Visiting the Botanic Garden of Wales

Yesterday we visited the Botanic Garden of Wales for the second time. This time, we went primarily to display our denim work in their exhibition space. The piece I was displaying was my final piece for the project. I was very pleased to have my piece chosen for the exhibition, and it looks great amongst everyone else’s work.

It didn’t take long to hang my piece because it just needed a nail in the wall, but after I was done, I helped others hang theirs and helped to position the statements above each piece. The exhibition looks very professional and well executed, and after I uploaded a photo of my piece to my Facebook page, the gardens shared it onto their page!

After displaying the exhibition, we had the rest of the day to explore the gardens. We visited the cafe for a coffee, and then went on to explore. Everything was so much more colourful than the visit in November! It was still cold but much more bright and interesting!

Above I’ve inserted some photos of plants inside the glasshouse and tropical house. I forgot how much I love colourful flowers, especially the tiny ones that together make a beautiful display. All of the plant life at the gardens is so beautiful and different from what you would normally see in Britain, and I love to look at how the colours blend into each other and compliment and contrast so naturally.

Digital Brief Summary

When we were first given the brief for this term, I was a bit intimidated by it, because I only had small knowledge of Photoshop and none of Illustrator. It was daunting to say the least! A few days in, and I started to get back into the swing of using Photoshop and started to understand and enjoy Illustrator.

The workshops with Steve definitely assisted in my learning, as well as watching youtube tutorials in my spare time. I also learnt a lot when we were sat as a group in the Graphics room, just by seeing other people’s work and asking how they’d done it. As time went on, I was enjoying making patterns more and more as my skills grew, and I’m looking forward to learning even more in the near future.

I would like to spend more time in Photoshop, because I realised towards the end of the project that I’d mainly worked in Illustrator, and mostly ignored Photoshop after making my mood and colour boards. I think this is because I find Illustrator much easier when making patterns, because it is vector based rather than pixel based. However, I managed to create some brilliant designs in Photoshop when I came to do it.

Looking back, I know that I have really enjoyed this project, despite some (inevitable) struggles at the start. I am very pleased and proud of my final six designs, which to me seem impressive considering the fact that I had no clue what I was doing six weeks ago! I can’t wait to do more digital work, and will definitely be learning more and playing with both Photoshop and Illustrator over the summer.

Photoshop Final Designs

Below are my two final designs, created on Photoshop:phone pattern colour rgbThe above design was inspired by the dial on mid-century telephones, which is a very pleasing circular shape. After realising that most of my Illustrator designs didn’t feature the red and blue that are on my colour board, I decided that I wanted to include them in my Photoshop designs. In fact, both my Photoshop designs include all six of the colours on my colour board. I really like this design, as it is very pleasing to the eye, because of the circular shapes being perfectly lined up with each other.radio pattern rgbFor this design, old radios were the inspiration. I played with scale and rotation, and originally wasn’t going to add the speakers and knobs, but once I did, I felt that it finished them off; whereas before it looked a bit incomplete and slightly nineties, and not as interesting. I am very pleased with both of these designs, as I struggled at the start, wondering how I would make patterns in Photoshop when I was used to doing it in Illustrator.

Illustrator Final Designs

Below are my four final designs that I created in Illustrator for the digital brief:

Illustrator final design 1 lampshade clockThe design above was based on some lampshades, that feature in my mood board. At first, the shapes had straight edges, but I soon realised that this did not fit in with the rest of my designs, which were more organic and rounded. I also added in the background some shapes based on clocks which are the main feature in another one of my final designs, which links the designs together. I didn’t really like the original version of this design, but once I had made the shapes more rounded, I definitely began to like it more. After adding in the clock shapes in the background, I decided that I actually quite liked the design, it just needed a bit of tweaking to improve it.Illustrator final design 2 typewriter paperQuite obviously, this design uses typewriters as inspiration. Both the typewriters were hand drawn and scanned into the computer, because I didn’t like how the image was changed when changed into a vector from the photo. Although I’ve only used three main colours in this design, it may look as if I’ve used more because I have changed the transparency in different parts of the typewriters in order to get a slightly lighter tint, without straying from my chosen colours that are on my colour board. I really like this design, and although it is the only one in my collection that features hand drawn images, I think it fits in well with the rest of my designs.Illustrator final design 3 clocksThis design used mid-century clocks as the base for the shapes used. Clocks from that era are really interesting to me, as they are never the same shape, never just circular or square. This particular one is like a rounded triangle, and to me looks a bit like a pebble shape. In the original design, the shapes only had colour on the outline, and the design was very dull, because the grey background was the main colour visible. So I added colour, which gave the design the boost it needed, and then added the smaller shapes inside the yellow, blue and brown shapes, just to add that little bit more detail. For a little while, I didn’t really like this design, because to me it seemed very basic and simple. I think I had a case of ‘everyone else’s work is better than mine’ I came round to liking the design when I used the clock shape in my other designs, and realised that it fitted in well and it wasn’t so awful after all.Illustrator final design 4 lamp base clockThis is my final Illustrator design, which also uses the clock shapes in a tiny arrangement, between the bigger shapes, which were based on the base of a lamp. I changed the shape so that the top and bottom halves of the lamp base swapped. I then made multiple designs and experimenting with different colour-ways, involving both the clock and lamp shapes, and finding what looked best. I love the colour combination in this design, and I think that the mustard yellow in the background finishes off the design perfectly. I also love that in most of my designs, it it difficult to tell where the shapes I have used originated from.

The designs that didn’t make it!

Below are most of the designs that I created that didn’t make it into the final six. There is a definite improvement from start to finish!

These are the first three patterns I made, with our tutor, Lucy Richardson, helping to create the first one. After being shown how to make the shape in Illustrator, I got on my way experimenting with other tools. I didn’t choose any of these patterns because they were ones I just made while getting used to Illustrator, and I had gone off them when it came to choosing the final designs. However, I am impressed how professional they look, as I made them with hardly any experience of the program.

This series of patterns originated from a hand drawing of a metal tea set. I played with using shapes to break up the pattern, but decided I didn’t like the pattern itself. This was partly because of the black outline, as black does not feature on my colour board. I also felt that it didn’t really fit in well with the other designs I had created.

These designs used a shape I saw in a mid-century bookcase and a clock. My favourite of these is the second, where the grey clocks are on top of the yellow and brown. If I could have chosen another design to be included in my final designs, that would have been the one, because it includes the clock shape but also just because I love it.

Illustrator Design Development

When I was creating my designs, I was inspired by mid-century objects, and mostly took shapes from them to make the patterns. Below is the development for each of my final designs.

Based on lampshades, this design started out very angular, but I made it more organic to fit in with the rest of my designs; as well as adding another shape in the background to link it to the others.

Beginning as a hand drawn typewriter, this design has developed through playing with colour, rotation and scale, and finally adding in more hand drawn images of paper.

Using a mid-century clock as inspiration, this design slowly developed into a more colourful, bold pattern, swapping outline colour for block colour.

Also based on a lamp, I found the best design in this set was one of the earlier ones that incorporates the clock shape from the previous pattern into it.

Photoshop Design Development

For both my Photoshop final designs, I took a shape from a mid-century item and designed a pattern using that shape. Here you can see the development of the designs.

The first design I created in Photoshop was based on the dial of a mid-century telephone. After a one colour design was first created I played to come out with the design that includes all the colours.

The second design was based on a mid-century radio. I experimented with shapes that featured on the radio and kept it to small, simple details.