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.
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.
So, one thing on my list of deliverables is one of my designs shown as a CAD (computer aided design, for those who no nothing about this stuff like me). This is done in photoshop which instantly scares me, and after a brief introduction to it in Uni i still have no idea. so one of my lovely classmates offered to give e a crash course to get me started. It looks painfully easy when watching someone who knows what they are doing, but in all honesty the process seems pretty simple. I am yet to give it a go myself as i don’t have photoshop on my personal laptop, but i will be give it a good ol’ go tomorrow!
I have had mixed feelings about this terms digital brief, not with the brief itself but with using the programs. I am completely new to photoshop and admittedly very scared of it! technology has never seemed to go my way so why should this be any different….? I was quite pleasantly surprised! although I found it very hard to start with (even getting photoshop on my home laptop was a struggle!) i got stuck into it. I am finding the techniques difficult to remember but i have managed to present 5 final designs that i am really happy with and a few techniques that im hoping not to forget over the summer. This term has really made me see how important it is to roll with the times and realize that it cant always be practical work, such as screen printing or stitch, and also that the possibilities are endless once you have mastered how to use things like photoshop and illustrator.
all in all i have learned alot from this term, i think that the more practical side of my course is more suited to me but i thoroughly enjoyed learning new things and am glad to have a little more insight into the digital side of textiles.
Okay, so I’m no Photoshop wizard really, but I have been giving it a go. Part of my digital brief is to create a series of floral designs, here is a little sneak at what I’ve been doing…. Designs to follow ❤
I have been asked to create a digital mood board with my chosen colour theme. after researching i have decided to use a mish-mash of colours, pink, yellow, blue, orange. My intention is to have a retro kind of feel. I have looked briefly at psychedelic designs but i think i’ll need to practice on Photoshop more before get there!
So this term is the dreaded digital brief…. i say dreaded because personally i struggle with technology, im very much a dirty hands kind of gal, id much rather have my face in a tub of paint than a computer screen, but i cant deny that designs done using Photoshop and illustrator can be outstanding! I further understand that if i want to progress in the textiles world then digital is just something im going to have to learn. Now i dont mean to sound negative towards this term, i am looking forward to furthering my knowledge and getting my hand digitally dirty!
Here are some of the designs i have been researching, looking at 60’s prints, tattoo designs and embroidery motifs. i think they could all contribute to interesting designs once i learn how to use them!