Make It In Design Winter School 2018 – Completed!

This week I have just completed the Make It In Design 2018 Winter School, a 4-week online workshop for surface pattern design. It’s been an inspiring month in which I’ve produced a lot of work and been given a real creative boost for moving forward.

The first Creative Brief was ‘Bright Blooms’ which focused on large, bold florals. At first I started looking at flowers which flowered in winter months as it seemed apt and did some warm up sketches.

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But as I looked through my Encyclopaedia of Plants & Flowers for inspiration I came across the Cactus section. The flowers of cactus are bold, jewel-bright things which perfectly matched the brief and colour palette we had been given!

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Not having done much work using florals before I was a little outside my comfort zone but as soon as I started getting the first batch of motifs finished in Illustrator I knew the pattern was going to work a treat.

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Once I had the pattern I was happy with I started experimenting with the two colour palettes we had been given to work with and quickly became torn! I really like both versions so didn’t know which one to pick to submit as my final piece! During these two weeks I also started using mockups properly for the first time, they really do help a pattern come to life.

 

The next task was a Fun Brief to ‘Capture Your Season’ and create a colour palette from the photo. I work outdoors so took some chilly outdoor January pictures! I settled on a photo from a log pile and a particular old Oak trunk which had dried out, split and had moss growing from it. Fairly happy with the neutral, muted palette the photo gives.

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The second and last Creative brief was ‘Kabuki’s Kingdom’ all about Japanese theatre and fabrics! Very excited about this brief, luckily for me I have been fairly obsessed with Japan since I was a teenager so already had lots of reference material around the house (for once I didn’t have to look online for any research!). Most of my reference photos came out of a Japanese woodblock print book.

This brief for me went up and down with liking it and not liking it, one day I’d create a load of motifs I really liked and the next couldn’t get the same motifs to work together on the page! So frustrating at times. With the course deadline looming I had to force myself to stop messing with motifs and make a decision.

 

I’m reasonable pleased with the results but would have liked more time on the Kabuki brief.

The second and last Fun Brief was all about creating patterns through photography. I have some little cute foam mushrooms from a craft shop which I started playing with. These ended up all over the logs in my log store and I think they look quite good.

The second idea came from a tin of clock/watch cogs I have along with a load of tiny keys! This turned into a rather steampunk style pattern.

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Quite a fun idea and a great exercise to help with any creative block as it gets you thinking outside the box.

Overall I’ve enjoyed the Winter School, it’s given me both a focus and a direction. The Bright Blooms brief I really liked and will continue exploring, especially as in right on trend for 2018. I want to try and work with more abstract (rather than realistic) motifs as I think this is more suitable for pattern design.

I will likely sign up for some of the longer Make It In Design modules as I found the content very good. I can certainly recommend the Winter or Summer Schools for anyone that needs that creative push!

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