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Inspired by :: Michaël Cailloux

Scarf design by Michaël Cailloux

In surface pattern design I sometimes get overwhelmed by florals. So when I spot something unusual that is not a floral I tend to sit up and take notice. I stumbled across Michaël Cailloux’s work, quite by accident and was immediately intrigued. Michaël is a French designer of ‘wall jewellery’, scarves (like the one above) and painted papers. I strongly recommend you visit his site (it’s in French and English) so you can really appreciate his work.

For me, I was struck by the unusual imagery he adds to his designs; gingko leaves with fish and eels. You’ll find frogs, pelicans, parrots and beetles and my personally I love that most of his designs include flies.

Scarf design by Michaël Cailloux

They are beautifully rendered and arranged and remind me somewhat of my fascination when I was at art school of trying to spot the beetles or flies in Renaissance paintings. In northern Renaissance religious art especially the fly was sometimes included as it was thought to repel real flies and in some Christian art the fly was symbol of evil, pestilence or sin.

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The fly is central to most of Michaël’s work as a symbol of life and death, he references 16th Century still life paintings as inspiration for his work. His graduating thesis was on the fly in 18th century art. I think that’s why his work is so appealing to me.

You can view all Michaël’s work on his website and get a glimpse of what he’s working on via twitter.

July 12, 2015 \ inspiration \ 1 comment

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Working on :: new patterns

Initial drawing for a pattern design

Wow I’ve been busy – which explains why it’s taken so long between posts on this blog. I’m sure my blog was starting to feel neglected. Work and Uni have both been particularly demanding but I have had one win. I convinced my subject lecturer to let me create a surface pattern design collection for an upcoming assignment. How cool is that?

So remember a really long time ago, I said I wanted to create a pattern collection inspired by trampolines? No? That’s OK it was a while ago. Well here is the beginning sketches for this collection. My aim was to create patterns that would appeal to boys aged between 8 and 13. Since I have boys in that age range I know how hard it is to find nice patterns for bedding and my quilt making that didn’t contain a superhero or a Disney character. Both my boys do trampolining for sport and it really lent itself to a lot of movement and texture.

3 patterns from the Bounce collection

This is what I have so far, with 3 more in the works. The top print was done during The Sellable Sketch class I did with Michelle Fifis over at Pattern Observer. Michelle is an amazing fountain of knowledge and really helped me find a pattern making method that works for me. I’m still trying to figure out a scale for each print that works well across the collection as my main print is a large 33cm (W) x 64cm (H) repeat. It’s been a wonderful learning curve. I’ll let you know when it’s all done.

So what have you been working on lately?

April 17, 2014 \ design \ 2 comments

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Working on :: trend research

Evernote screenshot

For those that know me well, you will understandably be surprised to hear I’ve been engaged lately in trend research. I have never been a dedicated follower of fashion and I oscillate between one of two camps; 1 – that the item I love and cannot live without is also so far out of my budget to be rational or 2 – it simply does not exist. This is why I’ve spent most of my life either making it myself or doing without. This is the girl that made everything for her own wedding!

Having said all that though – I’ve been having a ball with trend research. I’ve been taking a class called the The Sellable Sketch with the gorgeous Michelle (my latest girl crush) over at Pattern Observer. I won’t go into too much detail as I have another post in the works to tell you about it – suffice to say Michelle had us doing trend research. I am not one to shy away from research, after all it is a very large part of my day job. The course came with a 3 month subscription to Stylesight a trend and forecasting website that is an amazing resource for colour, graphic and textiles trends for apparel and furnishings. They publish Megatrends for seasons in the area you might be interested in – I was researching youth for a fabric collection aimed at boys 8 – 14. If you are ever in need of a little shot of inspiration and direction, this is the place to go. To keep all my ideas in one place I could not have done it without Evernote – my most favourite go to app. Have you used it?

Color Collective samples

The other site that I came to love in the process was the Color Collective. There are quite a few sites out there that create inspiring colour palettes but I just loved her wonderful mix of gorgeous imagery of food, prints and current trends. For me I sometimes struggle to find the perfect colour palette for my patterns and these provide a really good jumping off point.

There was one person in the class who didn’t like this process and thought it was a giant waste of time. I would really love to know what you think. Have you ever done trend research? Do you think it’s important for designers to be aware of forecasting?

March 14, 2014 \ design \ 5 comments

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Creating a zine

One spread from the surface zine showcasing Heather Moore

Spread from a zine showcasing Danish motifs

Do you remember way back when I was talking of creating a ‘zine’? I really didn’t know what they were but the brief for this assignment was to create a zine around something you’re interested in that could be used as one is a series. My idea was to create a zine called Surface, that is devoted to surface design around the globe. This issue focused on Scandinavian surface design and I included some of my own patterns and photos as well as the work of other artists – like the super talented Heather Moore from Skinny laMinx. I sent Heather an email asking if she’d consider answering one question and she did! I was beyond excited. You know I should also point out that I asked 2 other artists the same question and they never replied – hmmm.

So here are my two favourite spreads from the zine, click on them to get the full effect.

All imagery in the first spread is © Heather Moore at Skinny laMinx.
Red Danish clogs image © Lady Violette de Courcy blog
Background pattern Cocktails Storybook  and Background pattern QA Storybook 1 are my own and you can see them on ColourLovers.

Download complete PDF version

September 13, 2012 \ design \ 7 comments

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