25th may – 29th May Digital Module Update

Last week I completed all my designs so that were ready to be printed digitally, and that’s exactly what I did this week. Over the weekend I made sure that all my designs were saved as the right file types, and then I double-checked and tripled checked that they were right, before taking all my design with me on Monday. With my five 4×4 inch design samples and my A4 print ready, I opened the files onto a programme that was set up on one of the computer in the digital print room, and set them to print. Thinking of the group as a whole, wee all decided that it would be best for everyone to print their designs onto cotton fabric. Making sure that the cotton was 100 per cent was great for me because this aligned with what I’ve been thinking about in terms of this project, using ethically correct fabrics for my designs. Once the designs were all loaded onto the computer, it was time to press print, never have I been more overly excited to stand and watch a printer, but when fabric is added into the mix I become positively giddy. beetls being printed Designs being printed By Tuesday, all my designs had been printed, so that was the day I dedicated to creating my screen, this w as the first time that I completed most of the process myself, I’m not going to lie I made a mess of it, but in the end it worked, the patterns on my beetles shells were clear on the screen, waiting for me to print with them. When I came back later in the week, well Thursday, four of my six designs were washed and dried and ready to be used for whatever I please, excitement made an appearance again. My A4 digital print was ready to be hand printed on top of, so using the screen I had so lovingly (and messily) prepared I got to work making a stunning print that I cant stop loving. Digital adn hand printThursday night was when I neatly taped the edges of my prints with magic tape and then cut them from the surrounding edges, I used magic tape so that I could cut the edges in a straight line and the fabric would not fray. Once I and done this I set about pinning the five samples into my book, along with the colours atlas, and the foil I used on my print, so that I could basically show them off to anyone who wanted to look, and so that I could properly annotate the process and my thoughts and ideas fro designing them.Prints adn colour atlas Then today arrived, Friday, and I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do except write up annotation and blog posts when low and behold I got side-tracked by laser cutting! You heard me, laser cutting. Having printed my design and having completed the hand printing on top, I was left with laser cutting left. So changing the file setting on one of my digital illustrations, I opened them onto the computer linked with eh laser cutting machine and it wouldn’t work, this kept happening until I was about ready to cry, and then suddenly, my design appeared on the screen ready to be sent to the laser cutter. Because the design I chose was quite compact and very detailed, I set the laser cutter to engraving, and oh my did I love the result, I ended up with three tiny squares with three tiny beetles that I absolutely love. Engraved beetleSo all in all this week has been pretty great. I got all my designs printed and completed and I even got some laser cut pieces, which I might have to throw into the lump of work that ill be presented at the end of this module. Next week I anticipate some slight nervousness because the module is coming to a close and I still have a presentation to make and I have to still print all of my designs and mount them, but for now I’m going to bask in goodness of this week.


15th May – 22nd May Digital Update

Finally finding time to upload my next post, I bring you the update from the past week in my digital module. Once I had made those original pattern on illustrator, during out next digital workshops Steve showed us how to create patterns on Photoshop, which was frustratingly difficult to understand until it suddenly clicked and I didn’t know why I found it so difficult; to create our own brushed on Photoshop and to create colour atlases for digital printing.

To create my own pattern in Photoshop I had to start by creating an A3 document and then creating another document that was 5x5cm, it was then time to create a simple image/shape that would show the basics of how to create a pattern on Photoshop.  For this we were going to use the custom tool and then choose one of the custom shapes just for practice. Once this was selected I then drew out the shape, selected it, and then colour filled in on a new layer so that it was no longer a vector image. Once that was competed, the nest step was to make this an image that could be selected for pattern. To do this I clicked on the edit tab on the top tool bar, scrolled down to define pattern, and then named my pattern. Going onto a separate document, I could then go back onto edit and then select fill. A box came up in which I was able to select my pattern from the ones already there. Once I had done this my shape, filled the pages as a repeated pattern.

I then moved on to making a half-drop repeat pattern. To do this I had to go back to my original shape and select all, copy and then deselect, the image was then in the computer’s memory and that was all I needed for the time being.  Then I went to the filter tab on the top tool bar and selected offset. A small box appeared, making sure that ‘wrap around’ was still selected; I changed the vertical tab so that the shape was halved, on the top and bottom of the page. The next step was to go onto image and select canvas size, changing the measurements to percentage and then change the width to 200%. I could then paste the shape that I had copied earlier on, once I had arranged the images together, I would be able to create a half drop repeat pattern.  Again I went onto a new document, selected edit from the tool bar on the top of the screen and clicked fill, chose the pattern I had just created and then clicked ok. My half-drop repeat pattern filled the whole page with no glitches.

half drop repeat pattern

To create a custom brush, is pretty much the same way as creating a pattern. I found it quite difficult at first because Steve wanted us to look up videos on YouTube to show us how to create them, once I realised that I really could grasp it through a video, I found step by step written instruction and et viola! I created a new brush. Once I had created one, I then used it in the background of own my patterns, which I think worked really well with the design that I had in the foreground.

mushroom own brush

On Tuesday we will be undertaking our first digital prints, Steve asked us to create five 4 x 4 inch design that would be printed as digital samples, along with once A4 pattern that I will then be hand printing on top of. The first task I undertook was choosing which design I wanted for the five test prints. I had a while array to choose from because I had been going over some of the pattern’s i had created and developing them, changing different aspects to see if they worked better in different ways, with different colours or different pattern positioning. I have quite a few samples and idea from this and I then had to choose which ones I wanted to have printed out

beetle pattern development

Once I had chosen I then decided that I wanted to use one of my beetle patterns for my A4 print. I chose the once of the developed ideas that I had created, going for a dark background so that when I hand print the beetle pattern over the top in foil, the different elements of the print would stand out against each other, making for a really creative design that still embodied my theme, and complied with my colour board.

So as you can see I’ve had a pretty full week, full of exciting development designs, as well as looking forward to the prints I will be creating next week!


15th May Digital Workshop

Having many different tutorials over the last few digital workshops, today we were given the task of just drawing, for the whole lesson we were given free reign to draw whatever we liked on illustrator, the only condition was that we only used one told, the pencil tool. I selected images that I though embodied most all at the aspects that I have been looking at in my theme. I started by creating a new layer so that I would still have the original copy of my image, and then started to draw. I selected which insect in my image I wanted to draw, and started to draw round the butterflies pattern instead of drawing outlines, so that I could change the colours within each section without ruining the whole drawing. 

Keeping in mind the colours that I chose on my colour board, I then started to fill the different sections of the butterflies/beetles with either there natural colours, which would have corresponded with my colour theme, or with colours that I had chosen in my colour board. Putting each different sections of the drawings on different layers make it much easier to hide the different section so that I can still draw from the original image below.Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 10.40.21

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For each different insect I drew they had a different place within the pattern I was creating, staring in the center and then spiraling outwards, until I was happy with the look of what I had created. Inspired by the work we were doing in today’s workshop I decided that I wanted to carry on. Once I got home I opened up my illustrator, and after selecting a new image, started the process over again with the different layers and the different stages of drawing, creating a wholly new pattern that still embodied my theme. This time I used an image of a goliath beetle, zooming in as close as I could go so that I could draw the delicate patterns that are on its shell. Once I had the beetle completely drawing I then started to experiment with patterning making, changing the opacity so some of the pattern would be much lighter than the original.

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I love both of the patterns that I had created, again making sure that I’ve been using colours that were on my colour board, or really near to so that I’m not changing the colours that I wanted, or changing the ideas that I have been creating surrounding my theme. I really like suing illustrator which I never through would happen, I was so bewildered at the beginning of the module, having never used Photoshop or illustrator but now I’ve come to accept and really like the process of creating using digital methods.


Colour Board

Once I had figured out how to find the Pantone colour swatches on Photoshop I went about selecting images, arranging them, re-arranging them, finding the right colours, changing those colours and then changing then back and finally ending up with a composition that I really liked. While choosing my images and colours I kept in mind that I wanted to use colours that can only be produced naturally, so I chose images that were full of natural colours as well as making sure the colours swatches were colours that could be made naturally. Trying to take on board the information that Lucy gave me during my one to one, I tried to give my colour board more conviction in terms of telling the story of my theme.Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 13.42.11


Monday 11th May

In Today’s tutorial we were looking into colour boards, before we did this we had a one on one meeting with Lucy to show her the work we had already done in our themes, the mood boards we had created and the ideas we were toting around and she was going to help us understand what was needed in a colour board and how to do it in a professional way.  During my meeting with Lucy she looked over the work that I had created and together we went though my already existing mood boards to create one that was more to the point of the theme and looked more professional. Using the Quick select tool, which is quickly becoming a favourite, I cut out a few pieces, changed the scale and rearranged some images and was left with a mood board that both Lucy and I were happy with and something that would lead me in the right direction while working on my colour board.

Revised Mood Board

After looking at mood boards we were moving onto colour boards. Selecting images that still told the story of my theme, but with less busyness than a  mood bard. For this colour board I’m using Pantone colours. To find the Pantone swatches, I had to go onto the little menu on the swatches tab, and click on the Pantone solid uncoated, and I was able to access all of the different shades and tints that pantone have to offer.Blg screen shot 1Once I found the colours I needed I started to find the right ones for my mood board, colours which complimented my theme and would help me in the direction that I’m going.


Worth Global Style Network

WGSN is a global style network filled with trend predictions, reports, images and just plain goodness. Yesterday while in our digital workshop, Jenny from the library came to see us to introduce us to WGSN. We were shown how to create our own account so that we could access this pot of gold on any computer and boy have I been. To help me in this module I’ve been looking through this website almost non-stop since I found it. Having chosen scanned memory I’ve been looking through the trend reports to see if I could find any imagery or anything really to spark another little kernel of inspiration in my mind.WGSN

As I went through the trend reports I looked for many different things; I was looking for anything to influence my ideas on nature and insects, as well as sustainable materials and dyes and anything friendly to the environment, and I did not leave empty handed. I found loads of images and information that I found really help. Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 12.31.27 Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 12.30.47 Fashionably Natural Eco Dyes Natural Vs Manmade

After gathering all the images I started to play around with making another mood board. I’m not going to lie, I’ve come to really enjoy making mood boards and I can’t get enough of them. So once I found images that matched the ideas that I have for my theme I started to create a mood board. One thing I did notice while I was looking in the WGSN website was most all of the trend boards, they had only a few select images and quite a bit of white background, whereas the mood boards I have been making are quite busy and full of images that tell the story of my theme. While I like this style of mood board I thought it would be a good learning curve to create one in a way which I wouldn’t normally think to do. Keeping this in mind I was planning to leave empty spaces in my mood board, having a white background which would really accentuate the colour in the images I have chosen, and thinking that maybe less is more. I quite like the overall look of the new style of mood bard, I think having the contrast of the white background against the dark images is very catching and does indeed accentuate the colours and imagery itself.20150508_191639662_iOS


Digital Books

Because we’re going to be doing so much work on Photoshop and illustrator and creating digital designs, I though that it would be beneficial to look at some digital guides.  Having already looked up a few website because Steve had asked us, I also ordered a copy of Adobe Classroom in and Book for Photoshop and illustrator, and have been looking through the tips and tricks that they have in them.  On Tuesday I went to the University library to find a book, but couldn’t find any that really interested me so a friend let me borrow one of the books she took out and I’ve been looking through and reading on all the different themes and filters and commotions that are in the book, as well as much more. The book she lent me was Digital Textile Design and it had quite a few really good tips in there as well as some really great imagery to accompany.Book blog cover

I found this little subsection while flicking through the book, all about the different filters that are available in Photoshop and what can be done with them.Book Bloog 1

Book Blog 2While looking through textiles books or books with any sort of pictures I always go to the imagery first, and in this book they had quite a few really good images that I stopped and though, that could really be helpful to me. One of these pages had two examples of Mood boards on them which I really loved to look at, to see how they’ve laid theirs out, the composition they’ve used as well as the imagery and different additions.

book blog 3