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Final Major Project Reflection

When starting my final major project I had so many yet so few ideas all filling my head at once. I am always most inspired ay colour, usually fashion/era but this time I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and use this final project to discover something new about myself as a designer. The theme for my project was loosely inspired by my dissertation, which I thoroughly enjoyed writing and researching so I really wanted to try and bring something over and express parts of my dissertation visually as well as bringing in many other new aspects. The part of my dissertation that I wanted to interoperate most was the theme of powerful women, or more so women being powerful but at this stage of my project I was finding it difficult to combine this with something more and apply it to my textile design.

I don’t remember at exactly which point I decided to research erotica and use this in my designs but as soon as I did my work just seemed to unfold more naturally, research became more interesting and I began unfolding a world or artists and designers that’s I had never seen before. I have always chosen to embrace sexuality and have never been embarrassed of naked bodies, sex or all the bits in between, in fact I have been told that I can be a little crude. During the very early stages of my research and development I thought about how some people think that I am too forward or open and I came to the conclusion that this may be because nudity, sex and expressing yourself sexually is something that is rarely seen on a day to day basis, the reason being that society has deemed this as rude and unsuitable, leading to some very embarrassed and sexually unaware people! For these reasons and more I chose to research and design all things erotic and have (I hope) successfully created a collection of designs that can be used/displayed in the home that promote sexuality and do so without being explicit.

Firstly I chose my colour pallet, this would be key for getting the correct balance of sexual imagery and home friendly designs so using WGSN I created a pallet of colours predicted for S/S 2016. I then started to get together a body of drawings and research, I did start my research by looking at both men and women’s bits, in the hope of not being sexist but throughout the early to mid-stages of my project I decided that it would be much more difficult to successfully target the appropriate audience while trying to incorporate both male and female parts, so with this in mind my work took a more female inspired turn.

Many of the drawings used for my designs were from pornographic images, which made for very interesting research. By using very explicit images and softening them with continuous line drawings and splashes of colour I began to create a more society-friendly collection of imagery.  I concentrated on genitalia, nipples and masturbation, getting a collection of drawings and marks that I would then use to turn into repeat designs digitally. I was nervous of creating my collection entirely digital because this is something that I have done relatively little of in past projects, I tend to be more hands on when designing but I found that by using Photoshop and Illustrator I could turn my base images more simply and efficiently into repeat designs than if I were trying to do this by other methods, screen printing for example.

A big part of my research was body casting, inspired by artist Jamie McCartney I decided vagina and nipple casting was a great way to really get in touch with my theme. Although this started off slow, the outcome was more than I could have hoped for! Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the entire process of casting, from researching the process, to finding models to actually casting, my call out for models caught a lot of attention which resulted in me and my work being published in several paper articles! I could be happier with this, I learned something new, very much enjoyed it and got recognised for it. Body casting as well as erotic themed design I believe is something I will continue to do as I take my next steps as a designer, it something that has been more inspiring than I could have every imagined and I realise now that there are so many avenues that work if this nature can take. I have received approving messages for various artists around Europe, including a few messages passed back and forth between Jamie McCartney and myself.

As the deadline neared I was pleased to step into the final stages of my project, getting to research into and experiment with different fabrics, although this was possibly one of the most difficult stages of the project. With fabric choice comes many potential issues, which I soon discovered. I had problems with my designs resulting in a few round of pre samples being ordered, not to mention my final samples being 3 days late! Through this I believe I have stayed true to my brief and created a delicate and beautiful collection of designs suitable for the bedroom (I do believe these deigns could be applied to many other areas though) which is inoffensive and would be a statement in the home.


My Brief with a few added surprises

Theme:

My chosen theme is eroticism, I want to design a collection of pillows suitable for a more adult audience. My theme has been developed through my dissertation which talks about tattooed women making a statement about their bodies and who owns them, from this I researched erotic art. I will be looking at both the male and female body but will concentrating more closely on feminine images.

Overall Aim:

To produce a collection of designs and set of pillows, inspired by erotic art and aimed at a broad age market of 18-40+. Due to the nature of my designs I will staying away from the hight street and be designing for independent brands. I intend on creating my designs and collection by using various print techniques, possibly incorporating some stitch and using body casts and clay models to design from.

Objectives:

  • Research – Artists who specialise in eroticism, prints, drawing, sculptures etc

Adult themed interiors and furnishings

  • Sketch Book – using a range of mixed media, produce a body of drawings and mark makings.
  • Colour – Choose a colour pallet that is on trend for s/s17.
  • Repeat – Produce repeat designs and samples successfully using croquis.
  • Techniques – Create my deigns and samples using various print techniques, specifically lino, screen print, heat transfer and digital print. I also want to use techniques within these such as resist and fabric manipulation.
  • Make genital casts and clay models, use for drawing and final display.
  • Display collection appropriately and professionally for exhibition.

Personal Objectives:

I want to use my theme to celebrate the body and sexual exploration, to use my personal style to express myself through my designs. Throughout my degree I have developed my printing skills and want use these to produce my designs to a high quality standard. As this is my last project I would like to do something I haven’t done before so I’m going to experiment with clay and body casts and moulds as part of my research and development.

Deliverables:

  • Moodboards – colour, theme.
  • Research File.
  • Sketchbook showing ideas and design development  including any loose drawings or mark makings .
  • Prototypes and samples (inc selection of mounted ones)
  • Final collection of designs and pillows
  • Statement on design collection
  • Postcards and Business cards

Publicity Options:

  • Social Media
  • Leaflets
  • Depop
  • Newspaper/magazines

Dissertation Reflection

While writing my dissertation as part of my constellation module I encountered many bumps and obstacles, when choosing my topic and starting my research I struggled, it made sense to me to choose something I was interested in so that research was something enjoyable and in the hope that writing it would become easier and content would flow rather than feel forced. After much consideration I chose tattoos as my key debate, and from this decided to look at tattoos in relation to women, for the simple reason that this was something I was interested in, but never looked at academically, or at all for that matter, I have never been one to take much thought in or debate the ongoing key issues between men and women so I thought that combining my interest in tattooing with something I haven’t studied before would make for stimulating work.

If given the chance to research for and write my dissertation again I would have definitely started reading earlier, this is one thing that although I was aware of, I didn’t do. I had a brief idea of what I wanted to include in my writing and the possible outcomes but didn’t spend the valuable time needed over summer to start my research and academic reading. The tendency to delay the start of something has been a recurring issue thorough all of my academic life, but it’s only for this module that I experienced and understood the importance of time management. I have carried this over to my subject module and am seeing instant results when starting my work at the correct time and managing my time appropriately. Throughout the year time management is not the only thing that has changed due to writing my dissertation, I have become for focused and passionate about my work, I attended all of the scheduled meetings to discuss the progress of my writing, which is something I have has issues with in the past, through my attendance I found the work easier, thus making the writing more enjoyable, hopefully with will show in my work.

At the start of my constellation module I continually found it hard to create links between my academic and creative subjects, which sometimes left me feeling this daunting piece of writing was almost useless, but as the above mentioned focus and passion developed so did the connections between my constellation module and subject module. During my research and writing I was trying to choose a suitable topic for my final major project, I never thought expected that me research and they key debated within my dissertation would inspire me so much. I read and used many interesting and relevant pieces of literature during the research and writing of my dissertation but the one that has inspired me most and ultimately became a key for inspiration when choosing my topic for my subject module was Margot Mifflin’s Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo. This was one of the first pieces of writing I found when I initially started my research before summer, and although I was somewhat gripped by the book straight away I didn’t realise how important and influential Mifflin’s book would be to me and my studies, not only did this book help me narrow down my ideas for my topic and choose my final question, but it helped me find the other pieces of writing that would be relevant to my research and writing. All I had when I came across Bodies of Subversion were the idea that I wanted to write about tattoos (as I have always been fascinated by tattoos and have been getting them regularly for the past 7/8 years) and women. As a tattooed woman I am aware of some of the issues that come with tattooed females but it’s never really something that has particularly bothered me, I accepted they were there, turned a blind eye and continued to get tattoos, but Bodies of Subversion and the other articles and academic references I found such as ‘Tattoos and Piercings; issues of body modifications within the workplace’ by Brian Elzweig and Donna Peeples and Eleanor Mills article for the Sunday Times titled, ‘The girl with the dreadful tattoo’, helped me to highlight the main issues and key debates within my chosen topic, from this my question was decided, ‘What issues arise regarding female identity within tattoo culture?’. As I highlighted the key topics I wanted to discuss, and found more articles relating to my question my passion for the topic grew and began to inspire my creative work.

My chosen topic for my final major project in my subject module I feel has a subtle but direct link to my dissertation and constellation module. Although I am not basing my research and design work on tattoos or specifically women which is what I concentrate on within my dissertation, I got the inspiration for my topic directly from my research for constellation. Mifflin talks of women getting tattoos being a retaliation to the issues that we have always faced regarding female body empowerment and the link it has to men, highlighting that for a long time women sat in the back seats in a male controlled society, this is something Mills talk about in her article too, although she does this without taste or without any conscientiousness unlike Mifflin who is more delicate about her views and backs up herself with fact and research. I was instantly gripped by the thought of body empowerment and this led me to think more into sexual body empowerment and the views society has upon this, which lead me to my theme of Erotica. I have decided to steer away from specifically female identity within society as I studied before and put more focus into the naked body, both men and women, through my work I want to highlight the issues society has with the use of the naked body within art and media, looking at artist that use the body specifically in a sexual nature as inspiration for work.

Using my findings from constellation I have directed myself to a subject that I am becoming more and more passionate about every day and I believe that I will continue to design and create work of this nature after my studies have finished. I feel I have a greater understanding of a world that I am part of regarding being a tattooed female and the work I am creating that has bene inspired by my dissertation has resulted in me experimenting within different subject areas and with different medias.

Considering my dissertation started slow and I lacked the enthusiasm needed at an early stage, it was helped me develop and grow as a designer, and helped me to grow in many different aspects, not just within my academic and creative studies but also personally.


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Self Directed Hypothetical Brief

Theme:

My chosen theme is Female Erotica, I am going to create a collection of 30 32x32cm designs  which will be suitable for bedding, wallpaper and pillows,my target market is a more adult audience. My theme has been developed through my dissertation which talks about tattooed women making a statement about their bodies and who owns them, from this I researched erotic art. I will be looking at both the male and female body but will concentrating more closely on feminine images.

Overall Aim:

To produce a collection of designs, inspired by erotic art and aimed at a broad age market of 18-40+. Due to the nature of my designs I could be difficult to design for a high street market but by being subtle and delicate with the subject I want to target both high street stores and also a more niche market. I intend on creating my designs and collection by using drawings, various print techniques and possibly incorporating some stitch. I will then scan in and use Photoshop and Illustrator or create my collection.

Objectives:

  • Research – Artists who specialise in eroticism, prints, drawing, sculptures etc.
  • Adult themed interiors and furnishings.
  • Sketch Book – using a range of mixed media, produce a body of drawings and mark makings.
  • Colour – Choose a colour pallet that is on trend for s/s17.
  • Repeat – Produce repeat designs and samples successfully using croquis.
  • Techniques – Create my deigns and samples using various print techniques, specifically lino, screen print, heat transfer and digital print. I also want to use techniques within these such as resist and fabric manipulation.
  • Display collection appropriately and professionally for exhibition.

 

Personal Objectives:

I want to use my theme to celebrate the body and sexual exploration, I want to use my personal style to express myself through my designs. Throughout my degree I have developed my printing skills and want use these to produce my designs to a high quality standard.

 

Deliverables:

  • Moodboards – colour, theme.
  • Research File.
  • Sketchbook showing ideas and design development  including any loose drawings or mark makings .
  • Prototypes and samples (inc selection of mounted ones)
  • Final collection of designs
  • Statement on design collection
  • Postcards and Business cards

 

Publicity Options:

  • Social Media
  • Leaflets
  • Depop
  • Newspaper/magazines

 

 

 

 

 


IG Consultant reflection

After having my work looked at at International Greetings consultants, I am required to leave a reflection of the comments. Below are pictures of my final collections (unfortunately they arent close ups of the designs themselves but pictures of the display). As expected they weren’t completely impressed with my choice of designs, not that i found this a bad thing because i understand that the type of work i design may not be the kind of work they are looking for. I was a little disappointed however that that didn’t look past my title, insisting that i have fluorescent colours because ‘that’s what psychedelic represents’

I wanted my collection to represent actual psychedelic experiences, the warped images of a person who is indulging in ‘trippy’s’. I understand now that this is hard to do, as not everyone had had psychedelic experiences.

I do completely agree that my background material is over powering and is a clash, because the material i used you could say represents a ‘classic’ psychedelic flower power, with particularly bright colours and bold use of lines where as my work used flower power as inspiration, rather than literally, and used more intricate floral patterns, created through using diy block prints, scanning and warping them digitally.

Over all i am happy with my work, and i really enjoyed exploring different typed of hand relief printing. I appreciate the comments from the IG consultants and agree with their choices of winners. I never really expected my work to make it to their studios because i don’t believe my style as a designer suited what they are looking for, however i really enjoyed designing for them and particularly enjoyed getting to the their design studio and they way things work in a fast paced design environment.


Feedback analasys

Design collection were of a small, busy scale with intricate patterns, does this represent flower power? 

It may not represent the classic idea of flower power, but my designs were all inspired by flowers. I am not one to look at an intricate flower drawing, or photograph of  a flower and be overcome with inspiration, so i used ‘Flower Power’ as a way to get inspiration that was attractive to me. I think the mistake i have made is using the titles ‘Flower Power’ as it instantly sets the scene of of a classic 70s image, and my work wasn’t to me taken so literally.

If I took my designs to a public audience would they connect with my theme without supporting information from me?

While im using the words Psychedelic Flower Power in my title, an audience may not connect my designs to my theme, as said previously the flower power was for inspiration, i never intended to create vintage 60/70s style designs, i just wanted to use elements of this era for inspiration, such as the use of flowers and colours. I disagree that something can only be considered psychedelic with the use of bright florescent colours, I wanted my designs to be visually ‘trippy’ and to include flowers, which i believe i have done well. My work represents the actual use and effects of psychedelics rather than the classic image created by the words psychedelic or flower power.

Does it matter or do my designs stand alone?

This is a hard one, yes it matters because i want my inspiration and research to be correctly link to my work, but at the same time each design and collection (not just my own) will be viewed differently, this is one of the joys of being a designer or artist. Yes my work can have a meaning and have been created from a particular direction, but ultimately its up to the audience to decide what they want to get out your work. For my i believe my designs stand alone, and i’ve always know that my work may never be suited for the high street, I take pride in designing for a particular audience an can only hope that the type people i design for will discover and enjoy my work, not just this collection but all work i produce.