Firstly I’d like to just say, prepare yourself for a lot of reading and visuals. This is a longer-than-normal blog post and I would suggest making yourself a hot drink and sitting in a comfortable chair!
During July 2015, I decided that it was about time that I developed my work. I searched on-line for art e-courses and came across the “Make Art That Sells” (MATS) course, on which I enrolled for October 2015. It’s run by Lilla Rogers, and she represents such amazing artists. So, I decided that I’d get involved as it will greatly help my progression as a designer/illustrator.
On Lilla Roger’s site, I came across the “Global Talent Search” (GTS) competition. To begin with, I thought I’d have a go at the mini assignments to see what ideas and work I would produce. They were pretty exciting to produce, and doing these really tempted me to have a go at the actual GTS competition. I thought ‘why not?’, and so eagerly enrolled. I decide that I could use this as a warm up for the upcoming MATS course. It would be a great opportunity to be represented by Lilla Rogers, but if I didn’t win, then I could use the work that I produced for my portfolio and also use the design for stationery to sell in my Etsy shop. I love flowers and would be creating a floral pattern to go alongside my other floral stationery notebooks in my shop. Furthermore, taking part in competitions such as this is great experience and exposure for my work; it would get seen by Lilla Rogers herself, which I see as a positive!
I am unsure about the actual numbers of entrants, but what I do know is that people from all around the world submitted an illustration. Three rounds of assignments will be given: The first round of assignment will narrow the competition down to 50 participants. The second round narrows it down further to 6, and the winner is decided in the third round. The winner will win Lilla’s representation for 2 years and a bunch of licensing deals, including a mini fabric line, a home decor line, plus many more wonderful things. This one person will win it all! It is pretty much a kick-starter for an amazing career in illustration!.
The competition brief was to create a pattern to go on a pair of sneakers. Here is the first round.
Creating a floral pattern
When starting any brief, I do lots of research and surround myself with images, colours, text etc. within the scope of the theme. I get a feel for what the client will want. You can see that I’ve collated images from fashion and interior magazines. From reading the brief and observing the client’s tastes, I decided to go for a decorative oriental theme, using rich colours and bold shapes.
I also selected a few on-line images which I saved on Pinterest. Red definitely is a colour I want to use, along with black, greens, pink and complimentary tertiary colours.
This is one of the initial drawings that I produced, whilst I was in Bath. To see more of my sketches visit ‘A new apparel design.’ I liked the idea of incorporating insects and flowers.
These are the next set of visuals that I created. They are definitely going in the direction that I wanted; i.e. oriental and decorative. You can see I’ve used red with a deeper green and warm bright yellow and blue colours. I wanted my final design to have a contemporary slant, in terms of the shapes, silhouettes, linear detailing and texture.
In these studies I added some hand-drawn text as well. The peonie flower that the client favours, is called the ‘queen of flowers’ in Chinese, which seemed like appropriate words to include in my apparel design. I also created small compositions with each image, which were then incorporated into the final design. I liked the idea of contrasting scale with solid shapes and lines.
This is a quick sketch example on lined paper. I created a few of these before using coloured materials.
This is my first design, however there isn’t enough contrast; something I want to achieve.
That’s much better! The different elements now stand out and I’ve brightened the colours too.
I wanted to see my final design on an actual sneaker. I named this design, “Ornate”, and you can I’ve been experimenting with handwritten font styles.
My final design on a sneaker! I am happy with the colours, images and textures. All the elements are visible and it does have an oriental theme, which is what I wanted.
I can actually tell you that sadly, I wasn’t one of the chosen 50 for round two, but I enjoyed the challenge immensely, and am very much looking forward to the MATS course in October. I’m looking forward to seeing what exciting briefs are put my way!
Emma Jayne x