Printed Textile and Surface Pattern Designer

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Design Direction

So the final project of second year is finally here!! As well as being pushed for time because of Easter holidays, this project is also going to be my entry for the Wallpaper History Society Anniversary competition due in early May. This doesn't leave me with a lot of time!!

Our previous project was just a quickie really, two weeks of drawing a chosen subject. I chose the human body, in particular everything inside from muscles, membranes cells and organs. This subject gave me loads of imagery to draw from and it really suited my unusual style of drawing. So, i decided to carry on looking at this topic in my final project.

I have started to do more drawings which i have been repeating and developing on the light box. I have taken the symmetrical repeating process used in my last project and applied it to some of my drawings.

I am happy so far with the simple repeats. What i like most is how the complexity of the piece grows each time you add another element of repeat or symmetry. The idea that these once quite informative drawings are now even more complex is something i find interesting. Its the tiniest details which count the most too. Without these the prints would be purely line based.

This is a handful of the repeats i like the most at this stage. I want to go on and increase the complexity as much as i can and also work out how i will eventually add some colour. As well as these drawn pieces, i have also been looking at magnified images of cells, micrograms and bacteria. I find these visuals fascinating.

Another artist/ designer who has looked at this idea and carried it out brilliantly is Alexander McQueen. Here's a few examples that i love.

These two examples of work by McQueen are beautifully accurate, aligned and symmetrical. In both cases, the line of symmetry has fallen straight down the centre of the dress elongating the figure and excentuating the waist. What is interesting and very clever is how the most intricate or visually structured parts of the print have been placed in key areas such as the waist and hips. By showing intricate structure and detail around the waist, immediately this part of the body seems smaller. I find it interesting as well that the pattern structure mimics that of the way a corset would have been constructed and how it would have behaved on the body. I really like this link back to historical fashion techniques.

These designs are also very similar to what i want to achieve with my wallpapers. I have been struggling to think how i could incorporate colour into my drawn designs without making them look like 'painting by numbers'!! This layering of block colour and drawings looks very clean and impressive. However, on a flat wall as opposed to the human body, i don't think it would work as well.

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