Monthly Archives: July 2014

Spring Term Continued

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Spring Term Continued

After we made our pattern, our teacher had us do a couple more assignments using them. The first was to experiment with the color palette. It will be a really useful tool but I didn’t end up liking my variations as well as the original. (Which you can see in the top left.)

austinn_cosmic_variations

The next assignment which ended up to be really cool was a little disturbing. Let me ‘splain.

There are files called “mock-ups” which allow designers to showcase their work without having to create the actual item, a t-shirt or poster for instance. Either one has costs associated with printing, costs that will be exponentially higher per unit if you’re just printing up one sample for a client. Enter: Mockups. These are files that kind and generous people have created that allow you to put your own artwork into them to see what your design would look like as say, a t-shirt or poster. This saves big cashola for the designer and helps the client with the envisioning stage of design.

The assignment was to use our pattern in two different mock-ups: one for a soda can and one for a wine bottle. Now this is all well and good if you made a fun geometric outer-spacey kind of design, but if your design looks like little boy pajamas, the wine bottle is a little unsettling. The bottom line though is that the exercise was super helpful and I’m pretty happy with my “finished” products. Check ’em out:

austinn_cv_can_2

austinn_cv_bottle_2I’ve heard tell there’s really nothing like a glass of Cape Canaveral Cabernet at the end of the day. (ha!) Cheers!

P.S. On a completely unrelated note, Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist, one of my favorite books in all the galaxy (did you see what I did there? totally tied it in.) is just 99 cents for Kindle on Amazon today. I can neither confirm nor deny if I just purchased my 14th copy of this book. Get it while you can!

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Spring Term & Summer

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Spring Term & Summer

It’s summer. Glorious summer. [Insert show-tune music about summer here.] Seriously. I don’t remember being this excited about summer break when I was a full time student. But wow, did I need it this year. It’s taken me a little longer than I anticipated to come up for air. I’ve gone back and forth on my health…nothing serious or scary…but it turns out that if you have, you know, practically NO vitamin D in your body for an extended amount of time (did I mention I live in Portland?) you feel really, really, really tired. Like you could take a nap at 8.30 am tired. But I’m taking some supplements and plus it’s summer (did I mention that?) and I’m figuring out my &#*$ food allergies and it’s also summer. So I’m feeling better. More energy. Less tired. And the sun is shining. Hallelujah.

But what I really wanted to tell you about was my last term at Mt Hood and one of my favorite projects. So enough about vitamins and eating plans and summer. Here’s the project…

First of all, do you know Spoonflower? If you don’t, if you are at all creative or crafty or just like to imagine being creative or crafty like I sometimes do, you want to check it out. It’s a site where you can upload your own design and have it made into fabric. Think of the possibilities! And the good news is that lots of other super-creative people are already using the site and you can choose from their designs too. They print fabric and wallpaper and gift wrap.

The reason you have to know about Spoonflower is that they have weekly contests and my super clever instructor gave us an assignment to create a repeating pattern according to the specs for one of their contests. It was called Cosmic Voyage. Other than that you just had to come up with an image that said Cosmic Voyage to you and create it in a repeating pattern. Pretty fun.

To accomplish this I started by searching for other patterns or images that I liked. You can see my gathering of ideas on my board on my Pinterest. (Cleverly named, Pattern Ideas.) Once I had a plan, I sketched the individual pieces that would make up my pattern. Here’s a scan of some of my sketches.spaceman sketch rocket sketch

After that I drew them in Illustrator and the fun began! I love how working digitally allows you to play with colors without having to start over. Or how it allows me to say this tail fin works better on this rocket or I want to stretch the whole thing out or… So that those sketches became these images.

spaceman green rocket gold rocket

The final steps were to create a background and then to create a repeating pattern. Here’s what that ended up looking like:

patternI didn’t win the contest. (Bummer.) But I loved the project. It was one of the first that successfully translated from my brain to the page. We did a couple more activities with our patterns that I’ll show you tomorrow. It was a super interesting process and really useful. I’m thinking I’ll be making some new contest entries in the future.

And if you want to make something with this fun pattern…I don’t know, giftwrap? pj’s? a bedspread for a boy’s room? You can purchase it here.