Category: Professional Development Practice – PDP


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

 

 

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!! ūüôā

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)

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!! ūüôā