It seems like the past three years flew by so quickly. Tomorrow is the deadline for our final major project and after the presentations all we have to do is wait for our results.
My final major project made me realise who I am as a designer. When I first started university, I didn’t really know what style or what area of textiles I wanted to concentrate on. I always thought while doing my foundation course that I would be doing more stitch work however, now I realise that my strength is in digital designing.
My final major project is called ‘Flores De Colores’ which in Spanish translates as colourful flowers. My collection is inspired by the rich and vibrant Mexican culture specifically their traditional Mexican folk costumes.
Being given the chance to write our own brief was exciting. We could play to our strenghts and be as creative as we can in terms of our project. In our consultancy module in the first term of second year i chose to play around with mixing colours. I chose to work with a really bright colour palette which gave me an idea what i wanted to do for my final project. I wanted to stick to the idea of playing with contrasting colours and create designs that are vibrant. I wanted to design for outdoor furnishings that would attract women ages 24-35. I believe the colour people see in their surroundings have effect on their mood and that bright colours have an effect to lift moods and create positive energy, or well i speak for myself and i wanted to translate that to my target market. Having been brought up in a place where its bright, warm and full of colours and then moving to a much colder place made me experience this. When i was brainstorming ideas for what theme i wanted for my project, what sprung to mind is mexico’s day of the dead. Its a celebration that is filled with patterns and colour. They are also known for their bright traditional folklore costumes and embroidery. I wanted to design for garden/ patio furnishings.
In terms of what process i wanted to use, i knew my strength was in digital design. I enjoy sketching in my sketchbook and then scanning my drawings to create layered designs on photoshop. In my consultancy module, i used felt tip pens to achieve brighter shades, almost neon colours however its hard not to get streaks when colouring in my drawings. It was also mentioned in my feedback for consultancy that it would be better if i can improve it and make it less streaky by using different medium and so for this module i decided to use gouache to colour in my drawings. I started off my research by visiting the botanical greenhouse in bristol and drawing flowers and leaves which had lovely shapes. I then painted my sketches using gouache paints and scanned them in so i can manipulate the drawings on photoshop. I chose to add colour straight away as i prefer the effect of scanned drawings rather than drawing and colouring on Illustrator or Photoshop, they just seem so polished. There was pressure of coming up with 30 designs that are completely different. However, I enjoyed creating designs that would all come together as a collection.
Setting up our exhibitions for our final major project was the bit i enjoyed the most. I wanted to keep my exhibition space quite simplistic as my designs are loud and they speak for themselves. I wanted the display quite simplistic as my designs are already busy and I didnt want for my exhibition space to be too overwhelming. In the end, I also created cushions and smaller versions of my blanket designs to go on display. I initially wanted to upholster an outdoor chair but just chose to create CAD visuals to go on my display as it was a little bit too much for my budget to get a chair upholstered. I could have looked into upholstering it myself however, there were far more important things for me to focus on. It was a bit stressful and hectic but it was rewarding in the end. I am very thankful for my buddy as she has helped me alot with building up my space as my i couldnt ask my dad to come down and help me out. I do think that its better that I had a go at drilling and actually building up the space by yourself. It was a very good experience and at least in the future i would know how to put up shelves on my own. Once the shelves were up, it felt really good to hang up all my croquis designs as it felt final. What we all worked hard on for the last few months or even last three years has all paid off. i am really pleased with my exhibition space and my collection for this project. I wanted to create bright and colourful designs to go on outdoor furnishings and i have achieved it.
Its all coming to an end, I can feel it in the air!
Its so exciting going around the studio and seeing each spaces get filled in! Our deadline is approaching fast and we have to put our final pieces in place. Me and Mel filled my space today after putting up the shelves and hooks which made me feel excited about everything coming to an end. All i need to add are my CAD visuals to go on frames which I am still waiting to get printed and also put in my postcards and business cards that I’ve printed ages ago, oh and also my artist statement. The only thing that I wish I had done was get wall fittings that were quite slanted rather than ones that hang straight down so then you could see each croquis designs better. Although, I am not worried about it so much as people who browse through my space can just flick through the designs and look at them closely.
So so so happy to have done all this today! Now annotations left and off course, final presentations
Today I managed to drill, screw and put up my exhibition space with the help of my buddy Mel. So thankful she has been reliable and helpful as I couldn’t have done it on my own. We both don’t have any experience with handling tools but we managed to work it out in the end and we did a really good job, we’re quite the handyman if i say so myself! 🙂 It felt so good in the end having experienced putting up shelves and having a go at drilling, measuring everything to the right place.
I have stuck quite closely to my exhibition space plan I had. The only thing i swapped was my cad visuals and my statement area. The CAD visuals were supposed to hang on the right side wall next to my croquis designs and the statement above the comments book. I thought that the CAD visuals looked better above the shelf where I will be putting my comments book and postcards because if I hang it next to my croquis designs it will be quite hidden and a bit low down so I have swapped them and it looks better that way.
I am really pleased and it has been a productive day, the studio is being cleared and mopped tomorrow so its a relief that I got it out of the way in time.
Last year I learnt how to overlock samples and also went to Maggie’s overlocking workshop a couple of months ago which really helped a lot and made overlocking my samples easier as I knew how to thread them properly . I didn’t have to bother Maggie so much when it unraveled. I actually enjoy overlocking although it was a bit scary doing it on prints you’ve spent a fortune on and also samples that are going to be exhibited. It all turned great in the end, my samples looked so neat and professional. Afterwards I also sewed my headers which I learnt from helping out my third year buddy last year, it came in handy as my buddy didnt feel confident with stitching. It took me about an hour to sew them all which I am really pleased I did it quite quickly. I did it all neatly and managed to keep them straight apart from maybe two or three ;).
Everything is looking neat and professionally and I am really happy and excited to get this module/year over!
I printed my croquis samples on BagsOfLove and whilst browsing through their website I saw that they printed customised cushions. However, it would have cost me about £30 to get them printed and I just thought it wasn’t worth it. I am a textiles student and I thought how hard could it be to make my own cushions. I initially wanted three cushions to go on my exhibition space and spending about £100 on cushions is ridiculous i thought!
So I decided to make my own. I wanted three cushions but three wouldn’t fit on the shelf that I am going to be putting up and so I decided to cut it down to two. I kept it quite simple and made an envelope cushion as I didn’t really want to attach zips. I printed my designs along with my final croquis samples and it only cost me £6 and got the cushion stuffing from Wilkinson. I am making blankets to go with my exhibition and I have attached pompom trimmings around it and so I thought of adding it to my cushions as well. I was going to keep it simple and put basic piping but I thought it would be nice if they matched with the blankets. I chose contrasting colours to the design for the trimmings that would go around the cushion.
I am really pleased with how they turned out and so glad I chose to make my own. I was able to personalise it and actually choose if I wanted my cushions bigger and also add the pompom trimmings!
Here are the designs I used for the blankets that will go on my exhibition space. I am designing for outdoor furnishings and these blankets could be used as a picnic blanket/sunbathing blanket and also a throw to cover you up for those summer afternoon barbecues. I decided to print these design on a polar fleece material that I printed on BagsOfLove. I added pompom trimmings around the borders. I’ve underestimated how hard these trimmings were to sew on properly. I overlocked the edges before hand and it was very tricky to stitch it on a straight line. However I am still pleased when I finished sewing the blankets. I it nice to actually have physical visuals of my designs.