Over last weekend and the start of this week, I have been working on my mood boards for the brief alongside research and the beginnings of drawing and mark making later in the week. The bulk of the research is coming to an end, but of course, research continues all the time and things come up all the time! I have enjoyed delving deeper into Bolivian culture and I’ve surprised myself with the number of things I didn’t know! I wish I had done more research before going on the trip but as a sixteen-year-old at the time I took it for granted a bit and didn’t take in as much as I could have – hence why I want to go back and experience it again as well as other South American countries!
My theme board is quite simple, and very green which I like! It features some elements of my theme but also designs in the style that I am going for (collage/paper cut). The background is the Uyuni Salt Flats, with the hexagons a natural formation. I included the mother and baby because I wanted to get that bright colour in there, which I was struggling to do with the designs in the style I wanted. The range of colour is important for the brief, as you can see in the colour board! However, the green does represent a lot of the Bolivian landscape, particularly the Amazon basin and Santa Cruz areas, as well as some mountains elsewhere. I wanted to get across the texture and shape elements too, which I think I have done by including the parrots, llama and salt flats.
I really like my colour board! I love the big pile of textiles and how colourful it is – one of the main things I’m excited for in this brief is the range of colour and I’m fascinated how it is just naturally part of the traditional dress in Bolivia. This board has less on it than the theme, but purposely, to focus on the colours as they are the important thing on this board. I wanted to have quite a wide range of colours to get across the multitude used in Bolivian textiles, but also not make them too childish. When I started coming up with colours they were very bright and child-like, and I was struggling to make them more mature but found that looking at colour palettes elsewhere and adding grey tones to the colours helped a lot. I am happy with my colours as they give me that range, but in a mature fashion.
My customer is pretty much me – an 18-30 year-old of either gender, who has an interest in travelling (whether they actually have done so or not). They are likely to have an interest in being environmentally friendly, as well as possibly being a flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan because all of these things are on the increase, and a recent surge in both of these areas is being pushed by this age group – I for one support both! They also enjoy a catch up with old friends they don’t see much anymore (school/college friends) over breakfast, coffee or cocktails! I have also included a couple of products that they are likely to buy, like the throw and cushions which are in a style that my collection may be similar to. My customer is also likely to have the desire for more high-end products that they can’t yet afford or are not allowed to use (e.g. they won’t be buying wallpaper if living in rented accommodation), so indulge themselves in the smaller items which are cheaper, but still a nice quality and give that impression of the decoration style they aim for later in life. Also, if they are travelling a lot they won’t want big bulky items, as it’s likely that they’re just storing stuff at their parents while they’re away.
My competitor board ranges from the low-end to mid-range, George being the cheapest and John Lewis the most expensive. Both Urban Outfitters and H&M are retailers that aim at this age group and are very popular within them, so they are obvious competitors. They are more known for their fashion but introducing home ranges has done no harm, and has probably actually increased the range of homeware available at the cheaper end of the market. John Lewis is at the top end of my customer’s price range, with cushions selling for £30, which I consider expensive for a cushion! It is more likely that the wealthier section of this age group would shop here – perhaps the non-students. George, being part of ASDA supermarkets, has footfall because of people doing a food shop and getting distracted! As a supermarket that is relatively cheap, ASDA would attract my customer to do their weekly shop, and something in George might just catch their eye and because it is so cheap and a relatively nice quality.