Category: Creative Futures


Well i cannot believe that my 3 year degree in illustration has finally come to an end, i have handed in a gazillion files, ticked off the whole of my tick list and gained several more grey hairs in the process – but it is all done – all handed in – and my display stand is now done and ready for the graduate show in June, how exciting!

So today, in the hottest room ever, we painted and measured and pushed and pulled fabrics and wallpapers and illustrations, placed china mugs and soft cushions, and stood back to view the finished result – now to hope it doesnt fall down!!

My display for my final degree show.

 

Have had great fun today putting some of my repeat patterns onto the boxes that the mugs will go into. Slight problem with the printing, but was overcome in the end, and of course i would get the white boxes pre printed eventually instead of doing it this way, but for now this gives a good indication as to what they will look like when they are done, and how they compliment the china mugs that they will house!

Mug box decorated with my ‘Black Time for Tea’ design

How exciting today when my lovely friend Jean set about making my cushion ‘prototypes’ out  of the fabrics i have designed. This one is called ‘Hearts and Squares’ and was originally designed for children’s wallpaper, but all the while i was thinking that it would be better as fabric – and here we go…with a little cushion to show!

The first of many ‘Jaminosh Designs’ cushions – courtesy of the lovely Jean!!

 

The cushion is sized only 14 x 14″ as i wanted to be able to display a collection  of 6 at the graduate show  (2 of each design) and would struggle a little if they were too big. I decided to ask Jean to make them with an overlapping flap at the back where we could insert the cushion and also to save her time putting zips in (or so i thought!!) – the first one ( the one pictured above) went well, however i was in charge of cutting out all the fabric for the remaining cushions – and soon found out i had cut the backs out wrong (uh oh!!) and so now all the remaining ones will have zips in!! – i don’t think i would get a job as a sewer….. mind you Jean has kindly offered to ‘teach’ me how to sew over the summer ( i havent told her that i think it would take several summers to teach me, but i will give it a good go that’s for sure!!!)

So i now know that if you are making a 14 x 14 cushion – with a flap, you would cut the fronts 15 x 15, and the back 22 x 15, which you would then cut into 2 pieces of 15×10 and 15 x 12!! …hmmmm, it is all a big learning curve, next to learn how to put a zip in..then there will be no stopping me! :0) Sewing ‘should’ be in my blood, and i am sure it probably is somewhere as my grandma was a tailoress and seamstress and my grandad was a master tailor, so i am wondering what they must be thinking watching me doing this? Lets hope they will be urging me on!

The lovely Jean with her newly made cushion!! 🙂

Someone suggested to me the other day that some of my designs were very much in the ‘Liberty Style’ and that i should look at trying to go to one of their ‘open call’ events. I have been researching this, watched the YouTube video (below) was quite excited as  saw some wonderful designs, felt a little intimidated by some, but then motivated by others…and totally inspired over all. I was a little put off at the fact that they were queuing from 5am!! – i don’t think i could hold down a conversation at that time in the morning to be honest, and also i only saw one ‘oldey’ such as myself that was on the video – but i must not try to let that put me off hey? Better late than never!

IF you are successful at the ‘Open Call’ events, and that is a HUGE if, as they mentioned they have around 600 designers that attend and out of that around 5 will supply to Liberty s, then it is a really great first step towards making some money out of design. I am NOT going to be put off by the fact that i am up against qualified textile designers, as i know that my head is FULL of pattern…full of ideas…and i will teach myself (or find people to teach me) what ever i need to know, that’s for sure! :0)

I am now thinking that i may want to continue to develop the design aspect through my MA..the only thing that puts me off is that the university that i am in has no textiles or fashion dept, and doesnt have ONE member of staff to ask for help, so i have been flying solo on this unfortunately, but maybe thats a good thing in the end?

The fabrics that i am displaying arrived today from USA, the size of the print has changed, and i have spent all morning trying to work out why, and realised that when i sent them off the first time they were on the wrong colour setting and so they have printed them out on their default setting of 150dpi even though they were saved at 300dpi – however – i actually think it has worked out better as i think the Time for Teas is better larger as you can see the design more, and the squares and the magnolia are better smaller – so it’s all ok in the end!

Had great fun today covering pen pots with the ‘Black Magnolia’ design – i feel it brings a little bit of luxury to my studio now, with my posh pen pot!

Posh Pen Pot – with’ Black Magnolia ‘Jaminosh Design’

 

 

‘The Yummy Creamy Cheese” – Book Jacket

This is the first of 2 books i have written and illustrated whilst at uni. This book isn’t written in rhyme but is a ‘play on words’ full of interesting sounds and tongue twisting sentences that encourage children’s vocabulary and speech. At the same time the book is all about how we shouldn’t take something that doesn’t belong to us, and what can happen when we do! it also brings up the issue as to how children choose to deal with their anger….as the cat in the story has 2 definite choices…you have to read it to see which one he chooses!!

The illustrations were created using 2d cut out images and then building 3d sets , placing them in there, lighting them to create interesting shadows and then photographing them. It was a totally exhausting but very worthwhile experience where i felt i learned so many skills such as photography and layout and composition as well as colour choice and balance. I also took the book through the whole process of printing which in itself was quite a challenge!

The book is a 32 page picture book, which i hope to find a publisher for in the near future, I feel that because of the way it is illustrated it offers something a little different to the world of children’s books, and the children that have read it have given really great feedback, so fingers crossed that i can find a  publisher who also thinks the same hey?

The birds sing the cat to sleep, while he is guarding ‘The Yummy Creamy Cheese’!

‘BANG BANG BANG popped the piles of pongy poo!!’ (from the’Yummy Creamy Cheese’)

 

I am even more excited this morning (if that is possible) as the long awaited ‘Purple Magnolia’ has finally arrived from Spoonflower (after i had accidently clicked on it to be delivered by banana boat instead of Fed Ex!! (what a numpty hey?)….i have sat and prayed that it would arrive on time..and today it popped through the door!

‘Purple Magnolia’ by Jaminosh Designs

 

i am really pleased that i decided to have this one printed on a blend of cotton and silk as the feel of it is so luxurious and silky! It would make fabulous bedding i think as well as curtains etc, and would turn any room into an elegant living space. It is also available in a range of colours, including black and white (which is a really striking combination)

It is definitely all coming together now!! :0)

Received this photo this morning of my designs printed onto mugs, please excuse the poor quality of the photo, and also try to imagine them printed onto a fine bone china mug with a delicate handle……as these are just a trial run!! I feel that my style of design is quite traditional and ‘British’, very ‘Afternoon Tea’ etc, and i think that that is represented better with a fine bone china mug – plus…my mother would never drink out of a mug like this…:0)

 

I am really pleased with them though..more to come!!

Mugs with ‘Jaminosh Designs’ on

Yesterday i decided to send off some designs to a place where they can be printed onto mugs, so i can put them on display at the graduate show on June 1st at University. I looked at the original designs that i had and chose 4 of them that i thought was suitable, but i decided i would also create a simple black and white version of the ‘Time for Tea’ design i had created for fabric, and so i set about removing the colour from the original and replacing the pinks with shades of grey and black – but it was interesting that as i looked at the design (now totally absent of colour) i felt really quite depressed as it looked boring, and plain…….

So….i though i would jazz it up a little and be brave and create a black background for the design, and then replaced the darker pinks with the lighter as i needed more contrast in the colours – and was really excited at the result!

‘Time for Tea’ in black

It just showed me that i NEED to feel excited and passionate about what i create. The colours need to say something to me (even if it is in black and white)…and also i have just learned that the reason why some of my designs are too bright on wordpress is because they needed to be changed to RGB instead of CMYK…..see!!..learning all the time!! 🙂

I have just submitted my entry to the Macmillan Children’s book competition where i managed to get 8 double colour pages done, a book jacket, end papers and title and copyright, but still need to do 4 more doubles now to finish by sunday so i can send it off to Blurb to get a really professional mock book done for my final university assessment in a couple of weeks – so the pressure is still on for now!!

Here  is an example of one of the pages in the book

Image from ‘Brenda the Misunderstood Witch’

The story is about a witch that is judged because she looks scary, and is green and hairy etc, and it gives you a surprising insight into her world, and details what she is really like.It is a book that aims to teach children to not ‘judge a book by its cover’ and to be more accepting of others (which i think is really important especially in this modern day world where the boundaries of race, creed and culture become merged). I think it is important that children’s books carry some sort of message, as children are really influenced by what they see and read, and i tried to make the main character as loveable as possible so that the children would be drawn to her.

Other books that i have written also carry messages for children, and as i am now coming to the end of my degree i would like to continue with my work to Masters level where i would like to continue to look at the role of the book in children’s lives with reference to their personal development and also how they interpret colour and image…exciting stuff i think!! :0)