Category: Masters Degree

As the focus of my MA is on the effect of colour in the environment on the mental, emotional and physical state, i have found myself also looking quite deeply at pattern on walls, and the effect it has on me. In my final year of my BA i had a go at designing wallpaper and i remember thinking how much harder it was than designing patterns for fabric. A successful wallpaper design is one that can be pasted on all four walls and looked at and enjoyed day after day, week after week, even possibly year after year….where as we don’t usually spend anywhere near that amount of time ¬†gazing at the material our clothes are made out of – we may gaze at our soft furnishings more – but we certainly dont usually paste the fabric all over the walls and then try and live with it! ūüôā

What i realised very early on is that when looking at wallpaper the eye instantly tries to find a visual path through the pattern, as our eyes need to find a place to rest during the process of collecting information. Possibly it is because of my Irlens syndrome, but i find a vast amount of wallpapers make me feel uneasy – they are too overstimulating, and some of the designs i feel would be best used on stationary or on fabric as there is just too much information within the design. Others will cause me to gaze deeper and deeper as i try to work out the pattern, and my eyes set off on a journey throughout the design.

But as well as looking at wallpapers i have been looking at any sort of pattern and design that is wall based and is big enough to have an impact on us. I went to the Westfield Centre in Derbyshire a few weeks ago to see my son, and the first thing i noticed (possiby even before the design) was the wonderful feeling within the building, relaxing, friendly, open and inviting – not at all what i usually experience in these places….

I took a fee pictures of the designs on the walls and also on the mood changing lighting that was around the restaurant and fast food area – i found it quite mesmoric..

Lighting and wall patterns at the Westfield Centre Derby

Lighting and wall patterns at the Westfield Centre Derby

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I came across some other really interesting walls today and this time the pattern was on the outside of the walls instead of the inside, and even more fascinating was the fact that they were on the walls of a school building in a little, out of the way town in  North Wales.

Contemporary patterns on a school building wall in a little town in North Wales

Contemporary patterns on a school building wall in a little town in North Wales

The designs were subtle yet very effective, their contemporary style blended well with the more traditional buildings around it, and as the light hit the building you could really appreciate the vastness of the pattern.

The scale of the pattern on the walls was breathtaking

The scale of the pattern on the walls was breathtaking

Again i noticed that the patterns design was very much based on flowing, making me think of water, and it was extremely calming and relaxing to look at. The pattern seemed to journey from left to right, following the path our eyes take to read it – but then on the side walls changed to horizontal. I am starting to wonder if we find a pattern more relaxing if we can read it in the same way as we would read a book – from left to right, and if the pattern is uncomplicated, with the lines only running in the one direction at a time?

But what a lovely surprise on a dark and gloomy winter night, to come across such a beautifully adorned building!



On my MA course this week we had a session with a tutor who is part Polish, and who is known for her wealth of information with regards to being creative! She talked to us about how a lot of the Polish crafts used recyclable materials and were low cost, and at the end of our lecture on ‘Book binding’ she showed us some simple ways to make a christmas tree out of unwanted books.

Coming home feeling really excited, i¬†couldn’t¬†wait to make one for myself, but as i¬†couldn’t¬†find any book that i would quite happily destroy i picked up a colourful ‘Beauty Equipment’ magazine that i thought would also do the trick! As i folded it i remember thinking how nice it was to use something that had some colour in it rather than a book that was just plain black text on white paper…here is the result from my first attempt…


My first attempt at making a Christmas tree out of an unwanted magazine!

Whilst doing my part time job this week (supporting and working with clubs for children) i realised that there was a need to activities for the older children in the clubs (8 – 11) and that this would be ideal. But to make it more Christmassy and to also make it a little less challenging i decided to use a magazine that had a lot less pages (so that they¬†don’t¬†lose interest half way through) and also to adorn the tree with some decorations, to make it look even more Christmassy!

An easier version of the tree

The beauty of these crafts is that they are low cost, and they also teach children to not waste materials and the benefits of recycling. If you wanted you could just fold the tree and use nothing but your hands – but if you do want to make it a little bit special there are a few low cost materials you can use (see below). Have a go…..and if you want to take it even further you can give them a light spray with a metallic spray (use a face mask) and whilst wet, throw glitter onto it…lovely!!

Some optional materials for the tree



Yesterday was the start of my Masters Degree course in ‘Design Practice’ and i decided that i needed to start as i meant to go on, and needed to force myself to post at least something every day, to record my journey through this process!

Change is always daunting for me, and to step up from the BA level to MA brought with it its own concerns as i wondered if i would find it easy to fit in with the other students and also be capable to studying at the higher level successfully or not…

My¬†worries¬†were soon alleviated as i saw that i was in a room filled with like minded people who were all focussed and ready to learn (a sharp contrast to the BA days when some students were in the room and on the course as they¬†didn’t¬†know what else to do!!). I knew instantly that i was going to have a rewarding experience with these people, and was also pleased to see that all the disciplines were mixed in the room,so i sat alongside graphic designers and animators as well as illustrators and fine artists – i feel that this will only serve to enhance the learning experience for sure!

We have been given an ‘introductory task’ to do for next week which wil allow us to introduce ourselves to the rest of the group )always something we dread dont we?) and we need to use the medium of a playing card (a minimum of 2) where we adapt the design etc to show something of out personality and background and who we are as an artist and creative.

After doing a little bit of research this morning i came across these images on a site called and i just loved the bold colours and the strong symbols.Some of the cards that i have seen seem to be over illustrated and too detailed for such a small area, but i found these quite appealing.



As i am a Children’s Illustrator by training, and i also love to create a more 3d experience with the work that i do, if possible, i am hoping to create a 3d card, that shows the different layers of my personality and also indicates the way that i work, and what inspires me….wish me luck! It all sounds great in my head, and i can visualise it easily – but making it might be another issue….

Watch this space!! – I will post up photos when its done, and as my aim over the next 2 yrs (the duration of the MA) is to post at least 1 post a day, i hope to be able to keep updating on my progress as an artist and as a creative! ūüôā