Unit X - Blog Post 3, Reflections

I have made a few new discoveries over Unit X, I have a new found love for drawing architecture, this is something I haven’t explored before but I really liked drawing the intricate parts within the gallery’s structure and playing around with perception. I have stepped out of my comfort zone with this project and begun working on a much larger scale than I would usually, spanning my designs out to 90cm x 90cm. Photoshop has been a real help with this as I have used it a lot to create a massive collage of my drawings! I would usually work in repeat which is something that I have avoided within this project and I must say that I have enjoyed that thoroughly, not having to worry about creating a repeat and just focusing on making the most of my drawings on a large scale is something I want to hold onto and take into next year.

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I have also found that designing with a client in mind is not as restrictive as I imagined. I have learnt to realise that it’s all about creating something appropriate in your own style. If I were to be commissioned in the future to creating something to a client’s specifications I would not be so worried as I know that the client has chosen me for a reason, I have actually enjoyed working to the specifications and the inspirations from the Whitworth in my own way.

I feel as though I have developed a better contextual understanding of my practice throughout the project. From my engagement with tutorials I have had different feedback and criticism than I have learnt to expect which has been to me, slightly discouraging and un-inspiring due to the almost, lack of interest some tutors had shown. Working with tutors from different specialisms who didn’t seem to have any basic knowledge of my practice/the way I work as a print designer has been a challenge. Although this made me feel somewhat unenthusiastic at times I feel that it has been good for the project as I have encountered different opinions and views on my practice. Thinking about it from the perspective of what the brief was actually asking, this did help me to take a step back and look at my work as a product rather than a piece of artwork. My primary research has been very important to my practice and I wanted to focus on this very heavily so I think that I can say with confidence that I have committed myself appropriately to this element of the project. I spent about three/four weeks on perfecting my drawings and another three/four weeks developing my designs to get every possible outcome so that I could create a well-informed collection.

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I think that I have made the right decisions throughout this project as to the way I have explored my concept and the way I have presented my project in a way that it can be understood by the public for the exhibition. The best process for this illustrative design unit was digitally printing; however, I think that the next time I might explore other options outside of the university. I found that I had a lot of trouble with my final piece, the ink had bled across the silk and so I had to try and hang the scarf strategically in the exhibition. I think that the difficulties that I had with the digital prints could have been a range of issues, although it was suggested that it was my digital file. I know that my digital file was crisp at 300dpi, so another explanation could have been the way it was printed, perhaps a change of ink cartridge half way through printing or that the fabric had not been steamed or washed thoroughly enough as the fabric did feel stiff in areas as if the coating on the fabric had not been removed. Due to this I think that if I were to print more scarves I would use an outside company, this would also make it easier for me to have to scarf printed on silk twill, a more luxurious silk that the university doesn’t supply unless specially ordered. I think that if I were to have resorted to this process then I would have also had labels printed for my products to push my branding concept.

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If I had more time I think that I would have spent longer creating visualisations and perhaps created a look-book including my printed scarves and perhaps ideas for other accessories, I have never done this before and I think that it could have interested people in the exhibition so I think it’s something to think about in future projects.

I think that this project has helped inform my practice as I have learnt to think more about an end product, I think that I want to further this in future projects by exploring creating a collection or a range of produce. This project was all motivated by a client brief, as for future ambitions in relation to theme I think that my concept for a project is always going to be slightly different, I think that there will always be a new concept for me to explore. I am glad that I chose to focus on my own way of working by developing, almost a guide or framework, so that in the future I can work in the same way and get the most out of a project. I think that working this way has been best as this is the way I hope I will be able to work in the future, hopefully creating my own brand and my own business, a little like Vicki Murdoch of Silken Favours. I think that I want to carry through what I have learnt in terms of the way I will continue to work with my projects and my process, as I think that in the future I will want to be able to produce and churn out a different collection for each season if I were to work within fashion.

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