Friday, 29 November 2013

GIFT Week 5 Make Art That Sells

I've been slow in writing up my experience of week 5 of the Lilla's MATS course as there's been so much to think about. My brain is trying to process everything and needs to have a spa break or similar.

So Gift week was another area I had little experience in but was looking forward to immensely. The mini was to think about collections. I gathered up what I felt were the most interesting collections ( as I have far too many lurking all over the house)

The bowls especially had some great patterns and linework. Also the patterns within the Burmese laquer work were so beautiful and I loved the way they repeated outwards. For some more research into this market so I paid a visit to my favourite gift shops.

When the assignment came through it was the create a zipper pouch based on a trend that Lilla felt was emerging. Something she called 'hyperlush' seen in catwalk fashion, and would soon be filtering down to other design fields. Once again flowers were going to be large part of this look, so I asked some very kind local florists if I could photograph their beautiful displays.

I realised at this stage I would be called upon to work with Photoshop a great deal in order to incorporate & manipulate the pics I'd taken. It was enormously frustrating to begin with as I hardly venture into Photoshop- I had to Google so many basic techniques about masks and changing hues.

I won't bore you with the details but I had a deadline of Friday night due to a very hectic family week end. I was so pleased with he end result - the ONLY piece that turned out the way I had imagined when I first made sketches. Despite having left my home country over 30 years ago I grew up surrounded by Burmese craft and I wanted to combine this with my vague memories of living there. I called it 'The Road to Mandalay' after Kiplings famous poem about exoctic Asia.

When Lilla chose this in her assessment I ran round the office screaming that I didn't hear what she actually said about it !!!  I never imagined that I would have client ready art after all these years out from the creative industry. All those late nights and self doubt - well I never believed it until then. OK I'm ready to believe I can do this.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

My Goals Book....

I just wanted to write a quick note about my Goals Book that I started in January of this year. I contains pretty much everything I want to achieve in the next 1 -20 years of my life. In terms of career, family, finance, and vacations. Also just personal stuff like reaching a calmer state, not based on fear.

I find it immensely satisfying looking through it whenever I can. Although I can  almost recall every page in my minds eye as I attempt to meditate on them & other affirmations every night.

I mentioned my Goals Book in the MATS Facebook group, and received a warm response. I am delighted that in some small way I was able to inspire others, even if it was just to plant a seed of an idea. It certainly helps me to focus and map a path towards these dreams. I placed the images I collected in my book in a file that pops up as my screen saver just to remind me throughout the day, which works wonderfully for me.

WEEK 4 Make Art That Sells - Wall Art

I was rather nervous about Wall Art week as I haven't painted in years, and never with actual paint. However the week did start promising enough with a scavenger hunt of sorts, textures, papers, and other odd bits I had laying around the house. We were limited by colour scheme, based on our star sign, mine was apparently blue and green for Aquarius. I also put together a sheet of textures and shapes- which was satisfyingly messy.As always I had no idea where Lilla was going with this.

Lilla put together a great PDF collection of wall art that she hoped would inspire us, based on several themes. Geometrics, painterly, collage and mixture of all three. I've been very drawn to geometrics as the course progress and decided I wanted to concentrate on this in some way. As mentioned I don't paint as a such but gave two canvases my best shot. It soon became apparent that they were lacking in some sort of focal point or cohesive element. A bout of flu made me step away from them for 24 hours, however I was able to see where areas were lacking and hoped to make up for lost time.

I'm not sure if it was my cold & flu medication wearing off or my brain function returning because I decided early Sunday morning, approx 12 hours before the assignment was due I DIDN'T LOVE THEM. I very much enjoyed playing with paint and collage but I felt my skills just didn't match the grand plans I had for this week. 

I took many deep breaths and had a long hard think about what I could achieve in the next 12 hours. This was like a job for the A -TEAM, although I created a file called 'Plan B'. This time I chose the quote BEFORE I started creating and very much kept it in mind in the following hours. I had to call in the help of Photoshop and scanned in almost every bit of art I'd produced that week.

Thankfully I really LOVED what I created, and despite the long hours and complete turn around it was worth it. This course is teaching me so much about myself and calling up reserves of energy I din't know I had. Also I learnt that it really is important to love what you do, and I still enjoy creating aesthetically pleasing ladies even after many years away from editorial illustration.