing methods. 

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Despite being rather partial to a kaleidoscope within my own work my favourite design of her’s must be the linear ones reminding me of aztec and bohemian designs with the bright linea zig zags layered onto of each other. Not going to lie, I’m rather jealous that these aren’t part of one of my own collections. 

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Archie Mac Ldn’s tag line pretty much sums up the brand in one fail swoop, ‘The Crusade agains beige!’ there is defiantly no beige insight with this line of work.   

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 Now the bright garish colours, funky shape and pom pom trim may not be to everyones taste but, if this the crusade against beige you are fighting, then Archie Mac London’s bright and explosive patterns are on it’s way to winning the war. 

Archie Mac London is available to buy online at:

http://www.archiemaclondon.co.uk/things-for-your-home/ 

Design portfolio: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129012653@N05/albums

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