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  1. Over the Summer I took part in Summer School run by Make It In Design. This year I decided to just take two of the tracks rather than all three to enable me to hone my collection creation skills, so I chose the Intermediate & Advanced tracks. The first brief for the Advanced track was Folk Fiesta, the brief being to create a folk inspired repeat pattern, drawing inspiration from vibrant, colourful blooms, folk art, Mexican motifs & Day of the Dead inspired imagery, I couldn't wait to get started.

    I knew straight away I wanted to go for a Sugar Skull look & feel so I started off with some basic skull shapes and added lots of details so that each skull was unique.

    SKULL 6 MIID SS18

     

    I ended up with 5 differently decorated skull sketches to use for the brief. I also chose some floral motifs from my ever growing collection of sketches. 

    SKULL 4 MIID SS18

     

    This was the first and my main pattern for this collection, I definitely have a thing for dark backgrounds, I love the way they make the colours pop.

    FOLK FIESTA - SKULL ILLUSTRATION - BLACK BACKGROUND

     

    I also tried out a petrol blue background which I quite like too.

    FOLK FIESTA - SKULL ILLUSTRATION - BLUE BACKGROUND

     

    Then I began creating coordinates, with the main pattern being quite dark I wanted some lighter and brighter patterns in the collection. For this first coordinate I wanted to create a simplified version of the main pattern so I only used 3 of the skulls and added some pink to soften it a little bit.

    FOLK FIESTA - SKULL ILLUSTRATION PATTERN 2 WHITE BACKGROUND 4000 x4000 WMD

     

     For the next two coordinating patterns I wanted to keep it simple with a floral & spot pattern

    FOLK FIESTA - SPOTS & FLOWERS 4000x4000 RGB WMD JPG

     

     And this textured spot pattern in blue & black

    FOLK FIESTA - SPOTTY CO-ORDINATE ORIGINAL 8000 x8000 RGB WMD JPG

     

     And here's the whole collection together. I had so much fun putting it all together and I'm seriously tempted to make some dungarees out of the pattern with the black background or maybe some pyjamas.SKULLFEST PRESENTATION SHEET

     I'm going to be giving the website a bit of a freshen up over the next few weeks so if you stop by and it looks a bit odd, it's just me tinkering in the background. 

    signature - saturday rock

  2. Ah, sketchbooks. Sketchbooks are kind of essential if you do anything art related, it's where tiny ideas spark and grow into illustrations, surface patterns and projects, a place to collect all of the random thoughts from a creative mind.

    I've got quite the collection of sketchbooks, A3, A4, A5, square, handbag sized, ring bound, spiral bound, stitchbound, hardback, soft cover, you name it, I probably have at least one of them.

    SKETCHBOOKS

    And I use them for all different things, art journaling, sketching, writing, doodling planning in craft projects and sometimes I alter the cover of the book (just for fun) like the one that has a little door handle and a key on it. 

    SKETCHBOOK - ALTERED CLOSE UP

    I used to have a bit of a love/hate relationship with sketchbooks, I'd always "ruin" them a few pages in when something I was working on didn't turn out as planned, or I'd draw something really cool but I then couldn't recreate it on a flat piece of paper to scan into the computer, I certainly couldn't rip a page out of a stitchbound sketchbook, what kind of monster does that?! 

    SKETCHBOOKS A4 COLOURBOOK BOOK, TAPE, SCISSORS

    But then I was given some knowledge by the amazing Rachael Taylor of Rachael Taylor Designs, Rachael Taylor Studio and Make it in Design . 

    I was taking The Designing Your Way Course (aka Module One) by Make it in Design and it was Sketch Week, I can't remember Rachaels exact words, but it went a little something like this....

    "Don't be precious with your sketchbooks, if you make a "mistake" or it doesn't work out, it's ok, it's okay, it's YOUR sketchbook, it's not ruined, it's a work in progress, changing as you go & if you still don't feel comfortable doing that, use a sketchpad instead"

    Wow, this was more of a lightning bolt than a lightbulb moment, a total revelation, so fantastically simple & obvious that I couldn't believe it hadn't occured to me before.

    SKETCHES ON PAPER

    Since then the way I use my sketchbooks has changed. I now mainly use spiral bound sketchbooks so I can rip pages out to scan on to the laptop, then file them away. Sometimes all I'm left with is a front cover & a rear cover of a sketchbook. The stitchbound sketchbooks are now used as inspiration books, sticking in greetings card, magazine & catalogue cuttings, just for collecting all kinds of patterns, colours and fonts. And most of my sketch and illustration work is now a big pile of paper in a folder (which takes up less space than lots of sketchbooks and is also filed alphabetically by subject matter so  it's easier to find the images I'm looking for).

    How do you use your sketchbooks? How would you like to use your sketchbooks? Pop a comment below and share your thoughts, I'd love to hear them.

    Signature - Saturday Rock