Summer School first assignment


At the last minute I decided to join the make it in design summer school. The first brief for the intermediate track was based on the trend “eco decay”. It’s a trend that I find really cool and I would have loved to interpret for my textile design work, however I signed up to the course wanting to create something for my art licensing/illustration portfolio. Since the types of products the two different bodies of work end up on are different (my textile design work ends up on apparel and my art licensing work ends up on stationery, home products, childrens’ publishing, gifts, etc.) the way I interpret the trends are different. I would have gone even more textural with stronger, darker colours and left out the mushroom icons if  I were designing for apparel, interpreting the trend more literally, but I went in a lighter “cuter”, more illustrative approach instead, since I wanted to create a print that would look good on different types of products. I think I stuck a good balance. I also came up with a couple of quick co ordinate prints to go along.

Here’s how it would look on a tote bag:

totebagmockupOverall, it was a good experience and I enjoy design challenges. I think I found a way to be informed by the trend but still maintain my own style. I can’t wait for the next brief!

About Starting

After finishing my bachelor of fine arts I was pretty sure I didn’t want to be a fine artist/gallery artist as my main income. Without going on a big rant, let’s just say I didn’t like “the scene”. I taught ESL for awhile in Italy (I’ve lived her for the majority of the time since my third year of university) and art was always a part of my life, perhaps the biggest part, but a private one. I had started to become interested in art licensing and surface pattern design however and taught myself how to make repeating patterns. After I had made a few I decided to start working on a portfolio while continuing to teach esl and do more research about this new world I had discovered (that was never mentioned except in passing disdain while in art school). I steadily worked away on it, improving and learning, improving and learning but never really “going for it”. I never felt ready. Fast forward about three and a half years. I’ve started selling textile designs for apparel and I am still working on my portfolio for licensing and illustration and still learning. Thanks to the push that came when my fiance and I moved out to the southern Italian country side where I can’t work as esl teacher, I am extra motivated to actually start putting myself out there and showing my portfolio and finding more work for myself.
I am really so thankful for all the wonderful resources over the years on different blogs and interviews. I’ll have to compile a list one day soon of all the people I have to send thank you emails to because even though I couldn’t afford to take courses, over the past few years I’ve had so much reading material and interviews to watch and amazing artists to look up to.
My goals for this year is to start showing my work to more people and to find community with other artists. I want to take courses and push my work harder than I ever have before. There are no short cuts to getting good that do not include hours and hours of hard work and no one will see the fruits of that labour if you never show them!

recipe for amazing art


Yesterday I was thinking about how to describe my art. What elements do I usually include, what makes me most excited to draw, what to I want people to feel when they look at my art? After I had jotted down some ideas and made a little list, I thought, hmm…it seems like a recipe…and the idea for this illustration popped into my head!