I've had lots of lovely feedback on my recent designs for the May Patternmash project, Ancient Mariner. As I went about this in a slightly different way to my usual designs I thought I'd share the process with you...
As I mentioned in my previous post, this subject took me out of my comfort zone a little and I struggled to get started with it. Patternmash provide fantastic mood boards and there's a group Pinterest page for inspiration but I was still struggling. In the end I trawled (pardon the pun) through our old holiday snaps and found the following images from Cornwall, Hastings and Dungeness.
And then I got sketching.
I scanned my sketches, split the different motifs into separate files and then played with them in photoshop - either just removing the background (as in the first image above and the image below) or removing all of the white areas to create line drawings. I also played with the opacity of the different layers.
I still felt that it needed a little something extra though so went back to the Pinterest board for some more ideas. I've long fancied having a tattoo (Mr M hates them though and he's probably right that I'd be spending the next few years saving up for it's removal) so I decided to rework some of my drawings taking inspiration from sailor's tattoos...
These involved more drawing but also lots of scanning and then redrawing onto the scanned images to create the different motifs. Then back to photoshop, cutting out all or part of the backgrounds again before making the patterns. As I worked on this I kept thinking of The Sea, The Sea (one of my all time favourite books by Iris Murdoch) which also ended up influencing the look a little.
I usually shy away from typography so I was feeling brave here! Also in my decision to use such a restricted colour pallet (Patternmash provide a set pallet but there were plenty of colours available). Finally I made a last minute decision to add an albatross pattern (see my other post here) which was less successful, taking my total number of patterns to the maximum of 10. I think I should've edited them more heavily but it all turned into a bit of a rush in the end.
Hannah at Patternmash provides feedback on the designs submitted and interestingly the one she preferred (the one at the very top of this post) was one I was really happy with at the time but discounted later! Perhaps it's best not to over think these things too much. I did enjoy the process I used here - partly because it took me back to college where I used to photocopy and manipulate (and then re-photocopy) almost everything. This was back in the days when we had one computer for the whole department though (yes, I am that old).
Pop back soon to see how I got on with the June brief - Poolside, which I'm currently in the process of finalising.