My Blog

Video Editing Workshop

My final outcome and first video  I’ve  learned put together as a result of this amazing workshop. I will definitely buy the application and some tools to create interesting content for my social media both with my designs as well as work in progress:

Anna Bress, a TV Journalist was invited by the Center of Entrepreneurship to host a workshop here in Cardiff Met teaching us video editing and some basic rules to make interesting content to post on social network. She worked for BBS and also with freelancer journalist teaching them digital skills. 18 months ago she started her own business teaching video editing, to create content, to companies, to make them more independent in creating their own professional content. Four hours of workshop very well spent. When I signed up for it, it kind of scared me the amount of time but I could have listened to her way more. I loved her professionalism and engagement and how she made every aspect of it interesting, I could have listened to her for hours and hours. I will definitely be using all these skills in my practice. This is a summary I managed to write down while listening and learning:

Motional hooks work very well with engagement. The traditional way of leaflets doesn’t work anymore as it used to be. Nowadays 70% of the population is on Facebook. People are more and more attracted and to videos than photographs and these can be done now by common people without the need of expensive equipment. The quality of the phones today is very high and professional. From 2011 when phones started to have high video standards, journalists started self shooting their own pieces getting rid of the camera men. Another interesting data is that 85% of videos on social are watched with the sound off, therefore the text in association with video has become very important. Have relevant background behind the subject when filming or interviewing.

Recommend investing in:

  • MICROPHONE. there are 2 types. A lepall (boya 14:99) The more expensive one (49:99 smart tlav+). A hand held microphone, chenifec 23£ is good already (better is around 200£). Stay far 20 cm away.
  • Stabilization such as selfie stick or a TRIPOD if the interview is too long. Cheepest amazon basics 18£ and works perfectly, it has an extension and a hook down to put wait on it not to tramble on an unsteady floor (wooden) especially with a lot of people walking on it. Newer brand is 36£ and more stable for higher budgets.
  • Tripod for phone or tablet that can be attached on the tripod. There are 1.99 on amazon, very basic but serve the purpose.
  • LIGHT – always go for natural, 1 meter from the source of light for example a window. The light always on the subject, never behind him. If the situation requires artificial light adjust accordingly.

Video: open the camera, click on the screen to focus on a point, if you click longer on it it will block on it and get everything else blurry. Normally the camera picks up a face but if there are more that one in the room it is good to lock it there so it doesn’t get confused.

Resolution: Standard Hd – 1080px works great, the 4k is 40.000px. and much higher. Filming in 4k is not necessary but it has to be at least Hd and it can be transformed after. If i film far away and i want to crop it afterwords it should be 4k otherwise cropping an Hd would get too blurry. Not many people watch in 4k neither on tv nor on socials but it has to be considered when filming in distance in order to crop it and for the future.

Frame the subject in the picture. You don’t move around with the camera while filming, it is very amateur. You take the wide for 3 or 4 seconds, the mid, close ups and even more close ups. After that, Kine Master will help with editing. Every project has to be then saved or moved to the cloud,  the app doesn’t perform very well when it has too many videos to deal with at once. You have to chose your edit format first.1:1 works more and best for social. In the app go to: Media —> All –> chose the 3 videos (wide, mid and close up). Click and drag the videos after to change their order if necessary. If a video is upside down, select it and flip it with the Rotate/Mirror setting. To cut, stretch out the video if necessary to understand where to cut, a light touch on it, and go to trim, trim to left or right depending on what is needed. Go to volume to reduce the volume accordingly if I have to talk over it and be careful that the volume level is green, under the mid lines. You just need 2 to 3 seconds of the same image or video, it is the necessary time for the brain to register the information and not get bored.

Careful when using imagery. Pexels and Pixebay are some of the websites that provide free images. I Movie (for Ios) is similar to Kine Master as setup and it s free but after learning Kine Master she wouldn’t go back to I Movie.

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Recording the screen is another important tool. Screen Record is an app used by Apple and it only registers what is on the screen. Call Recorder is an app to record phone calls but you need the approval to use it. You can record what you see on the screen. AZ Screen Recorder, however records external sounds too and it is an app for Android.

For the interview: strong introduction, 4 questions and strong ending. You can hear people talk for 10-20 sec and then start layering with photos. Layer –> Media –> pull it out or do split screen while muting down the new layer’s sound. 5-8 words when doing voice transcription in words for videos. If its 30 sec long it is doable, if longer than 1 minute it will take time to be able to split the video every 5-8 words.

There are other useful apps such as: Microsoft Hyperlaps for timelaps. Record 5 min at the start, 5 in the middle and 5 at the end for long processes such as decorating a christmas tree for example. BIGVU is an app that allows to transcript on screen what is needed to say and can be easily readable when filming oneself.

External Examiner Presentation

The presentation that I initially imagined accompanied with some amount of anxiety resulted in a very pleasant conversation which I have really enjoyed. Getting to meet her before the presentation relaxed me quite a bit. The pressure of deadlines in general has the ability to push forward my professionalism, which I think has to be always the basis for whatever professional interaction, even the friendlier. This meetings were the case. I have looked up Professor Eiluned Edwards and saw the vast experience she has in the textiles and fashion industry and was amazed by her friendly approach towards us both in the collective meeting and my personal presentation. She put us at ease immediately.

I started my presentation with my theme, talking about critically endangered species  which she seemed to like. She actually mentioned a couple of artists she knew that were studying the bees in their practice and I am waiting curiously now for their contact details to know more.

I went on talking about the style of my designs and client. I mentioned that I want to design mainly for interior but bring in some fashion elements too. Since there isn’t enough time or certain skills to make a garment she proposed something simple as a scarf or as a live mock up, exactly what I did for the previous collection that I didn’t consider for my final one. I will definitely go with it.

I shared why I have considered WGSN during my research and it is because 3 key points: sustainability in the process where digital printing is less damaging for the environment, gender neutral and transseasonal considerations. In fact I have chosen to design for the transseason SS20-and AW20/21. I did ask her if it wasn’t to bold of a move since I have never listened to a choice like this, but as WGSN also Eiluned agreed in how seasons are merging and also fashion and interior. I am very happy with the fact that she confirmed my choices and seemed to like it too.

Finally I shared my next steps that is to divide my collection equally, roughly in 10 primary, 10 secondary and 10 blenders and form these mini collections of 3 that might also be 4 or 5.

She asked me what will she see in my space at the summer show and I answered a wallpaper, possibly a one paneled room divider and some cushions. As well as the scarf or live mockup of a garment.

She finally asked me about my intentions once I finish my course. In the last year I have seriously considered to apply for the Inc. Space and there is a high possibility I might do that because I have an idea for a business. I will also start searching for a part time job and send out CV already before graduation either for part time or full time jobs depending if I will get a space in the Inc Space or not.

Since there wasn’t much time or space for all of us to add comments at the group meeting with Eiluned I would like to share some of my objective experience of these 2 and a half years in Cardiff Met:

  • I have done multiple workshops during my time in Cardiff Met, related to different other courses which were not Textiles. I didn’t sign up for all of them because some were full online and some I have just decided that day I wanted to do them. As suggested by the school and other students I contacted the relevant tutor and got in all of them besides one. In most workshops there is always somebody who doesn’t show up living space for somebody else but you have to be there to take it.
  • The interdisciplinary activities are multiple, they were a great experience where I have learned that I am not only a surface pattern designer but also a maker. For me it was invaluable.
  • Some Tutors and technicians even outside my course have gone the extra mile to help me. Somebody had their lunch while explaining to me what I needed and have done the same with some other students.
  • Constellation has opened my mind and made me do connections I didn’t imagine before. I have studied city architectures and philosophy and learned about curating and art gallery/museum where I ended up writing an essay about a hypothetical but doable futuristic experience for people that got me a first and enjoyed fully. This last study group wasn’t even my first choice.

I did an internship last year with a pleating company. It was great and I have learned so much among friendly people that taught me everything I asked for. The same experience was very negative for some of other people that I know. The school system, as every other is made of people and it is the interaction with them and mainly your professionalism, curiosity and personality that will make a difference in the end. Cardiff Met gives so many opportunities that one degree isn’t enough to take advantage of all even if you plan ahead the 3 years. It is up to each individual to take a step and use them.

 

Colour Board Update

My Colour Board was the only one I wasn’t totally happy with, the number of colours seemed to me a bit to high and with too much diversity. I went back to my colour research in WGSM that I have already made with individual chips for both the SS 20 and the A/W 20/21 collection to be able to play with and place them in groups to see how they look like together. I refined my colour palette considering still that I wanted a gender neutral and transeasonal palette, however cosidering my own taste and style and therefore I have made some changes in the tone of some of the colours. I also had more design elements to play with and better evaluate my choices. I therefore decided to give up on the orange and sunset and bring back the mustard which I found it to be the perfect sobstitute to give interest and light to the collection. It is a trending colour and it gives the warm feel I am looking for my entire collection. Mint Green is very in trend for the gender neutral appeal but I decided to give it up for a more refined overall look. For the same reason I substituted my graphite black with a warmer black that I took from the mid dark tone of the same mustard. Warm tones are in trend, in line with the need for inclusion, the same that justifies transeasonality and the growing need for gender neutral palettes.

Colour Palette work in progress

Colour Board:

Colour Board.jpg

Mood Boards:

Mood Boards Updated

Professional Practice VI – Online Portfolio

It is important and professional in the digital age to have an online portfolio. It is also easier for industry to see who you are and what you do. What I didn’t understand until now it is that an online portfolio it is actually a website and such, it has different sections to consider. The first is an ‘About me’ section with photographs, to show who is behind the designs, part of our personality and other details. At all time be careful that the website doesn’t have any grammar error so always double check, maybe even with somebody else.

ABOUT ME PAGE:

  • Section about background, designs and processes (people love to see a story behind all these points)
  • Awards and competitions, or been nominated for shortlists etc. Every little achievement counts
  • Featured on magazines, blogs and books (when confident with a certain style or amount of work, contact bloggers and ask to be featured on their websites)
  • Any collaborations of clients that we worked with

CONTACT PAGE

Single page, include eventually an online form, an email address, faqs and make it interesting as well

PORTFOLIO PAGE

It can be the home page or a section of the website where to upload all or part of our designs.

PRIVATE PAGES

We can make some online pages private. They are password protected and you can give the password to selected customers from the industry that have shown a real interest in the designs and want to see the entire collection. This mainly happens especially in a later stage where the big load of new work can be hidden from the competition.

YOUR OWN URL

Buying one means that we take our design career seriously. It won’t look as professional otherwise. The best option is to name it after ourselves, or anyway the brand name we chose to be recognized by, so it is easier to find it in the Google research. There are several companies where to buy the domain name and it only costs around 10£ per year: 34sp.com, Go daddy, Squarespce, 123-reg.co.uk. For example I bought mine some months ago from GoDaddy.com .

SOCIAL MEDIA

Preferably it would have the same name as the brand and all social media so it is easier to find. Consistency of name looks professional.

PROTECT WORK

Watermark images with own name so whoever decides to spread our designs through internet people can always see the name of the Designer. It is also important to put the copyright in the website.

FREE WEBSITES:

  1. Adobe Spark, the simplest one, one page that allows to add multiple photographs. It probably doesn’t allow to have a personal url but it is a great place to start;
  2. Wix has a simple layout, but we don’t need too much and too complex, the work should speak for itself;
  3. WordPress: The sketch theme is quite appropriate for work like ours. It can be used easily just by copying and pasting some lines of code to create a more personal layout. It can also be used by programmers to create a more complex website;
  4. Squarespace is 10£/m, more complex
  5. Format is specialized in portfolios, seems to be photographers choice, more sophisticated.
  6. Spark is very simple to use. It has limited options but it does the job: click on the plus button to add a template, than add titles, subtitles and images.

Researching your competitors to see what they are doing and how we can take elements that work out better for us.

I bought my domain name as http://www.miladyanda.com on GoDaddy and connected it for now with WordPress. I am planning in having my About page, portfolio, contact and blog as the main menu and relevant filters for the portfolio and blog articles.

 

 

Research VI – Library

I found some very interesting books in the library and also an unexpected one, the Tibetan rugs that are very inspiring. I looked for books that talked about pattern, different layout styles, natural fabrics and colour. They are also full of references about different designer that I looked for.

My favourite book is ‘The Power of Pattern’ by Susanna Salk. it is very contemporary with different designers and design companies references and it has a very useful table of contents where it divides patterns by style.

First Critique on Work Development

From my Consultancy presentation I have learned to better time myself in what I have to say and I think I have improved and showed that today. There isn’t enough time in three minutes to talk about all the aspects of a collection but overall I am happy with how it went. I named my collection ‘Nature in Extinction’ based on 5 Critically Endangered species that I decided to bring together, together with elements from their natural habitat. I will construct my designs mainly through the exploration of the Damask style but I will also consider other classic layouts such as Art Deco, Toile de Jouy etc.

Tutors were pleased with the layout of my work, this aspect has been part of my practice since my first year and improved with each collection. I like my work to be displayed in a neat and professional way, it shows dedication and highlights the way I approach my work. I am very pleased with my research, it has been thorough and continues alongside my work. I have researched into the WWF and IUCN list of critically endangered animals and selected 5 species among those with an important ecological, symbolic and spiritual value and their habitat: the Sumatran Tiger, Hawksbill Turtle, Giant Ibis, Primates such as the Cross River Gorilla and the Honeybee. My Moodboards reflect my research, however I might reconsider a few of my colors to find the right balance between the transeasonal look I am looking for in regard to SS20 and AW20/21 and a bold and sophisticated look. My sketchbook depicts the animals I chose to represent and each plant associated with them. From the critique it came out the need to experiment more with different combinations of motifs.

Some of my sketches are incomplete such the Ibis where I omitted to finish the legs for the curiosity of starting soon my design development to have an understanding of the outcome. This has shown an unfinished look in my experimental designs that I need to correct. Same applies for my half ibis design where the ibis also have a too obvious look while I am aiming to give an overall impact of the design where my motifs are identifiable at a closer look.

One of my damask designs was already quite complex therefore it came out in the discussion that the single tiles need more space to breath, which I agree with. I will also need to reduce the amount of the black area which gives a very dark feel while I am only looking for a Gothic touch. It need refinement for a more harmonious balance.

horizontalTutors were very pleased with my large scale damask both for the layout and the colors and I am very happy about it because I have also found it successful.

The digital stitch sample was a bit too simplistic, in fact this was just a first sample and I am considering to bring more colours and interest to it by adding further embellishment.

Ibis digital stitch attempt

My next steps are:

  • Experimenting with different combinations of my flora and fauna motifs and different layouts and scale.
  • to select a few samples and digitally print them to see the real look of how my design look on my chosen fabrics and that the colours are the ones I have actually chosen.
  • Organizing my final samples in main, secondary and blenders where the main will depict all or most of the animals and elements of their natural habitat, the secondary will see a more simple combination of less and single species. The blender will be created by choosing single elements of either animals or plants in a simple layout to complete and balance the busiest main and secondary designs.

Professional Practice V – Self Promotion

Self promotion is very important when it comes to either work for somebody or running your own business, especially in out era.

There are 2 types of people: the ones that have an Internal Locus of control, which means that they feel in control of their opportunities and future and make things happen. The second type, believe that things just happen to them and there is nothing they can do about it.

Exercise 1:

  • Work on your own
  • Write down every step you took (so that we can replicate what you did).
  • Write down how you ‘validated’ that you would like to work with the person. Ie how did they build your trust.
  • Find an individual who you would like to collaborate with on your next project. Must be someone who you have not physically met (yet).

This exercise was really interesting. When done, we were asked: where did you start? who did you dismiss along the way and why? how did the person build trust?. The answers that kept popping up were social media, professional website, positive reviews etc. To led us realize how important it is to have social proof and how this can influence other people’s decision in wanting to work with us or not.

Exercise 2:

  • Work in pairs.
  • List what is good, what is bad, what can be improved.
  • Use different platforms, google, linkedin, Instagram, twitter etc
  • Imagine you are either an employer or a potential collaborator, what can you find out about the other person based on their name and knowing that they are a textile designer/surface pattern designer.

It was very interesting to see how some of us had some difficulties finding the other on social media or how the different social media were not coherent to one another almost as if there were different people, not one.

Exercise 3:

3 things to improve your profile: (three things by the end of the day) 3 things before i leave uni, 3 things to change yourself on. After the previous exercises I found it much easier to understand the things I had to change to improve my social presence:

  • Instagram: Change photograph on main page
  • post regularly to create more trust
  • Post more work in progress images, especially or carousels of photographs
  • Post short videos of what you do, these seems more captivating and have better rate of succes in bringing new people to the profile

Today, people search people online. If they don’t find you they’ll dismiss you, if they find you and don’t like what they see they will dismiss you as well. I personally use on a daily/weekly basis Instagram that is connected to my Facebook page so every time I post something, it goes to my page as well. I have also set a profile on LinkedIn that I keep up to date, it is the most important social presence to have when looking for a job. Blogging have become almost routine for me, and knowing how important it is to give content to people, I plan on having a dedicated blog space in my website where I can write relevant content for my customers.

Next step: I will participate to Countdown to Launch from 10-14 June with the Centre of Entrepreneurship. It is a great opportunity to do a 5 day intensive workshop going through many different aspects of running and expanding a business. There will be the chance for pitching to get 1000£ that I am very excited about. I remember how scary talking was for me when I started my first year. Now, even though it still doesn’t come natural to me, I feel confident in saying I will definitely do it.

Professional Practice IV – Angela Gidden

Angela Gidden was born in 1960 in Cardiff and has become a highly established and renowned U.K designer. She is a creative entrepreneur and turned what she loved in multiple businesses, working as a design consultant and creative director. She awarded the Member Of The British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s New Years Honours list in 2007 and is testimony to her commitment to design and business in Wales.

Ange Header jpeg

‘A Creative Journey of Romance and Risk’. The romance is part of the things she loves, the risk is something she have never tough before but it is part of the journey. she is a consultant designer and payed as such plus royalty.

She has a variety of role models. They tend to be outside the design world. One of them is Maya Anjelou, an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. One of her favourite quotes that she relates to: ‘If you always try to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be”.

Angela Gidden is an award winning designer and owner of 3 brands/businesses. As she tells us, she made loads of mistakes but some great decisions, one of them was to be a consultant creative director. She also got a medal from the Queen.

She had 4 role models in her life: A ballerina, her mom. A footballer, George. Angela used to draw him and sell the portraits to every person she knew at the age of 7. A singer, she was fascinated by him, dressed in color and patterns and at the age of 12 she knew she wanted to pursue the arts. A technician, her dad. He has been her jury from the moment she shared to manifest a desire to pursue a career in design. The lesson here is that there is always someone to questions you an to whom you have to prove wrong to and this can either stop you from the start or it can be a a good motivator to push you to do better.

1979 – Cardiff art college foundation course

1980 London College of Art

1984 Masters that she failed together with half of her class

What makes you get that far is both passion and luck. However, all sorts of luck can come your way but its up to you to grab it

Her first job was working for Christie Tyler where she got promoted to design director after only 2 years. Back then it was a male director dominated industry where she had to prove herself. She was tough and worked hard and grow them and succeed!

She ended up designing for different companies such as IKEA, the Heinz beans tin for Tesco etc. She was always the name behind some other brand’s products and started to feel limited. She then decided to take the risk and break free, as her personality a free spirited, unconventional and a natural risk taker.

‘You have to have the passion and conviction to be very good, damn good!’

She always has been told that designers do not make good business people. In 1993 she started looking for loans, and even with a good business plan she’s been repeatedly rejected. The same happened with Barclays that said no to her just because it wasn’t common for a woman to be a businesswoman. In the furniture market there is a limited time that goes from designing to manufacturing and to the market. To keep up and be profitable she created her design studio with an integrated production department to create her own prototypes. She advertised herself and Habitat and other brands commissioned her immediately the Pacino sofa. With Habitat she had a 1.34£ per sofa for an amount of about 340.000£ in 9 years with a 60 mil turnover.

Exposure and reputation is very powerful. Good exposure increases your reputation. the more the more, repeat and repeat. Build a positive reputation from the beginning and build on it, without it you are not considered. She has been commissioned to design the furniture for the Welsh. They wanted her to commit that the product would last 100 years.

She designs for Orange Box, for the retail, hospitality. She thinks about innovation as well and works today with a german company for a 360 degree seat rotation. She also worked for a ‘seat’ for disables for the outdoor, she took inspiration from the automotive industry and designed something that could blend with the owner, like a piece of clothing where the chair would disappear regaining the attention on the person: Nomad chair.

During production they had much waste from leather and decided to create a second and third company to reuse these materials, first in fashion accessories such as bags and with that waste created smaller products such as wallets, and key fobs.

She loves collaborating, it is inspiring and makes a change. ‘Change is a damn good thing.’

She worked for Camira, a big company, as a consultant. They were very proud of their secret method in creating their fabrics. She had to work hard in molding their point of view to change strategy and share this secret with the world instead. Times have changed, today sharing means bringing more customers because by seeing the process and gain more trust and visibility, therefore clients.

One of her life principle is  ‘Making Life Better by Design’. The process of design should be a process that allows to create the best designs but as a solution to a problem/need.

She had a church congregation as client, the Citychurch. She sat down with them to understand what they want (clients not always know). The place needed to be an open space for 1000 people and reflect spirituality. She chose woven textiles, recycled yarn from a Danish company and also considered acoustics. The one person that gave her more satisfaction in the end was an old lady from the congregation that admitted to have bir reserves about the space but in the end she transformed in her bigger fan.

She worked with some very skillful technical from the knitting division. Knit to fit, an interesting concept with a zero waste process. Nike fly net new shoes just came on the market so she asked why not use the same technique for furniture. It was a difficult work but she wanted to see her inspiration from those shoes becoming reality for furniture and made it happen.

It is never about one single idea but an evolution of many. when clients say they want a chair they wont get just a chair. clients often do not have the vision of what they want, often you have to show them

She will launch this year MadeFine&co, a retail brand that says it all in the name, fine, long lasting, attention to detail and co not with a big c for company but small for collaboration. she is not only designing the furniture but she is searching for all the accessories as well such as lamps etc. they crafted the brand and the makers mark.

Typical question she got from from people: Love the Idea but why do it?

All businesses start with an idea. The why can be vast and has to be analysed in order to understand the potential success. It has to be an original idea, it has to have a competitive edge for the client to compete in the market, there might be a gap in the market, but always ask why? ( in fact Nike designed pink football boots because there was a gap in the market but they didn’t sell), can it make money?, will it make profit to give possibility for expanding and innovation?, can you see and create opportunities?, can you maximize contacts?, are there resources and support to tap into? (role models, mentors and somebody to lean on), is there potential for dynamic collaboration?, will it add value to what you do?, is there a desire to be in control? are you a risk taker and willing to go for it?, passsion?

A crucial aspect and consideration is that:

  • client is for life, but it is challenging keeping them. She starts her collaboration with this in mind.
  • Exceed clients expectation or at the very least delight, don’t disappoint! Don’t oversell yourself
  • You will be copied, be prepared. It is robbery because our best ideas are our greatest assets
  • Don’t get comfy in your creative world, there are always others able to beat you
  • Never think you designed your best piece or you will settle. She always says to herself after every project that ‘The best is yet to come’.
  • Balance life and work. The older she gets, the better she understands its importance. Too much work can take you away from a healthy emotional lifestyle
  • Be Yourself (Her dream while growing has been to ‘become a rock chick’)

Q&A

How important it was working in industry before setting your own business? With her first job she learned everything she needed to be in the front line for a business. To become a director she had to prove to know design, costing, finance, how to manage people, sales marketing, how to run a board meeting etc. The recommendation is to get the industry experience for both contacts and connections.

She selects fabrics from Camira (leaders in sustainability) they grow their own nettles. They weave using hemp that they plant here in Uk, and they also used it with wool. They have a mill of the size of 3 football camps. They produce 133 thousand of meters per week. They use recycled products, silk woven with wool. The technical knitting uses zero waste.

Is there a possibility for collaborations with textile designers? Her approach to design is Scandinavian, minimalist but there might be in the future for textile designers.

studio@angelagidden.com for cv

 

 

Research V – Animals and Natural Habitat

Giant Ibis – Thaumatibis gigantea

As described by IUCN, the giant ibis lives alone, in pairs or small parties. Their natural habitat occur in marshes, pools, wide rivers and seasonal water-meadows. They prefer predominantly deciduous (that loses its leaves in autumn and grows new ones in the spring) dipterocarp lowland forest, although it seems to be dependent on soft mud around seasonal pools (trapaengs). It also nests in these trees, in fact studies show that around 90% of nesting trees are common deciduous dipterocarp species and females almost always lay two eggs per clutch in the wet season (IUCN). Based on my research I decided to associate the giant ibis with the dipterocarpus tree and its seeds, that also represents part of its diet among  invertebrates, crustaceans, eels, small amphibians and reptiles. I will experiment sketching it both with foliage and without. I especially like its winding branches that gives a more dramatic look in the winter.

Ibis natural habitat.jpg

Hawksbill TurtleEretmochelys imbricata

Hawksbill Turtles are found mainly in tropical oceans, predominantly in coral reefs. They eat mainly sponges by using their narrow pointed beaks to extract them from crevices on the reef, but also eat sea anemones and jellyfish. I decided to associate the sea sponge with my sea turtle since it is the main element of its natural habitat and main food. There is a vast amount of sea sponges, generally colorful and with interesting shapes that I believe will integrate my turtle pattern very well.

Hawksbill Turtle Natural Habitat

Sumatran TigerPanthera tigris sumatrae

The Sumatran tiger is only found in the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Its natural habitat comprises evergreen tropical forests, freshwater swamp forests and peat swamps. Since its habitat is varied I decided to investigate further through the Unesco website that has a detailed article about the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra. I instantly fell in love with one of the typical Sumatran plants, the Cyrtostachys renda endemic in Sumatra, Borneo, Malaya and Thailand. It grows in the lowland swamp forests, especially in coastal areas. It has a bright red stem in opposition of the natural greens of its leaves. It is a tropical plant, topic that designers have focused on a lot these years. However this plant is not very well known and I believe it would fit very well within my original collection considering that I intend to keep part of its aspect as they are, while turn others into a more abstract aesthetics.

Sumatran Tiger and Habitat

Bee

There are around 20.00 species of bees but not even 2% of these are honey bees and bumble bees. The remaining 98% are solitary bees. Some have a different aspect than the ‘normal’ black and orange coloured that we are used to identify as bees. There are around 270 species recorded in UK only. On the first days of sun this spring I went for bee hunting around Cardiff and luckily I found a few to inspire my sketches. They were buzzing around these beautiful winter blooming Camellias which I have never noticed before. It attracted me the evergreen foliage of this very tall tree full of pink/red flowers especially in February when most of the trees are still naked.

Bee and habitat.jpg

Research Part IV – Primary and Secondary

For the nature of my theme, I am limited in my primary research due to the rarity of the species I intend to bring together for my final collection.

There is the possibility for a closure with some of these animals such as the Sumatran Tiger within the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), however I am personally against captivity for whatever reason. I consider most Zoos to have a hypocritical attitude today, when they bring up the comfortable excuse of “conservational” reasons for endangered species when it comes to justify their caged choices. According to several articles such as Euronews and BBC, two critically endangered Tigers were killed in captivity this February within a week, the second one in the London Zoo. Criticism from Wildlife Organisations arrived immediately. Born Free’s Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity, Dr Chris Draper claimed that “Both tragic incidents demonstrate just how unnatural captivity is for these wild animals,”  and that “They are denied the opportunity to choose their mates, have no control over their environment, and are unable to escape conflict.”

I intend to use mainly the WWF and IUCN database and archive as well as the Smithsonian one which I find to be the more detailed and updated and also rich in imagery of all animal species and their natural habitat.

We also have a very good imagery database in University, the Bridgeman Education.