Reflection Statement

Since the beginning of this academic year I was planing to do fruit and vegetables for my final module. I thought they were nice and easy going and will present well in a show, also I would never run out of things to draw and paint. I went through few interior ideas such as kitchen ware or student packs but in the end, I thought picnic and garden wear would suit my designs the best. After extensive market research from high end though middle to low market I decided that my collection would best go for the middle market, with my main market competitors being John Lewis, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer. I decided to design for families and young couple who are quite outdoorsy.

 

During my initial research, I had a rough idea of what style I want to design in but I was torn between different techniques. One of the techniques was very natural and handmade and the second more digitally based. Firstly, I experimented with natural dying and printing with fruit and vegetables with acrylic paints to explore the textures and different colours of fruit and vegetable. I also went to a cyanotype workshop where I used the fruit and vegetables and as a resist on the print. I then moved on to creating some abstract quick drawings during the Drawing Sessions with Sarah and then developing them in to collage work. This is when I realised that I really want to do the other technique which is more digital and realistic, I do believe that this quick process made me think more about the beautiful textures of the fruit and vegetables however I thought my skills would show of better in the digital style more.

 

I started off with research trips to Harrods and Borough Market in London as well as local food shops such as Tesco and Asda where I photographed all kinds of fruit and vegetables and after editing I was ready to paint. I hand painted all of my motifs using gouache paint from my own photographs and also few secondary research images. I wanted to really catch the beauty of the textures of the outsides and insides of my drawing inspiration but also some of the tones and shadows I have gotten in the photographs. My original plan was to focus mainly on fruit and vegetables with some hints of garden wear but the painting and design development process has guided me to making a whole sub-collection for it. I think that this really enhanced my collection and made it much more interesting and unique.

 

Influenced by my artist and designer research I came across a lot of different way to represent fruit and vegetables in a way that I at the time thought was unique. Both of the techniques involved water colour painting, I did enjoy it and created few abstract repeats. During my interim presentation, I was advised not to carry on with those techniques as my gouache painting are much more interesting and unique as no one in out cohort has my style of painting. I was also advised to make my repeats less blocky as I only had straight and half drop repeats to show at the time. Helen and Ana also gave me some good ideas how to make some of my designs really unique by painting fruit and vegetables on to plates or in bowls. This really worked well for me as the shadows of the plates and bowls really enhance my repeat patterns.

 

After painting different fruit, vegetables and garden wear I started to think what would make some of my designs really stand out. When I was painting my garden products I drew napkins in one of the baskets and they looked so successful because of the textures and draping of the fabric. I have then decided that I could drape different fabrics to use for my backgrounds or even put some fruit and vegetables on it. This experiment has proven to be very successful and I have carried it on for a big number of my designs.

 

My main digital skill is to create random repeating patterns in Illustrator. I was once told by Ana that a successful pattern is when the client cannot see where it repeats so I have tried to make my patterns this way. For some I have deliberately put motifs with similar shape of colour so where it repeats if creates little lines or stripes. I would class those type of designs as my hero designs. I have also created patterns with boarders in Illustrator which I would class as my tertiary designs. Another digital software I have used was Photoshop. I mainly focused on patterns that would create patterns within when scaled down. This means that when the patterns are scaled down they create stripes with the motifs and backgrounds. I really liked this technique and I think it supports my collection very well. Most of those designs are my secondary designs. I have then experimented with different colourways with in my colour pallet and also using alternative colourways from trends I researched on WGSN. This shows that my collection is transferable and could work for different markets and clients. I have really enjoyed this exercise. I have printed all of the designs digitally.

 

I have really enjoyed the show preparation and making my products process along side with the buddy system support. I personally work so much better under pressure rather than when I know I have got loads of time, you can see me getting more focused and work better at the ends of modules rather than the beginnings. I did however struggle to manage my buddy successfully at the beginning as I never had anyone to manage before. In the second week, I became more assertive and we started working together better. Overall, I have really enjoyed this module and what I have enjoyed the most there the bumps and struggles I came across the way and resolving them made me a better designer. After doing the internships in Malta over the summer I wasn’t sure if I want to go in to designing, my first options were Masters in Art Therapy or PGCE but now I am considering working in the industry, this is the main reason why I chose to do New Designers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 days until DEADLINE

It’s Friday already and I am not sure where has the week gone! I feel like it went to quickly and like I haven’t done anything. Even when I look back at my reflective blogs and all that I have accomplished this week I feel like it just went to quickly!

Today’s progress

This summer I will be exhibiting at New Designers in London, as a group we have to upload 2 images each for our profile. I have already sent mine over, one of them was a layered up fabric and the other one a CAD visual. The layered fabric photograph was good, the CAD visual wasn’t opening properly. The photographs will be used for public purposes and I don’t actually own the rights to the original image for the CAD visual so I shouldn’t really be using it. So today I gathered all the finished products and fabric I have and photographed it. Please click here to check out the Photoshoot.

The photoshoot took longer then expected but I am really happy with the results. After, I couldn’t really focus in uni so I went home. I managed to sort out the photographs and picked the best ones and edit them with adding the copy right label and name at the bottom.

I have also decided to change the name of my collection as the name Healthtastic didn’t sounds right. Now it is called Daytime Delight. This meant that I have to change all my fabric samples labels, this didn’t take too long.

Overall I managed to get ism tasks done today but I feel like it wasn’t my best day. I hope I will pick up over the weekend as I have to get some more work done.

 

Buddy management 

The only thing I did at uni was the Photoshoot which only took a couple hours. During this time Katie was with me at all times helping me setting up the sets and passing me different products.

Product photoshoot

As I needed photographs for my New Designers page by tonight I decided to photograph my products today. I haven’t finished my cushions yet so I didn’t photograph all of my product but this is be better rather than missing the deadline for ND.

I took all of the photographs my self with my camera in a photographic studio we have on campus. It was quite small which meant that I could sometimes see the edges of the wall and the white background had marks in some places but I managed to Photoshop them out.

I have also played around with the brightness and contrast levels on Photoshop to make my photographs more lively and bright. Each photograph also has a copy right stamp with the year and my name on.

Those are the photographs I chose from todays shoot.

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I love photography and really enjoyed the task, also seeing my work coming together is very rewarding.

8 days until DEADLINE

When I woke up this morning I didn’t feel ready for today. As I send a second order for new fabric last night I feel like I’m in limbo now, even thought I still have plenty of work to do. As I was sending the order last night I decided to make the backs of my cushions one piece of fabric to save money and make it a little bit easier for me so instead of buttons I will have a zips.

Today’s progress

With the decision of adding zips instead of buttons I had to make new mockups as I had to practise my zip putting skills. While doing the front of the mockup I realised something wasn’t adding up and that my front and back aren’t the same length, I then realised that I miss calculated the front by 10 cm. After a mini break down, because I sent of my order last night, I decided not to dwell for too long and just make the cushion 10 cm smaller on both sides. This also meant that I needed to find a cushion pad that is 35×35 cm and after spending quite a bit of time online and an unsuccessful trip to Ikea I decided to buy the same cushion pad as I have for the 45×45 cm one and just make it smaller. I realise that this isn’t the most ideal and professional option but I feel like I am running out of time and I don’t want to waste it going around shops looking for a cushion pad.

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Another stitching task that I undertook today was making a cover for my comment book. I have looked in to getting it done but some of the books were over £30 and I didn’t want to spend that on a comment book so I decided to make my own. I have made a pattern and mockup by tracing the book of on to calico and stitching it together with added seam allowance. The mockup was a little bit tight when the book was closed and the stitching started coming of (top left photo) so for the final one I added extra fabric for the cover. After doing the final cover it felt like a little victory as I didn’t ask Maggie for any help and usually I get a little bit stressed with constrictive stitch. I then finished the book of with a green card instead of pink to make the book look better. After I finished I shows Maggie to ask about the standard of the making and if it is ‘good enough’ and then everyone in the stitch room noticed and some people said they might do the same which annoyed me a little bit as this happens quite often.

Today I have also overlocked my little samples that will go in to my press pack and I have noticed that they aren’t actually that little. The are 12×12 cm or more and I was a bit worried about them being too fiddly as they are on the Panama Flo fabric which is only 150 gsm. I decided to mount them nicely on a piece of card but thought it would be nice to add something on the back, my press pack wallets are A5 and I wanted the card to be that size. I was considering different colour ways but that meant more design work which I wasn’t sure I have time for. I also considered different scale but thought that might not look as interesting on such big card. I decided to write a paragraph on my collection and one sentence about each design it self. I tried with a bulky white box around the text and the white box at 80% opacity and decided to go with the second one as I think it look a little bit more interesting.

I have also started planing what I am going to put in my professional practise presentation and I am actually really exited to do it. I have worked hard over the past 3 years with all of my additional awards and international study/work trips and I think like 15 maximum isn’t enough! I am also considering preparing some information about the awards and traveling I have done with uni in my press packs, I will prepare a little example and show it to one of the staff so they can approve.

Overall I am happy with today’s progress and am hoping for my motivation not to run out now!

 

Buddy management 

After I explained to my buddy what we were doing today she asked if she could go and help other 2nd years with painting as they aren’t finished yet and just went. I did need her help but thought that maybe she could do that until lunch and then help me. I did message her that I will need her help after but she wasn’t showing up so I went to look for her. She was just sitting in the heart space doing nothing which annoyed me a little bit. I especially requested her as we spend the whole summer in Malta together and thought it would be easier to manage her but I think she thinks that because we are friends and I am quite relaxed she doesn’t have to follow all my tasks. When she is around she does a really good job but I do spend quite a bit of time looking for her or asking different buddies where she is. I never managed anyone as such so I think I need to be more assertive and tell her exactly where and when I want her.

 

9 days utill DEADLINE

So today is only Wednesday and I feel I have already done loads this week. I feel very productive and on top of everything.

Today’s progress

I spend a whole day in the stitch room again, today I measured, overlocked and finished all of my samples and it felt like a little victory. I had some many to overlock and it felt like I was never going to finish them but I did! Before I put headers on them I wanted to make it quite clear which ones were going on the rails and needed a hanger and which ones were going the wall for the display and didn’t need a hanger. I images about 4-6 designs going up but after having a chat with Keriene she suggested 12 with additional drapes in between. I thought that would be a little busy as my designs are quite busy so I tried with 8 plus 4 drapes and quite liked how it look. img_6156.jpg

Keriene advised me to put in colour subcategories and overlay them slightly which I wasn’t so sure about.

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After I got home I layered them out again and added some scale, colour ways and different fabric to see how it would look and it actually looked quite well. I decided no to go with the colour ways and different fabric but only with the scale which means I need to order some more samples.

I am doing an order for my cushions and alternative colour ways tonight anyway so I can add few and I think it will really enhance this little display.

 

Buddy Managment 

Today Katie finished painting my wall and it look pretty good. I thought she would be doing the wall all week but she finished today so she helped me with finishing my samples after overlocking. We were doing the ends of overlocking together while she was asking me some useful questions. I didn’t intend to do overlocking this week as I simply didn’t think I will be at that stage yet but it is possibly good to get it our of the way this week. She also came with me to the chat with Keriene where I had about million questions! I think this was quite beneficial to Katie as she could learn quite a lot from the questions I was asking witch were mainly about my space and finishing the samples. Katies also helped me with picking and layering my samples which was fab as I needed a new set of eyes.

10 days until DEADLINE

My task for today was to make the final lining for my basket.

Today’s progress

So ready with my bitten apple print fabric and brown bias binding I was ready for today’s task. I was a little bit nervous before hand as this it the final lining. I carefully cut out the fabric, then constrictive stitch and add bias binding as I did yesterday with the mock up but this time I was going super slow with every stitch to make sure my basket looks professional.

During the constrictive stitching progress I have struggled with the same step as yesterday, the bottom part of the basket. Placing the fabric and matching it perfectly with the top part was tricky but I managed to do it just right. This time I was overlocking after every step, we don’t need to overlock on mockups. I am really happy with the stitching and how perfectly it fits the basket.

The bias binding step is probably the most tricky step for me, especially around the round bits. Even thought I have practised on the mockup and knew what I was doing I was asking Maggie for quite a bit of help. She didn’t help me with anytime stitching but I would just double check after each step if I was doing it correctly. I wasn’t working as individually as I usually do but I really needed the reassurance with the lining today.

In the end this is my final product and I am so happy with the outcome. It looks very professional and exhibition ready!

basket

 

Buddy managment 

Katie, my buddy is still preparing my wall for the show. I want her to be finished by Friday because my brother is coming over the weekend to help me put up selves and rails and I want the wall to be done. Katie is confident that the wall will be done today or tomorrow which makes me feel more relaxed. I remember how manic is was year year when I was a buddy. I am happy with Katie’s progress however, she didn’t tell me when she finished and just went home without telling me. She messaged me a while after she left but this makes me feel a bit worried that she will do that everyday.

11 days utill DEADLINE!

Two weeks left until deadline.. and I’m feeling strangely calm. I imagined that by this time I would be running like headless chicken but no, I’m not stressed and on top of my work, I think!

 

Today’s progress

In my exhibition I will have a wicker basket as one of my products so today I was making a mock up of the lining. I expected this to the mock up and the final lining today but I only managed to do the mock up, I underestimated how had the lining will actually be to make. Luckily, the basket came with a lining to I just unpicked it and copied the pattern which didn’t take me too long. However, the lining (cutting and stitching) looked quite rough and like it was done very quickly so with some help from Maggie we improved it and made it to a higher standard. Stitching the 3 parts of the fabric to make the ‘constriction’ was quite a challenge, I have done some constructive stitching before but never as tricky. Instead of cutting a line where the handle is and just rolling it up I drew and then cut out a nice round hole. Also instead of just rolling the hems Maggie suggested using bias binding which can also be used for the tying ends. I have never used a bias binding before and it was so hard, especially on the round bits. I couldn’t quite get it right the first time but the second time I did it, it looked just fine. This method of finishing made the lining look so good and professional, I didn’t double check with Maggie and I have one the ends a little bit wrong but I will make sure they are one properly on the final lining. This took me the whole day but over all I am really happy with the progress I made today at uni and I am ready make my final lining tomorrow. I also really want to make mockups of my pillows tomorrow, I hope I will have enough time.

In the evening I decided to get on with my alternative colour ways. I was sort of preparing my self of a very late night as they didn’t quite work for my last project. However, this time I was using a new technique that Sian showed a couple of weeks ago as it was so simple and fun! Firstly I went on to WGSN and refreshed my memory with all the trends that I have already researched at the beginning of this project and those were the colours of different trends.

(Top line – Common Ground, Creative Manifesto, In Touch. Bottom line – Light Magic, Purpose Full)

I chose those trends and colour pallets because they vary from my colours quite a bit. I decided to do 2 colours for each design and wanted to make sure I do 2 designs from each mini collection. All of my original designs will be shown on the left hand side of each collage.

The first one I did was the orange + leaves from fruits. The top right corner is done with Light Magic colours pallet and the bottom right with Purpose Full. For this one I wanted the colours ways to be really different in terms of the feeling the designs gives.

Another fruits one I have done is the orange peels on check. Top right is inspired by Common Ground trend and bottom right by Light Magic. For this one I wanted the orange peels to still stay orange and show what they are but in different tones.

Moving on to vegetables, radish on check. For the top one I used a colour pallet from Light Magic where I completely changed and colours and made the design look quite abstract and for the bottom one Common Ground I decided to stay within the same colours but darker tones which make the design deeper.

For this one I wanted to experiment with a boarder for napkins, I didn’t want it that different so I left the background white, as the original. Top right is done by In Touch trend and bottom right by Purpose Full.

This is probably my favourite example out of the colour ways, I decided to really go for it and change the natural colours of the vegetables and tools. Top right is inspired by Creative Manifesto. Bottom right by Common Ground. I really like the colours ways.. maybe more than my original, it is possibly because I have been looking at it for too long.

I decided that all my previous experiments were quite darkish except one or two so I decided to brighten up this design a little. For the top right I have used In Touch colours pallet and make the pink really pop. For the bottom right I used Creative Manifesto and made all the blue/navy really vibrant but then toned it down a little with  grey background.

Overall this exercise was quite fun and Sian’s workshop really helped as I have struggled before with this.

 

Buddy management 

During those next 2 weeks we will be paired up with textiles students from 2nd year. When I was in 2nd year we were paired up with 3rd years and you can read more about it here. My 2nd buddy’s name is Katie, we met in Malta last year and pretty much spend the whole summer together so I especially requested her knowing we have a bond already which will make it easier for me to give her tasks and ‘orders’. I was a little bit stressed before hand as I never had a buddy/assistant or someone to lead before but so far so good! During week one of the buddy system I want Katie to focus on preparing my wall as my family is coming on the weekend to help me put up the shelves and rails. I think next week she can help me header my samples but other than that I am not sure what other jobs to give her.