Some Floral Inspiration

I am currently looking into floral motifs and designs for my wallpaper and interiors collection that will be showcased at my degree show this may. I began by drawing and painting some designs and flowers in watercolour. I have been inspired by the work of Scottish painter and printmaker Dame Elizabeth Blackadder.  Elizabeths florals are fresh in colour and maintain a delicate and whimsical feel. Her drawings are detailed and convey beautiful combinations and arrangements of florals. Here are some of my favourite prints,

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Preparation For My Degree Show 2014

 

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As a fourth year design student there comes a time where the studio becomes frantic due to the deadline for the annual degree show. New graduates display their 4th year work and portfolio to the public and members of industry. The degree show is the first step and platform to showcase the work of new emerging talent within the design world. As a textile designer, I will be displaying a collection of both fabric and paper samples in my degree show space. I am specialising in floral wallpapers for a commercial interiors market. My designs are based on two collections, spring and autumnal florals. This week we will be allocated our degree show spaces, we must design the layout of our space and think about how our work will be presented individually as well as a collected class.

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 DJCAD Degree Show 2013

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Judy Scott Degree show space 2013

Above is a lovely example of a textile degree show space. Judy Scott is a recent graduate of DJCAD and showcased her degree show work last year in 2013. Judy created a both a childrenswear and womenswear collection from her printed textile samples. Judy continues to create new designs now has her own brand, she is currently making a new range of menswear ties. Her work is becoming well known in the industry, she has recently created a window display featuring her work for Selvedge in London.

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Judy’s designs were displayed in Selvedge’s stop window this year.

Another example of a textiles DJCAD graduate who has found success is Johanna Bassford who graduated in 2005.

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Johanna is famous for her trademark detailed monochrome illustrations. Since graduating Johanna’s work has appeared as covers and designs for famous brands. She has also had her own exhibition in the DCA Dundee last year showcasing her designs. Johanna continues to create beautiful work for new projects and has become well-known in the industry.
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Internship with Aimee Kent

I recently started my internship with Glasgow based print designer Aimee Kent. I am very excited to see first hand how a textile design studio works and learn more about the daily running of a business. Aimee is part of the “Starter for 6” programme set up by the Cultural Enterprise Scotland, a premier start-up and investment programme for creative industry entrepreneurs. Her studio is based in Osbourne street in Glasgow city centre.

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Aimee’s business values focus around ethical and sustainable screen print production. She hand prints using environmentally friendly dyes and organic sourced fabrics. Aimee makes prints for her own collections, as a collaboration with other designers/makers and as requested commissions. Her print designs are versatile and fit into both the interior and fashion sector. Aimee’s brand successfully fills the gap in the Scottish textile market for quirky and contemporary textiles that are responsibly sourced.

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“Aimee’s abstract, drawings and mark making techniques, produce eye-catching prints with a bold, distinct, almost tribal style. Aimee creates energetic abstract patterns and finds inspiration from her childhood in Kenya as well as travel and foreign architecture.”

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Here is Aimee’s website with more information about her designs,

www.aimeekent.co.uk

Sanna Annukka

I have recently fell in love with some of the designs by designer and printmaker Sanna Annukka. Her work reflects on landscapes and stories, a bit like a whimsical folklore fairytale. She takes her inspiration from her heritage and time spend in Finland as a child. Her work is very colourful and vibrant and she creates beautiful patterns. She has also worked for Finnish design company Marrimekko, here are some examples of her work that I admire,

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Kanteleen_Kutsu_Set_xmas by sanna annukka

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Photoshop Patterns

I have created some animal illustration characters for my hallmark project. We have been asked to make and create an outcome in the form of cards, wrapping paper or any gift products, using Monty Python as the inspiration. I used the crazy patterns from the animation introduction as my starting point. Being a textile designer I focused on patterns and decided to create my own, I’ve found my project has taken its own spin on things. For my next stage I might look into some surrealism to create a narrative in my cards and gift products, I want to create a collection of gift products that fit together with a quirky kitsch edge.

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Design in the Market Lecture – How To Promote Your Brand

Todays lecture was about how to get your design work noticed and how you can go about promoting your brand, we were given a talk about work getting noticed via media coverage. The university can help with reaching local press who may be interested in publishing articles about your work. Whats in it for them? They are focused on raising awareness of any of the universities success and promoting DJCAD as an upcoming place as well as your success.

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Media is now showing a greater interest in biotechnology, there are a lot of new networks being established with the Dundee V&A and creative industries, design is now seen as established credible centre for design in Dundee.

Press release is first point of call, how do you get there?

Your not telling a story there’s no start beginning and end, it’s all about the beginning, don’t be shy about pushing the unique and freshness about what you are doing. Most people only read the first paragraphs, what you’re doing has to be interesting. People enjoy reading quirky unusual articles that showcase local success. Awards, funding and charity, we can then guide you with what works for your story media wise and what doesn’t.

Part two

Jane Gowans

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Jane who was a previous student of DJCAD returned to tell us about her progress in her developing jewellery brand. She told us about her current jewellery collection based on precious metals. Her collection launched in Harvey Nicols before Christmas last year, she is also collaborating with successful designer Hayley Scanlan.

She discussed her perspective and experience of business, she told us her business had to develop naturally because when she graduated there were no workshops or modules based on setting up your own business. She developed her first product samples right away and began to sell them. “Don’t be put off by the jargon of business, its nothing special. The more you familiarise your self with it the more you get used to it. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t understand at first.”

She is a sole trader, she organises her business by herself by creating an annual plan with set deadlines that she sticks to. Initially she creates designs on paper which are then; converted to 3D files, are then printed on wax, hand cast in silver then sent to back her to make. She creates 10 items per collection so her time is valuable and must be spent wisely. In business terms Jane had to think ,”What am I doing differently that makes my brand unique. Who are my customers? What is the market place for appreciation for contemporary craft?”

“You have to think about  your target customers. Are the people you are selling to people who appreciate your work? You have to be patient”. Jane’s brand style is chic and contemporary jewellery, she creates for the style conscious woman; middle-aged with a disposable income, who reads vogue, stylist magazines and a regular buyer from boutiques. It is very important to know your buyers persona, Where would they shop? What do they read? Where do they socialise?Who is her audience?

People she wants to share the market with are other brands who share the same values as her, share key brand messages, Scottish made products, a handmade sense of exclusivity and luxury.

“Be aware that anyone you are speaking to could be a potential client. The best opportunities come from the most unusual places, opportunities from people you wouldn’t expect. Six degrees of separation is true.”

She also has PR representatives in London to help her with promoting finding contacts and general press. She has had also used some past relationships she has made herself,  “No one has as much heart and soul about your product then you do.” It is important to build relationships with people who can help along the way such as; graphic designers, hallmarkers, material suppliers, production assistants, gold platters, models, photographers.”

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  • Direct Marketing, “Give someone companies something beautiful on their doorstep and they will always be reminded of you when that time comes to look for a jeweller for an upcoming photo-shoot”. The downside however, the scale of prospective clients you want to contact  is vast and might be quite expensive  to do, the cost can add up.
  • On Sales promotions, “Don’t cheapen your brand as a whole when it comes to promotions. “Have a plan for your discount in a marketing sense”.  Jane has sample sales, she feels this “Offers her customers a bigger experience.”
  • Personal selling via trade shows, “They are amazing opportunities to build relationships for the future, you can apply to get funding local or national to attend trade shows. They are excellent places to get noticed.
  • On rewards, you have to be able to sustain your business, “I was awarded no funding, anything I sold was put directly back into my business. When you create a product in the creative industry you get a better feeling of satisfaction when you sell something you’ve hand-made. You get a greater sense of achievement.”
  • Personal qualities, “Prepare for failure” You may doubt yourself but it’s not an easy road. “Success is the measure of how well you have coped with that failure”. This helps develop a stronger business sense. Failure happens a lot and makes you more determined, you are connected to what you are selling because its yours, this makes your determination greater.

Her final advice was to “Not to be shy about what you do, constantly tell people what your work is about, people will respond to friendly people. Enjoy it, make it a job you love,  if you enjoy what you’re doing you will be more productive in the long-term.”

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Pop Up Book Inspiration

I have decided to go along the route of creating a pop up card for my Hallmark Project. I am thinking about making my own characters and creating a narrative. The connection to Monty Python would be the characters would be more surreal and exaggerated. I have looked into some existing designers and illustrators, here are some interesting images I have found,

Donna Wilson

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Sidney

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Big Ted

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Wolfie

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Puddle Man

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Katkaland Creatures

Katkaland toys are made from recycled fabrics.

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Marshall

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