Monday, October 12, 2015

Effectively Organized: Organizing my work to produce a collection

I'm winding up to release Texture and Patina collection.  They are out there in bits and pieces in my shops, but I'm getting more organized for a bi-weekly release of 8 different colors of 12 different patterns. I'm biting my nails and getting all of the administrative pieces in place before I start the launch.

But before the launch, I thought I would share a bit of my process and how I organized the creation of this particular collection. I actually made so much art and didn't use a lot of it, that I'll have a great foundation when I start a new collection. Now I just have to make sure the sketches fit a future collection. Or maybe I'll have a spin-off collection. Hm....

But in the meantime, here is a picture of the pile of papers I sketched and doodled and marked. This is a nice 2-3 inch thick set of folders and papers.

I organically created a system (I love systems) as I progressed through creating this particular collection. I created color palettes and hung papers on walls to get ideas. I think I marinated in the ideas for a good 3 days before I started putting pen to paper. 

Pen and paper vs. digital design

Regarding pen and paper, I find I prefer pen and paper to pure digital design. One of the ways I would describe my core style (at least at the moment) is primitive, organic and colorful. I am particularly enamored with Southwest design because I love the element of organic creation where you see the handwork of the person who made it. That's something I've wanted to preserve in my personal approach to design - my hand in the work. So I maintain my interest in starting the work in pen and paper, then I scan it and manipulate it digitally in Photoshop and Illustrator.

System for editing and choosing final designs

As I started sketching, I experimented with a wide array of ideas. I marked, I sketched, I incorporated Zentangle type doodling into my designs. I marked papers randomly and with different methods.

As I worked, I ended up with quite a pile of papers. I started losing track of what I liked and what I needed to put on hold. I decided I wanted to keep everything I created since it sometimes sparked ideas, but it just didn't necessarily make the final cut.

Also, I found I needed to to "put my drawings away" for a bit either in the folder or put a day or two of time between when I created and when I viewed it again. This allowed me some time to assess whether I really liked it or not. Below is the rough workflow I used for developing this collection and editing it out to the final designs.


And finally, here is a set of outtakes I really like, but didn't make it into this particular version of the collection. Actually, they were going to get included, but I pivoted on the collection and ended up recoloring some of the patterns to a beach theme. I expect to use these in the future. 

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