Studio Sunday and Margaret's Surface Pattern Design Journal

Wow!  It's November already!  Today is that one day out of the year that we "gain" an hour after turning the clocks back and I know there is a lot one can do in an hour!  I've got lots of design exploration to share but no stitching this week.  I still haven't gotten my sewing machine out but I will be clearing a spot on my coffee table (yes, coffee table) to set up my machine.

First things first, I brought home this great book from the bookstore Friday night and I just started reading it last night.  What a cool resource for understanding how I consider as decorative elements came to exist within the cultures that they are characteristic of.  The book is "Designa, Technical Secrets of the Traditional Visual Arts" and it is published by Wooden Books-Bloomsbury and I guess this is a collection of what were previously released separate books.  It includes the 6 books including Celtic Pattern, Islamic design, Curves, Perspective, Symmetry and The Golden Section all written by different authors.  This book was $20.00 at Barnes & Nobel, cheaper on Amazon, and I think it will be worth every penny!

I was psyched to find this book as I continue to build my portfolio of surface pattern design and the technical build examples of how these designs were constructed is the perfect prompt to keep improving on my designs.  My designs are generally 10-20% hand-drawn and 80-90% digitally manipulated.  I'm going to try to incorporate more drawing on top of a digitally created draft paper so I can technically set the circles and other shapes up symmetrically before I begin drawing in details.  This is a huge personal challenge of mine and I can't wait to get started!

As a part of us growing as artists, we are always self-reflecting on our personal style.  We are always stopping to take a look a our creations and artwork searching for those elements that make our art look different from everyone else's.  It's much more than a competition thing or an attempt to keep up with what other artists around us are creating.  

I re-discovered myself this weekend.  Yes I did!  Honestly, the draw for me recently was exactly what I stated above.  I have been soaking in all the beautiful artwork, journal pages, quilts, etc. trying to reconnect with everything I was doing before my redirect down the surface pattern design path because I've been feeling like I've faded out of the mainstream.

Well, if royalty statements from Interweave/FW Media are any indication, that is not the case.  However, not blogging, not sharing my process, and fearing putting my designs out in the public forum have kept me shut off from my roots and I recognize how important that part of my creative process really is.  So, beginning today, I am beginning "Margaret's Surface Pattern Design Journal" in which I will create journal pages my way which is without faces, writing, or any imagery that is not created by me only. 

And I am going to share my process.  I may even include videos!  I plan on including the use of stencils that I have designed for and StencilGirlProducts as I consider them an important example of my design style that can be mixed with designs I create going forward.  

The above and below images are good examples of my design process.  I have a lot of tools at my fingertips right now which include a color printer, scanner, eClips 2 personal cutting machine, and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.  That's quite a selection and I use them all!

My process is all about exploring pattern.  When I use the word "explore" I mean EXPLORE.  Whether a mark or image is created on paper first or digitally, I continue manipulating each and every element to create more and different elements, break them apart and push each element continually exploring color and shape.  

If you think about it, my creative process is much like a tree.  There may be one rooted element I create and as I manipulate and explore the patterns I can develop from it, this element begins to branch out into more main branches and more smaller branches until I can't go any further with an element (or I get bored with it LOL)!  Because I enjoy experimentation with cutting my own designs in stencils or shapes and layering them with other digitally manipulated design elements, my Surface Pattern Design Journal will consist of pages where paint, cut paper, drawing, digital design and stencils all come together in a collage on the page.

I am loving this digital design above which began from the very beginning with a very organic but simple hand drawing, manipulated digitally where I then extracted pieces that I created a very Art Nouveau looking design.  I then cut the design on eClips 2 and used it to stencil and spray with.  Then I scanned it into the computer and further manipulated the color and blending modes.

You know how I love to re-use and re-purpose my designs!  The image below was created by copying many of the Gelli prints I made that I could use to create collage from to re-incorporate into my designs.  You can see on this one I have used the design I created above in orange and green to stencil over the collage and then manipulated it a little more in Photoshop.

Sooner or later, some of these designs will make it to fabric and I can't wait to see what happens when I incorporate stitch!  Spoonflower, here I come!

Do something special with the extra hour you have today and keep on creating!!!



elle said…
This is great news, Margi! I can't wait to see how you'll inspire all us wanna be's!!!
oh, and looks like the coffee table will be put to good use! :)
HollyM said…
I am so glad to see you creating again. All of your designs really say something to me. The Art Nouveau style one is beautiful, but I love all the others too. Patterning and design is definitely your forte!
You were immersed in the creative mind this weekend. Must have felt good.
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