My First Design Challenge! :o

Spiro Bohemian 150Look at that!!!!  Yep, this week I am taking a big design step and came up with a design for Spoonflower’s design challenge!

The theme for this particular challenge is Bohemian which centers on patterns of geometric shapes.  One of my present ways that I am having fun making images is with a Spirograph set.  I loved my set when I was a kid, at least I think it was my set, I was really little when I was playing with said set and with three older siblings I may have just taken over something that belonged to them.  What can I say, I don’t think I could have been older than five, maybe six.

Anyway, a few years ago I see on Amazon that the Spirograph was back and I ordered a set for my kid…and now I have taken it over.  In my defense he never did much with it and I have promised that it is at his disposal if he should want to make use of it.

My questionable sense of ownership and sharing aside, I have been obsessed with how Spirograph designs would make a fantastic design element for a surface print.  It took some experimentation and research to figure out just how I wanted to digitize the patterns.  For the present my wish is to preserve the character of the original inked line.  In fact for quite a while now I have been on a mission to learn the best way to preserve the character of hand drawn and painted images when I digitize them.

I like to design using a variety of mediums.  I like all digitally created designs well enough but I don’t care what filters and things you are using in that software it will not truly execute the character, the random variations, of the hand drawn image.

I strive to be perfectly imperfect with my designs, to me that makes them more approachable, more alive.  I remember when I was in art school getting into a discussion of whether or not digital imagery would replace live people in movies all together.  The idea being that as digital imagery advances and becomes more realistic it will get to the point where one can’t see the difference between the real human and the CGI human.  I don’t think CGI will ever completely replace people on the movie or tv screen and I say that being a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings and anyone who has seen that can not deny the brilliant realistic quality of the character of Gollum.  It isn’t the realism that I question so much as human need to see something that they know is real life.  Disney has been an animation power house since the beginning of animation but even they have started doing live action versions of their animated hits and they own Pixar one of the best in computer animation.  So while I am a fan of my software and the things that I can do with it, I just don’t feel that the software gives me the approachable warmth that I get when my designs start with a hand drawn image.

When I do create an image entirely in the software, such as my MOD Dots or Moroccan Tile, I will deliberately get some imperfections in.  There are no perfect circles on MOD Dots.  I tried them as perfect circles and found them cold and repellent.  When I digitally “hand” painted those dots I loved the result.  Perfect symmetry in design is not my thing, I might have something that at first glance is symmetrical but I can just about promise you that there is something, somewhere, a little wonky with the design.

Embrace the wonky!



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