Consultancy – Mood Boards

We started our third year working on a stationery project delivered by the IG Design Group in collaboration with our course. It is very exciting because it combines our own practice and creativity with the real world. My mind set now is about building my creativity and personality around trends that could appeal to a wider range of customers and that could also fit in the Ig Design Group’s range of products.

Last year, as my inspirational company and for my theme I chose somebody that has been more of a trend setter than follower, the Timorous Beasties. This time, for the goal of the project and to challenge myself with different outcomes I decided to blend my creativity with trends. In fact, I started my research with WGSN that is an endless source of inspiration. A board full of photographs and keywords capable to transmit in a few pages a whole concept. What connected to me immediately was the ‘Light Magic’ theme that explores nature and mysticism through nocturnal skies , l have looked at stationery as well as packaging, decorative accessories and textiles.

I subsequently started a more thorough research that led me to elements such as the petrified wood, cells, synapses, molecules, nebula, the moon etc. They all had in common sinuous and roundish shapes, and looking more closely, they are connected by more or less evident strings. I chose a plant as representation of something that is born from a connection, a relationship. A plant that give fruits permitting the continuity of life, the berries that represent the shapes from my research, the smallest particles of life.

I also intend to give a sense of movement, key for the stationery look, by using three dimensional effects.

I researched and downloaded a Font that was in line with my theme, structured but interrupted where you can see through it almost as a play of light.

Mood Board1

My Colour board is inspired by the ‘Light Magic’ stationery category combined with the ‘Light Magic’ packaging category. A contrast of deep naturals and spiritual colours. To these, I added black because it is very common in nature and because of the contrast it creates. I also added an intense red because it represents the connection between all things as the blood in living creatures as well as the well known ‘red string’ that connects everything.

Colour Board

My client is a professional, over 25. Both female and male that I represented with an androgynous person. He/she has a romantic mind, likes the mystery and freedom of the sky. Appreciates art and is selective in his/her choices, from the people to be surrounded by to the details in his/her home.

The occasion I’m planning on designing for is Love/Relationships. This will show mostly with the postcards where I will underline the theme of the Connection and also because of the typographic elements I will use to celebrated them.

Client Board

My range of products are intended for a High End market. Both because it talks to a certain category of people that can identify with my theme and also because I’m planning in using some hand finishing: metallic embellishment with foil and velvety touch with flock to enhance the visual and tactile senses.

I identified some competitors, among others, that combine High End elements and a representation of my chosen theme.

Competitors

Second Year – Final Show

The final show of my second year represents a big part of who I am as a designer/maker. My research led me to unexplored places, both artistically and personally. My skills extended and my confidence grew. I was so happy and proud for receiving the acknowledgement, among my class mates, for the professional attitude and practice. This was an unexpected satisfaction that made me realise where I stand and gave me a push to do even better for my last yer.

It has been a long way, changing designs, adding and taking away but in the end it was all worth it. The company I chose as inspiration, the Timorous Beasties have a very unique style from which I loved the play of bold and vibrant colours on neutrals, reinterpreted in a Gothic feel. I enjoyed every step of the way and I am so pleased with the final outcome.

Mood Boards:

Final Collection:

LED Wallcovering Lamp, switched off and on:

Lamp wallcovering.jpg
Anda Avramescu, June 2018, LED Wallcovering Lamp, acrylic and laser cut/engraved plexiglass and mdf

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection on Subject and Field

This year has been full of exciting experiences, learning new skills and making new friends. It started very challenging since the first term of subject and it got even more with field, which I enjoyed to bits. For field I chose the chair project ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably’, for the first term, and ‘Mind Your Own Business’ for the second. As it appears, and I can confirm, I chose the most demanding once, but considering the amount of things I’ve learned, I would chose them over and over again. The chair projects was was a group of two one, making sure that each one had either a product designer or a maker. The difficulty about it was that my partner didn’t show up, besides a couple of times, and I ended up completing it on my own. At first I was almost sure I wouldn’t make it but instead it turned out that all the hard work of the last year had showed its results. And with even harder work I completed some other tutorials and workshops to have the necessary skills to get the job done. I enjoyed both the manuality in dealing with materials and the digital process in making a ready CNC-able file to cut all the pieces needed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The business project, on the other side, was a group of five one, each one of us motivated to take the most of the experience and to come up with a successful idea. For the practical part of the project I could apply what previously learned with chair, but the skills I have acquired are mainly theoretical. I worked well and productively in the group, where I found my natural place as Deputy Leader, acting as a binding force between the team members and establishing a common language whilst ensuring that the team was well tuned. This was really important to understand myself better, putting to focus my strengths and weaknesses. Setting up a business from scratch was also important since I’m planning in doing a business plan as my final Dissertation. I tried to take the most of both projects and I think my marks and feedback reflect that. Besides all, it was a true honour to work with Richard Morris who I didn’t know in the beginning but ended up to admire.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the beginning I didn’t really know how this could directly relate to my subject, but as a matter of fact I ended up doing an LED Wallcovering that reflected most of the skills I acquired during field. Everything just naturally fit in place and I’m very happy with my journey so far. Without realising I found myself being both a textile and a maker, with the eager to do not only digital patterns but also useful objects that I can apply my designs to. Field has opened me a huge horizon of possibilities that I intend to use by gathering more knowledge and doing more workshops over the summer. I intend to further develop methods to combine textiles, digital and the making and I’m almost certain that I wouldn’t be here with this mind set and experience if it wasn’t for this amazing idea of field.

Personal Critique of the Textile Degree Show 2018

The two weeks experience in helping out the third years, while learning from them, was undoubtedly very helpful from many points of view. Besides having a good understanding of what is required for a degree show, I also shared part of the girls process, worries and curiosities. While focusing, for the most part of the experience on the show I decided to pass the last days investigating and asking questions about sources of inspiration and sneak peek into some sketchbooks. It was the days I was assigned to help Alice and I was actually very happy about it since I immediately found her designs to be very original. Lottie Cooper was among the girls I didn’t get the chance know during the buddy system but I did manage to ask her some questions in the end about her work. If I have to chose only two, it is Lottie and Alice. But I also admired Emma’s bold colour palette and Francesca’s layout and designs, which reflect, in part, my love for symmetry and an undefined but organised structure.

  1. Alice Hargraves:

a) Critique/comment on the development of ideas and concepts in this work: From the moment I saw her first samples I got very curious. I could understand from the colour palette that it was sea related, the patterns were organic and sinuous so they had to be of some living beings. I tried hard to associate them with something I knew but I couldn’t, so I asked her. This is how I found out about the sea slugs and as she was  describing them they seemed an endless source of inspiration, and it shows throughout her samples. Even though she couldn’t find the way in getting some primary research, the secondary one seems to have been done so in dept to permit her to make of every sample a new discovery of the mysteries of the sea.

b) How successfully are the materials and techniques  used to convey the concepts?  I found her colour palette to be very originally chosen. You can recall it is sea inspired, but the fact that she chose a specific one, the arctic sea, makes it as original as her designs. At first glimpse, her collection just blends harmoniously. The different techniques she used in some of the samples other than digital, such as stitch and print, added the right substance interest to her designs. As she played with colours and motifs, she gave dept and movement even to her only digitally printed samples.

c) What is it about this exhibition that most impresses you? It was immediately the patterns. The colour palette reminded of the sea, which is quite an ordinary combination of colours to see, but the motifs were giving it such an interesting layout that it is not possible to walk by without stopping to discover more. Standing in her space felt like being immersed in deep sea and with the carpet on the wall felt like freedom in movement, like there was no gravity. I found her samples display to also be original since she was the only one that didn’t use a rail.

d) Briefly evaluate the presentation style of the work: The layout of the space, with most part of the walls covered in her designs, felt coherent to the theme of the sea, still keeping it harmonious and without giving the feeling of being to busy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

2. Lottie Cooper

a) Critique/comment on the development of ideas and concepts in this work: I found her designs to be very interesting, and it is not just a casual word. Her work had both a retro and a futuristic feel to me and I couldn’t precisely associate it with one style. Later on I discovered that she actually took her inspiration from the Art Deco and her love for the beetle shape, each one related to each one of her grandmothers, to whom she dedicated the entire collection. A successful combination that permitted her to have a stylish and vibrant design with a retro feel.

b) How successfully are the materials and techniques  used to convey the concepts? The combination of designs and colour palette targets a high end clientele so I think that the choice of the screen printing, together with the given choice of silk dupion fabrics and wallpaper, is a coronation of an already successful collection. A handmade artefact is both appreciated and in demand from a high end clientele who is often researching unique pieces either to exhibit or that best meet their taste, and she conveyed this throughout her work.

c) What is it about this exhibition that most impresses you? It was immediately the colours, then the patterns and the sensation of not being immediately able to classify the style. I was impressed by the choice of merging two inspirational sources that I would have never even thought to put together – also ingeniously taking from one of them, the beetle bug, her vibrant colour palette. In fact, I admire the choice in picking some bright colours for entire designs (considering the age of her clientele) and managing to adapt it, in my opinion, for the best, to her art Deco styled patterns.

d) Briefly evaluate the presentation style of the work: At fist glance, I thought there were two different persons exhibiting. The right and first side that caught my eye had bright coloured wallpapers and sample book while the left side had a more gentle colour palette. Overall, the work was displayed in an effective minimalist way, where the ‘minimalist’ was utterly compensated by the impact of her sophisticated colour palette and designs.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

3. How do you perceive the show, generally?

The entire show had a professional feel, from the more sophisticated to the more simplistic layouts. There was much to see and in fact, I enjoyed very much taking my time in studying details of work, fabrics and sources of inspiration.

4. List 3 key things you have learnt from what you have seen overall?

  • It opened my mind in what source of inspiration I can find for future collections and how to successfully put together apparently totally different once, for an original collection.
  • It helped me understand the standards required for a professional layout of the final show and the variety to chose from (but not limited by).
  • It made me realise even more that a successful colour palette is key, it is the first to capture people’s attention, and to experiment with it in order to find and original one.

Buddy system – week two

The second week started in a more dynamic way then how the previous ended. The deadline was approaching fast and we could feel it in the air. I spent the first two days helping around some of the girls to drill, paint frames and shelves and cleaning the common spaces and painting tools. But most of all I was happy to help Kyah with the layout of her work. We moved around her pillows, chair and fabrics to find the most appropriate one. I really appreciated her asking my opinion and actually follow it. We discussed why a piece had to go in a place rather then another and why and all this made me realise how important is that every detail fells in the right place for a coherent visual of the whole. Colour seems to be the first thing that catches the eye. It was exciting to see all the different layouts around the room that were taking shape.

Besides Kyah’s layout, the most important thing I realised is how many details there are to consider for the show, directly and indirectly. In fact, I decided to make a list of materials and tools needed for the degree show and what to consider for the final display of the work. There were so many little and big things, all necessary to get the job done for the best:

For the walls: filler, sand paper, white paint for common areas, paint for own space, various dimensions paintbrushes, paint roller, paint lead for roller, sand sponge to clean the tools, brown tape for the corners in between panels, paper tape, drill.

20180508_104609.jpg

For the fabric samples: 2-3 double side tape, 2-3 magic tape, scissors, rotary cutter, cutting pad, needle, embroidery needle to pull in the edges of the stitch in the fabric samples, headers.

Brand: Business cards, envelopes for cv, fabric samples to send with cv, stickers for headers and envelops, post cards with own design, expositor.

Exposition layout possibilities: shelves, table, boxes, chair, chez long, hammock, banch, tower expositors, hooks, plant, curtain, garments pillow, frame, hangers, mockups, wallpaper/wall covering, mirror, tiles, blanket, rug etc.

The last days were super busy trying to get every aspect of the show sorted. I got assigned to a new buddy, Alice and started by painting her hangers, start cleaning her space and measuring and cutting some headers for her A2 samples that needed to be made to measure. I then mounted and stitched her beautiful sea blue samples. They were so long I was barely seeing where I was stitching so I just focused on the foot of the stitching machine to get it strait.

20180509_164614.jpg

After all the technical questions of the last days and coming across Alice’s designs I naturally started to ask her about her inspiration for the collection and started analysing them from a technical point of view. I find her designs to be very original and at all obvious, with shapes I never came across with and It was very interesting to find out about sea slugs. Truly everything can be of inspiration. On the same day I found out about Sonia and that her fabrics would arrive the day of the deadline. Since she needed help I offered to make her two pillows so I spent a bit of time with Maggie teaching me to stitch a cushion case with a zip I got so happy I’ve learned it that I already ordered some fabric to make my own for the summative show.

The last day was kind of crazy! I helped Alice to sort out her square samples till Sonia’s fabrics came in and by lunch time I was fighting with the fabric of her pillows that were not allowing me to pass the needles through and stick the zip in place. After some struggles I managed to find a tricky solution which worked out for the best in the end, allowing me to sort them out an hour before the deadline. I only had to be careful at all the needles coming out from the fabric and take the away one by one while stitching. All together it took me double the time expected from the prototype of the day before:

making pillows

When I thought the running stopped, it actually just began after a third year student came in to get her layout sorted one hour before the deadline. People started gathering around her to help in any way and for the last half an hour we created an industrial production line. It was actually beautiful to see people coming together like that to help somebody else. A classmate, half worried half amused, made us swear that nobody would do this next year.

And there we were, sharing the moment of the deadline with the third years’ last minutes as students, tired and happy to have been part of their achievement in having a professional looking show:

Before and after:

room before and after work.jpg

I wanted and managed to be involved in, I think, every aspect I could about the degree show, over these two weeks and I feel more in control of what is expected from us and how to organise it. In fact, I always prefer to have a global understanding of everything before going into detail. It was a huge opportunity to learn what is about to come, but also the variety of possibilities to start thinking about from now. I’ve learned more than I imagined and it turned out to be a place where I got to interact with people from my own class which I never really had conversations with. Amazing experience, thank you.

Buddy system – week one

I found the Buddy system to be a very smart and direct way to help and learn in the same time and I took advantage of it every single day. Two weeks seems a perfect time frame as well. It should be mandatory for every course!

For how much the tutors talked about being an intense and hard working two weeks, day one took me by surprise anyway. We moved tables, chairs and displays the whole day. Actually by the time I started unscrewing the boards with the drill at lunch time, it was almost relaxing! Even though I was in comfortable clothes I understood I had to wear something even more appropriate. This was also the day I met my buddy, Kyah Moore, a lovely person and a professional artist. We introduced ourselves and immediately set an appointment for the next day to start cleaning her wall and fill the wholes in preparation for the painting. After finishing to put down all the panels in our room, though, I actually managed to get her wall done. Cleaned the wall, taped the corners, did filling and sanding, ready for the paint. I did paint a wall before but never did a proper preparation with the appropriate materials, so I started my learning process right away.

drilling.jpg

While my classmate was painting the wall, I spend the second day in the stitching room doing the headers for my buddy’s samples. If you are precise it is an easy process but to make sure I was doing it the best I could, I had to consider a few important elements: the size of the stitch, the colour of the thread, if to stitch from border to border or leave a cm space from the edges and at what distance to stitch from the fabric. And seeing a few other girl’s headers I’m happy I took a moment to consider this details accurately, which resulted in a professional look.

IMany third years were in the stitching room preparing their samples and it was very interesting to hear them chatting about each one’s different choices in materials or other things for the final show. Since I spent many hours in there, I was was listening about or asking something new every day:

  • I didn’t know about the letters and how textile students would send their CV’s to companies. Or about the choice to include some fabric samples or usb’s containing the portfolio. I really liked Kyah’s semi transparent/opaque letters where you could partially see the designs of her samples through, it stand out. I might consider it for the next year.
  • Contrado seems to be the favourite place to buy fabrics from,, around 3-4 days delivery and have 40% off for students. In my internship at Ciment Pleating I met a student who was using Bags of Love instead, which I found out to be identical to Contrado but without the discount. Well, I bought the swatches and I’m happy I can actually familiarise already with the different fabrics. They are very helpful because they show the name/s of the fibre/s and the % used. You can actually have the feeling of the fabric and see how the same design changes throughout the different fabrics.
  • I also noticed that most of the girls had the same headers, even though some were using a drown side and some the plain on, so I asked how so. I discovered that they are sold in packs of minimum 50 pieces so the girls were putting money together and divide them to only have the 30-35 needed, including spare ones in case something would go wrong.
  • I also asked about what they would advice me to work on this summer in preparation for the new year. To my surprise, everybody kept insisting on how important it is to focus on the essay because once the year started I wouldn’t have much time for it anymore. This was for me a very important thing to learn since I thought that focusing on the future collection would be the priority.
  • I found out about the stickers on the headers, and saw the first business cards.

Once finished Kyah’s samples she didn’t need me anymore for the day so I asked everybody if they needed me and ended up helping ironing and taping Jenny’s samples with Kim.

headers and taping.jpg

My buddy was well organised and already ahead with her work and she didn’t need me for the rest of the week but asked me instead to help her friend Emma for whom I stitched the headers the same way I did for Kyah. Emma used a very strong colour palette that stick in my had. I admire the impact that had on me and I love some of her samples. I then spent the rest of the day helping Steve to raise and fix some panels around the sink, and a few other girls with minor jobs on their samples. The last hour I dedicated it to continue helping Jenny. I found out she had 400 samples to sort out. It was kind of mind blowing the huge difference between Jenny’s work and the total amount of 30 samples actually required from everybody for the show. I knew she had a business but it still felt a lot. After investigating I found out she had more or less the same amount of designs but she ordered them in more colourways, hanging each colourway together in a waterfall display in a rigid header. She explained me how they are sourced from recycled materials and has a magnet mechanism that allows her to take away or add samples. A more expensive but long lasting and reusable headers than the cardboard ones used by most people.

The fourth and last day of the first week I spent it helping a a bit Jenny but mostly painting with Cookie the common spaces of the degree room and cleaning around. I’m so excited in imagining myself in the new room from September, having my own space. I already pictured myself in Francesca’s space drawing and losing myself watching out of the window. And with this smile on my face I started my weekend.

Feedback on my formative assignment

The more we go forward with the course, the more in dept details there are to consider when making a collection. I designed mine, of interior fabrics and wall coverings, inspired by the audacious Timorous Beasties which I also ended to admire very much because of how they challenge the status quo and their way to translate it into stunning designs.

Here’s my collection:2nd year collection.jpg

Formative Feedback. Points to improve and my considerations:

  • Make more clear the final 6 out of 12 designs.

I sometimes find it difficult to understand when to answer a request at 100% how it is asked for and when I can fly more freely and eventually go that mile more that it is expected from us. This time, the effort put in representing some of my designs in mini collections didn’t go as hoped so I’m re-evaluating the whole layout and separate distinctly my best samples for display, as asked.

  • Work on colour co-ordinates in different colour palette then the one chosen for your target market. For example pastels. Consider WGSM!

I did not understand that the requirement was to create 2 alternative colour co-ordinates (of one pattern), that had to be different from the one chosen for my collection. So I took action by starting researching about oncoming trend in WGSN. I chose for my Colour coordinates  the S/S 2019 and A/W 2019/2020 trend for interiors. I also reconsidered my colour palette which i realised it had too many colours and I revisited my Colour Board. I took away two colours and gave a more uniform overall look to the collection which I am now very pleased about.

  • Reinvent the quilted fabrics, it is too neat, be more dangerous.

I  believe that my quilted sample was indeed to neat for my theme. I focused and gave too much credit to my motif, forgetting to take a step back and look at the overall look of my sample. At first I thought I will remake it from scratch but since I really loved the result so far I decided to work on it instead. To a very symmetric and uniform pattern I decided to add a new colour and an asymmetric final layer in hand stitch that has actually changed the sample making it more unpredictable.

  • Work on more scale variations to add excitement.

I experimented with different scale variations.  My CAD visuals, in this case, can give a better idea about the actual dimensions of my patterns, since I also considered some of my samples to be in large scale. In my actual samples, though, I chose to give an understanding of the entire pattern rather that just a small piece that would not be sufficient to give the visual of the whole.

  • More experimental drawing and blending ideas together on paper/substrates. Experiment with more variations of line thickness, personalise it. Find your hand writing.

It was only after this comment that I realised that I tend to use the same line thickness in many of the drawings so I took some inspiration from nature and started experimenting both in my sketchbook and with my digital designs. The result was surprising, it already added a first element of interest more and created a dept to the designs. I also used collage in my sketchbook which gave me new ideas of texture and 3 dimensional effects to apply to my final samples, that reflect more the shocking feel of my theme.

  • Use more range of materials.

I used different materials within the collection and further experiments. Fabrics such as linen, leatherit and velvet. I also used materials less obvious in textiles, such as plexiglass, mdf and LID lights for my wallcovering.

  • Consider the use of smart textiles in the developing collection and talk about it even if you can not apply it.

I am already doing a research regarding smart textiles because I think there is potential to include them in my future development for the 3rd year. I mostly intend to use electronics in order to transform my light wall covering into an interactive artefact that will go beyond a simple source of light or a decorative purpose. In fact, I followed a workshop that allowed me to better understand the technology and potential behind it. In short, by adding a conductive material to an object, it can trigger a certain sound associated to it, when a person touches that point. So for example, drawing a wave I can decide to associate to it the actual sound of a wave, permitting a deeper connection between the object and its possessor. The amazing thing is that this can also be applied to textiles because it has been already invented a conductive thread that can be stitched into a garment with a simple needle or stitching machine.

  • Consider thermachromic dyes and add a touch of florescent colouring or iridescent bright for a ‘pop’ colour.

I’m considering thermachromic dyes for a future development to pursue further the interaction with objects. In this case it would be a purely aesthetic one where the object, after treating it with thermachromic dyes or paint, it would change colour to the touch in reaction to a temperature change. Regarding florescent paints I already ordered a few samples and decided to experiment with it on one of the samples of my final collection, on the frayed linen body of the ‘Butterfly and net’ design. The goal is to use it as part of the layout of a pattern where the fluorescent motifs are almost invisible in day light but become visible in a different (or same) patter in the dark, for an unexpected and original effect. There aren’t many colours to chose from, only around seven, and some remain bright for longer then others, such as the colour green, mostly known because of the fluorescent stars used for the kids room.

  • Improve your CAD visuals. They have to be immaculate

I already watched several tutorials online. There are many places to properly learn how to make a realistic Mock-up. Nonetheless, I had some difficulties making one from scratch so I have contacted Charlie and she has been very helpful in showing me her methods. As it seems, there isn’t only one right way, so experimentation is crucial in order to find the best that suits the situation. Now I am finally pleased with the outcome and feel way more confident with it and it shows in the new CAD visuals I worked on. It takes a lot of time to fix every little detail but in the end it is absolutely worth it in seeing such a realistic layout. I will keep experimenting and find new methods to improve my work even more.

I also decided  to make a real cushion and better understand timing and the process involved. From the order of the fabric, the digital result on fabric and the making of the cushion.

  • it would be good to see some of your own work on video and /or time-lapse processes.

I did my first attempt in creating a time-lapse video and video on Photoshop. I found some very useful tutorials online and hopefully I will end up learning it to a high standard over the summer holidays. Same for my videos. Since I found it a good practice, I decided to adopt it more for next year considering that it could be an integral part of my portfolio.

  • Logo

The logo wasn’t mentioned in my feedback, but since it was in other people’s feedback I considered that it was time for me as well to start experimenting with colours, shapes and name. The third years show was also inspirational. In fact I took all their business cards and made photographs. My first attempt, a couple of years ago, did gave me a nice result but I never felt confident about it and I actually always avoided it. It is only now that I feel I have the right mindset and tools to successfully face this task. I opted for my name, for now, and adapted it to my collection rather than making a generic one which I will work on already from this summer. By far, I am very pleased with the result.

I started my second year without knowing who Timorous Beasties and the more I was learning about them, the more I started to admire their work. Si I took advantage of my time in London, right after my internship, and decided to spend some hours in their shop. It was mind blowing to see all their work in one place. The person in charge of the shop was very happy to show me around and discuss about the designers and where they take their inspiration from. I also took a couple of samples and just lost my self in there for a while touching all the wallpapers and fabrics I could. This first person experience was totally different from mt online and library research, and whenever I can integrated in my future work I will definitely do it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.