Monday, 30 December 2013

Thoughts about birds....

The further along I get with this project the more I have been thinking about bringing in another element to mix in with the historical costume stuff, as I'm concerned about my work just coming across as un-original copies from books. The other day I had a sudden epiphany and realised that birds of paradise would be the perfect thing to combine with the dressing up side of my project - they are extravagant, brightly coloured and extremely over the top, a perfect way to sum up my project visually. I also like how easily it will fit in with the sort of motifs I have already been looking at, a bright and vibrant contrast to the simple black and white line drawings.

I started off by going to the library, but there was more stuff on (rather plain looking) British birds than the exotic sort of thing I was looking for, but I stumbled across this book that I think could be rather inspiring. It was a book from the 70s about birds from around the world, but the thing I liked about it most was the extreme technicolour shades, all rather incorrect representations of how the birds would really look, but there was something rather fun and exciting about it. I did a ridiculous amount of photocopying, and now I'm thinking about collaging parts of the birds together with other objects to see what effect I can create.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Collage artists

I have seen so many artists doing photo collage floating about online, its definitely something that has got mega trendy lately. Ashkan Honarvar however, is someone whose work I have always enjoyed and I particularly like this very pink piece - I think I just really like the overall feel and the random yet coherent nature of the objects within it. I also really like the piece with the bird, there is something intriguing about the hunched figure of a woman combined with the whimsical drawing style.

I also like the simplicity of this collage by Erin Case - what you see is what you get, and yet there is a lovely balance in the composition, with the texture of the hair and the gentle colours of the scenery. I want to try to reflect some of this quirky style in my own work. 

Sketchbook beginnings

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Costume books

I own quite a few second hand books on british historical costume, as it is something I have been inspired by ever since I was small, and although the internet is an amazing tool for finding out things about the past, I really enjoy seeing an older take on what clothes looked like. For example, one of my favourite books is a victorian take on how historical costume looked - useful for accurate information but also incredible to look at as for us this was over a hundred years in the past and therefore belongs with historical costume itself. I feel this fits into my 'dressing up' theme rather well, as many elements of historical costume epitomise that idea of extravagance and being over the top, particularly compared to the clothes most of us wear in the western world today.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Locating brief

In this project I aim to design and create a collection of digitally printed silk scarves for a high-end womenswear designer, such as Liberty or Hermes, which shall be displayed with a series of styled photographs. 

Throughout the project I intend to study the theme of 'dressing up', looking closely at the extravagances in British historical costume as a starting point. I shall begin my research by looking at historical books on costume and then bring in broader research, covering topics such as the outrageous, frivolous nature of dressing up and how it is used as a way of transforming the body. I shall develop the concept for the project during the research stages to see what I find most interesting from the theme.

In the early stages of the project I will experiment with drawing and painting to push my illustrative handwriting style. I will then move into digital print using Photoshop, as this is a process that worked well for me in the previous project; but I also wish to improve my skills on Illustrator, using it as a medium to create motifs. The final collection of scarf designs will hopefully combine both hand drawn and digitally created motifs in a coherent manner. I intend to digitally print my final designs, although I may use screen printing techniques in the development process. I shall use sampling to create the final collection of scarves, but which methods I chose should become apparent after the designing stage. I plan to do a test photoshoot earlier on in the project to help develop my styling ideas, before a final photoshoot to display the scarves in a way that appropriately reflects the theme.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Locating project - initial thoughts

When we were first told that we could do whatever we liked this project, I have to admit I did panic a bit. The extreme freedom threw me a bit and it took quite a while before I could even begin to think about what to focus on a theme. After a lot of dithering, I decided to look back to the things that I always have in my workspace to inspire me - my pin boards. The more I looked the more I realised that the key thing across all the images I have collected across the years was the theme of dressing up; that idea of extravagance and being over the top, becoming someone else. Once I went down this route I also realised that for once I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted my end product to be - illustrated silk scarves. I think this may end up being quite a self indulgent project as it is combining some of my favourite things, but where is the harm in that!