Do your finished samples fulfil your expectations? To what extent do they reflect the initial research that you undertook for this assignment? Can you see a clear line of progression from source material to preliminary ideas and finished samples or did you have to change direction at any point?
I followed two paths, one for my conceptual road sign project and the other gecko design for the functional piece.
Road signs concept: I can see a good progression from my start point to the finished samples. I was heavily influenced by the work of John Dahlsen and the messages he sends through his art pieces. I was specifically aiming at something linear and very visual, multiple pieces grouped together to add weight and volume to the concept. Am I happy with the result? I’m not sure. I’m having a slight crisis of confidence at the moment and am double-questioning everything I’m doing. Looking back at my road signs I wonder if they are too literal, too ‘cutesy’, too light-hearted, but is art always supposed to be angst ridden and laden with current societal preoccupation?
Lizard/Gecko bed linen design: Before choosing the lizard I researched personal totem awareness in depth, especially through Aboriginal interpretation. I feel that this project has been quite successful and I explored a lot of techniques before settling on the one I wanted to develop further – some worked better than others and I had to adapt my thinking. I’m very pleased with the result and can see some ways in which it can be further worked on to improve and enhance it – as stated in my previous post.
The simplified appliqué design to the right is another one I could have chosen to expand and progress. I used the outer border design of this one as the basis for my edging on the resolved stencilled piece. I still believe this design is contemporary and fits with the current minimalist, reduced colour palette design work we are seeing today. It also has scope to dramatically change its mood by altering the colourway.
Did you make the right choices and decisions when selecting and developing your ideas? If not, what would you change and how might that alter the outcome?
Road signs concept: The visual aspect of each piece is clear and uncluttered so that has worked well. My idea was to provide a platform where many different messages could be displayed, perhaps by community participation where everyone could contribute their own message. However, I wonder if that might fragment the overall look of the final work. Maybe I should have concentrated on only one message and made a range of signs that enhance that one thing. What would I change? If I did this again I would choose one message and create pieces visualising different aspects of it. I’m thinking specifically of Use It Or Lose It which is designed to show that if you don’t exercise your brain it will become more and more sluggish. There are many visuals that could apply to this: games such as Sudoku and crosswords, maths equations, sparking neurons, question marks, coloured areas of the brain indicating activity, educational books, Mensa puzzles, language studies, exercising and eating well, and so on. Maybe one idea worked on in many formats would be more cohesive than random messages.
Lizard/Gecko bed linen design: Yes, I think I made the right choices on this piece, as a pillow case edging, although I was very split as to whether to develop this or the indigo design I’ve mentioned above. I would like to see my final outcome developed further, into a larger and more complex design, with some appliquéd gum leaves or similar. I’ve made it very structured and uniform to fit pillow case edging dimensions, with the geckos identical in size, colour and shape, but it would be good to see aspects resized and less exacting and with the addition of foliage on a large bed cover.
How important was the choice of material in terms of determining the qualities that you achieved? How did your choice of colours contribute to the overall results?
Road signs concept: The rigidity was important as the signs need to maintain their shape once they are attached to the upright fabric covered poles. The choice of the main fabric, being black, was used to support the road sign image. The colours in each piece also had significance: the bright orange of the girl standing out from the crowd, the rusted fabric as the champagne and the free motioned champagne coloured bubbles, the black silhouette of the dog on the rusted ‘beach’ playing with a coloured ball, the coloured blooms of a plant in flower, the red and green of the stop-go sign were, of course, critical.
Lizard/Gecko bed linen design: I haven’t made my final piece into a pillow case but I used a fine cotton as my base which is similar to the fabric that would be used in cotton bedding. The stencilling is durable and washable as are the threads I used but if this was to go into production the stitching would obviously be machined, giving a finer look to the design. The randomly stitched rocks could be outline stencilled first to give a more solid appearance before machine stitching over the top. That would maintain the difference in the thickness and textural quality between the grid and the rocks.
I chose colours that would bring a muted, calming aspect into the bedroom but it could be developed into a colourful range of bedding for a child’s room making it vibrant and enlivened. The picture to the right shows some hand painted bedding from Africa in mid tones of neutral grey, orange/red and a little green (muted). What a fabulous colour choice, bright but not startling, enticing without being overwhelming, patterned and coloured without becoming too busy. My design would look excellent in a similar colour scheme.
Did you try the brainstorming exercise? If so, did you find it useful?
I did use the brainstorming exercise. In fact, my storyboard for the road signs looks more like a brainstorming exercise than a storyboard. I have an individual paper trail for each of my gecko designs which all encompass some brainstorming techniques and drawings. Yes, it’s a useful tool to reorganise thoughts, ideas and possible scenarios.
I feel I’ve made a good start to this course. Having recently finished my major project for A Creative Approach I realise that when I started this I hadn’t scaled my mind down from ‘major work’ to making samples. I’ve done a huge amount of work, my samples are all small finished pieces, and I’ve taken much longer than I intended. The 80 hours they estimate for this part has been well and truly blown and I’ve read that as we progress through the degree path we are required to put in more hours. That’s a concern for me as I feel that I’m already tackling some aspect of OCA work on a daily basis. I need to stick a bit more rigidly to my weekly work plan to keep momentum and not overdo some aspects. However, it has been very enjoyable.