Monday, 24 March 2014

Today's the day, hip hip hooray!

When I took redundancy, I was looking for a different way forward in life but I wasn't sure what that would be.

My sensible side said 'build on your existing skills & experiences (management, interpersonal etc)'.  I investigated various possibilities, all proving unworkable, partly frankly, because my heart wasn't fully inclined to wander far down any of those avenues. Increasingly my artistic side kept barging in, demanding to be heard.

Despite a fairly strongly held belief in the impossibility of making a living from art, there is also quite a loud voice that says 'Catherine, if you want it enough, if you work hard enough at it, then why not you, why not your designs?'

Module One began today but they opened the 'classroom' on Friday so we've all been on to start introducing ourselves and sharing our excitement...... more about my new colleagues (& hopefully new friends) in later posts. Suffice to say that, though I can still look at other people's work and feel intimidated by how good they are (and Beth and Rachael, course leaders, are very good at how not to let this feeling stifle you), I have also been bowled over by the response to this blog. Biral Unjia said she couldn't believe I was so new to pattern design so.....time to come clean: I am in fact 49 and have been teaching myself for two years now. But unexpected circumstances post redundancy meant I couldn't commit to developing it properly and without some kind of formal training I knew I didn't have the confidence to take it further. But now I can. And am. And will. 

I wrote the rest of this post almost a week ago, so that I could mark my beginning point with an insight into how I've sometimes worked on developing my designs so far:

A while back, I visited the V&A for the first time. Lots to see & sketch, including the internal architecture. Very quick impressionistic sketches of archways and tiled floors led to.....

.......a more structured and developed idea, using the loose sketch as a jumping off point but not creating a literal image.

When scanned in, a lot of painstaking neatening work has to take place, to remove smudge marks and ensure satisfying edges:

Doubling the design sideways and adding colour.

(Colours were taken from this photograph: a gorgeous golden pheasant that appeared outside my back door one day. I love his enquiring expression and I'm sure he'll come in handy again!)

Here's another colourway

I'm currently wondering whether the further adaptation to the left is effective or not? I think of it as a border, perhaps with a plainer, more 'scattered' design of elements taken from the border, in the main expanse of fabric. I don't think I like the colours as much though.

I've enabled comments for this blog now, so feel free to give me feedback. 

Think (as the judges of the scholarship did): originality, awareness of colour, quality & any trend awareness you have. 

Also what would you use a design like this for?  Is it marketable (feel free to say 'no'!)?

I'd be so interested to hear from you.

Many thanks


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I'd love to hear what you think and what you're up to, creatively. Feel free to leave me a message. Thanks, Catherine