Sunday, 8 February 2015


I have learnt a lot about my own practice in this project that I think has helped me to develop my work: I've tried experimenting in different ways with plenty of new techniques to push my motif making and design style to the next level. Working on such a long project has been a struggle at times as it is very easy to become uninspired when looking at the same imagery all the time, but looking back on all the work I have done it feels amazing to see that my project has come so far and I have managed to include so many things. At times managing time has been quite fluid as we had so many months, but I think I have learnt that it is good to have a structure in place even if that is tweaked and changed throughout the project. The learning agreement has been useful for this as I have been able to adapt it to add in extra collections, and slightly change the theme which has given my work the chance to grow organically. In the beginning I was planning to focus on 'heritage', a loosely picked term, but this project has evolved into looking at all aspects of collecting and in turn become a fully fledged concept. 

One aspect that I think I have really achieved on is my networking and attempts to develop my work outside of uni. I have found doing the monthly projects on Patternmash a great way to break up the project, and has led me to discover that I could work well under the pressure of a job with quick turnaround, such as freelance. Repeatedly working as something has done me well as it was thanks to doing the projects every month that got me spotted for the sites Designer Spotlight, a really positive addition to my CV. I have also reaped the benefits of just pushing through with my work, as I didn't enjoy doing the vegetable prints for the Lacuna Press competition, and yet through persevering I won.

I am really pleased with the state of my three collections, as I worked really hard on the concept which is not something I have ever developed quite as much as this. I like how the three look at different aspects and yet link together: 'Curious Antiquities' covers old antique and unusual objects, 'The Mapie's Hoard' looks at people who obsessively collect one type of thing, and 'Flotsam of Life' reflects on the sort of collections of detritus that gather on their own. I am looking forward to pushing each of these collections further in Unit X and developing new designs to go with the final ones I have already created. I plan to really push the lookbook idea as I think the practice imagery was really successful, and I also want to develop a brand that has a life expectancy outside of uni. 

Tableware designs

I have thoroughly enjoyed doing the styling for my tableware collection as photography is something I never really get the time to do. I just did the mock ups with white plates so I can displace my designs on at a later date.

As I have chosen to look at different types of collecting as inspiration for each design collection, I decided to push my concept further and look at the collections that seem to grow all on their own - all the worthless bits of matter that people seem to collect but don't want to throw away. I used photographs of objects I found in jars at home, and used just the objects from one jar or drawer in each print. I really like the soft effect of multiplying the layers of photos. These are just mock up designs as I have not the chance to thoroughly develop this collection yet, but I hope to use these as a starting point in the next project. 


Earlier on in the project I tried to do line drawn visualisations alongside digitally collaged ones, but neither gave quite the effect I was looking for. Going back to the drawing board and really looking at my customer profile and shop report research was so helpful, as I suddenly realised the look I wanted to achieve. I think these visualisations were so much more successful because I actually really thought about the outcome and the image I want to project to the customer. I also drew some simple flats to show off the prints more easily on my final moodboards. 


So far in the project I have just been working on prints for a fashion context, but the more I work with my motifs I realised they would work really successfully in a homeware context. I'm excited about the prospect of creating a tableware collection, which could cover crockery, tins, napkins and other kitchen ephemera, as it will give me a chance to develop my surface pattern skills. I have done plenty of research this week into companies which digitally print onto various objects, which has got me very excited about the endless possibilities. I also think it would be the perfect opportunity to do some styling and photography, so I have started to bring together some inspirational imagery from the likes of Toast and Country Living.


I decided to lay out my motifs as scenes for the scarf designs, which I think is really effective as it puts all the objects into perspective. The simple shape of the scarf gives the perfect canvas for a non-conventional print, as it becomes an abstract print once folded and knotted around the neck. I'm also really pleased with the shadows and sense of perspective as I have been looking at trompe l'oeil paintings for inspiration - the shadows mixed with photographic and digitally drawn imagery works really successfully. 

Repetitive collections

Even though I have the over arching concept of collecting, I want to really delve into my concept when defining my design collections. The work was already separating into two elements visually, with womenswear being more flat, collaged pieces, and fashion accessories focusing on 3D drawings and perspectives. I feel I haven't properly looked at the obsessive side of collections, so I have chosen to focus my womenswear designs on people who collect lots of one thing, whilst the accessories prints gather together all of the antiques and collectables. I have thought about pushing the concept further by looking into names of different types of collectors, and naming each print thus (such as the 'lepidopterist' for the moth print above).


Now that I have revised my collections, I decided it would be a good idea to have another look at who I am actually designing for, so that I can have them in mind throughout the design process. Whilst both customers are fashionable young women I saw them with slight differences - the womenswear customer would be chic and elegant, choosing simplistic and classic items, whilst the accessories customer would be more quirky, vintage inspired, and open to buying something a bit more unusual. Now that I have a more clear idea of my customer I feel I can visualise them whilst I'm designing.