Monday, March 16, 2015

MATS A, Week 2: Home Decor

Review of Week 2, MATS Part A which focused on Home Decor.

We started the week with Monday's Mini Assignment which was "go crazy with paisley!"  And I did!
I went ahead and went crazy doing different graphite illustrations on wacky paisley motifs thinking we were going to do bedding or bathroom textiles, maybe even upholstery or a room.  I imagined paisley swamps and bogs and that's where my head was when I started illustrating for this project... some kind of paisley pond world.

And then we got the main assignment: plates.  One of the worksheets that came with this week's assignment had this very important question when thinking about plates: Would you eat off of it?  My stomach had a sinking feeling when I came to that question.  It had never crossed my mind that we'd end up focusing on plates!  Some of my illustrations were not really food friendly... frogs eating flies, hungry anyone?!

It is a tough question, isn't it?  If it's a decorative plate, then no, I wouldn't eat off of it.  But, my utilitarian tendencies wouldn't let it go at that simple solution.  I couldn't just design decorative plates.  I don't own any purely decorative plates, and it was an important aspect of this week's project to be your own customer.  I worked through the designs until I felt that these were a series of plates I could see myself picking up and serving desserts or summer drinks or a festive picnic meal.  I learned this about myself - I am picky.

Here's the progression of one of the plates, the upper right one in the layout.

And then of course, there's the real-life stuff that kind of stressed me out.  We were traveling and we had no internet access, and I bought a hot-spot card to use the city's wi-fi, but it was spotty at best. Little dude was finding everything exciting and did not want to sleep or nap, which made it a bit of a a time crunch. We were at this ridiculous cloister atop a giant hill in a tiny town in Germany, and it was beautiful... but technologically desolate.

Thoughts on Week 2 Course Materials

With this week came a wonderful set of worksheets that had some great questions about this market and specifically plates.  These are the kind of questions that get you un-stuck when you've made progress, but aren't "finished".  I am treasuring them.  They're the "Hey did you think about this or that?" aspect of illustration.  I tend to sketch quickly and get things into the computer and then find myself all self-doubty at some point.  Those questions are invaluable!

The interview this week was with a Crate + Barrel art director and it was interesting to read how she makes decisions on artwork.

So, is the Home Decor market for me?  I think it could be, but I still like the puzzle aspect of bolt fabric better.  Home Decor felt like the ocean to me, and I like knowing where the edges of the pool are when I'm illustrating.  Maybe I'll feel differently depending on the item.

Also, a special shout-out to my fellow MATS-ians.  Thanks for your help pushing me forward this week!  I needed it.


Shannon said...

Adri, I love your plate designs and I'd eat off any of them! Of course I'm a scientist so frogs and flies don't bother me. I like following along with your design exercises as I've been working a lot on my quilt designs in illustrator but am entirely self-taught. Do you use Illustrator or another digital program for your designing? The biggest problem I have is going from my sketches to a final design in Illustrator. I was reminded of that because here I see your wonderful transition from the sketch to the final design. How do you do that? Do you scan your sketches and somehow convert them to vectors/paths? Is there something I'm missing?

Angela said...

Very interesting post, thank you for sharing your experience

adriprints said...

Hi Shannon, thanks for stopping by! I could spend a few posts on how I get my sketches to translate to illustrator. Here are a few general workflow ideas (I use a mix of these):
1) ink over your sketch using a light table w/black ink, scan, livetrace
2) scan sketch, ink digitally in illustrator using specialty brushes (I've made some of my own), expand the stroke
3) scan sketch, ink digitally in photoshop with specialty brushes (like Kyle T Webster's pack), bring into illustrator, live trace

I hope that helps! In my skillshare project I've gone a bit more into details. I'll be sharing that post soon.

Shannon said...

Adriana! Thanks so much for responding! I've been mostly operating using number 1 and will experiment more with 2-3. I appreciate you taking the time to share some tips. I'm just really glad there wasn't some basic thing I was missing.