After entering the live brief competition for, 'Feathr', the creation of art for wallpaper rather than decoration, I have had some feedback to the artwork that I have submitted.
Although I am disappointed that I wasn't successful I really enjoyed the task that was set and I would love to enter another Feathr Competition. I asked for some feedback on what they thought about the designs that I had sumbitted and what needed to be improved and got a very helpful reply.
To begin with I uploaded one of my designs for the previous project, I uploaded a design using the penguins.
"With Penguin Parade, we really liked the idea and the characters. A couple of things to think about in terms of making it a commercially viable design....We would have liked to have seen more done with the whole design. The biggest trick with wallpaper is to create rhythm and variation over a whole, whilst only using a small repeating artwork. The way the penguins repeated in stripes, with no other additions, felt a bit like a missed opportunity. So think about things like variations in size, colour, spacing, maybe adding in other design elements to bring depth and texture to the piece. It's also worth thinking about your audience - who buys your design? We liked penguins, but we did struggle a bit to see a mid-30s design audience (our main consumer) buying it. Jokiness is SUPER hard to pull off with wallpaper, as it's such a permanent installation in the home (at least versus a canvas print). So the penguins in underwear made it hard for us to see the buyer."
I am very happy with the positive feedback that I have received, everything that the team had to say about how to improve my design are already amongst things that I have considered faults with the designs myself, I think that it’s a good job that this isn't news to me and that I have already recognised the faults in my own designs. I am very disappointed however in the fact that even Feathr said that they could not see my design as being 'commercially viable', and that they found it hard to see a buyer for penguins in underwear. This wasn't really one of my concerns because my intentions are to make something very different. Not something traditional and floral that everyone will fall for...
"Homeless we thought was really interesting series and technique. Reminded us of some of the Bubblegum collages that sell for big $$$$ :-). The downfall here was in some of the contents and the repeat. Thinking about the audience, it's hard to imagine them buying wallpaper with some of the things you included (receipts, train tickets) - it's just not luxe enough. Maybe the subject matter of homeless is always going to make that tricky! And, to the same point as above, the repeat did not give enough variation so it ended up with some heavy shapes in its structure. But - we think this is a really interesting technique and with some adjustments to form (and maybe content!) you could have a great and original design."
I think that this design had better feedback, I am glad that although they said that the consumer may be put off by the litter in the design because it's not 'Luxe', that they acknowledged the fact that this was part of the concept, as I was initially upset by reading this as I thought that they had missed the point of the piece. It made it clearer to see that obviously this design isn't for everyone, which has given me more confidence in the kind of consumer that I have described on my boards. Overall, I am unhappy with the way that my designs repeat over this project although I have never learnt anything about Illustrator until just recently, so I know for a fact that I will be able to improve on my designs by the way that they are repeated by using Illustrator in the future. I am very glad of the feedback I have had, I am not disheartened as this has only confirmed the insecurities that I have had over these designs. I'm happy that I can acknowledge this and its almost confirmation that I am right in what I think needs to be changed! It's almost a relief.
The only think that I am very disappointed about is the idea of the consumer not being interested in my designs, I know that my designs are not for everyone, which is the point, adding this element of strangeness that a select niche can appreciate; it's just a case of finding my audience.