On entering competitions.

A great way to get your work noticed is to enter design competitions, of which there are loads. I recently participated in an Instagram challenge to create a floral a day for 30 days which was posted by Print Fresh a Philadelphia based design studio.  I was only able submit  6 designs  because I started late and  I work full time, so weekends are my painting time. I had loads of fun and thoroughly enjoyed creating the florals and seeing all the work of other participants. I would have loved to have been doing it everyday for the 30 days.

There are many arguments for and against entering these design competitions, this one written by Neil Bennett for DigitalArts for example and its worth finding out what designers think.

I enter because it’s an opportunity for me to take on a design brief – to challenge myself and my ability to meet a brief, to improve design skills and to do something that may not necessarily be about my own design preferences. Posting publicly also gives me some excellent insight into which designs are popular and I must say I am usually very surprised. Designs that I have spent considerable time on and that I quite like are often the least favourite.

So here are some recent posts I made for the Print Fresh Instagram.   Which one is your favourite?    Enjoy!

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Lazy Daisy

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In the Pink

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Daisy Chain

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Gabbie

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Retro Rose

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Petal


Playing with pattern.

It is a long weekend here, holiday time, beautiful weather, sun shining… I was thinking a 

Imagefew days at the beach would be sensational Sun, salt water and sand – bliss… didn’t do that. Stayed at home and spent time doing one of Chelsea’s Challenges. Chelsea is part of the team at Pattern Observer which was started a few years ago by Michelle Fifis. Pattern Observer is one of my favourite sites for textile design and they offer great courses in all aspects of textile design and the business of textile design.

Whist I am involved in teaching textile design and often do the briefs that I set my students it is fun doing a brief set by someone else. It just happens that I set my students a very similar task,  that is  to explore a wide  range of different ways you can develop a motif. We then learn about all the different layout and repeat systems that can be used to create patterns. So take one motif. It can be any shape – draw or paint or stamp or use any method you can think of to recreate the shape in as many differentways that you can.  Here is my example

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Once you have experimented with your motifs and your mark making you can then arrange your motifs into a pattern  repeat. You can also start manipulating the design by working through different elements and principles to create a well balanced layout. Change the scale, layer motifs, add colour, vary tonal values, introduce new elements – lines, shapes, textures.