What is my Process like?

Posted by Tahlia David on

An artist's process I think can be something quite personal, as it's not just the order in which you draw, or put something together, there's often personal rituals entwined with it. For me, the 'process' would also include the thinking and generation of an idea, before a line has even been drawn on my digital workspace.

For me, ideas can come from a range of places. They can naturally pop up in my head as I see and remember things in my day to day life, such as seeing a new bakery open up and seeing loads of donuts and other things, and inspiring a pattern collection. 

Ideas can also come from my memories, of old collections or artwork and the idea of improving on it or making it better. There's a lot that can be done with a single idea and sometimes revisiting things when I'm stuck helps to develop something new as well.

You can read more about inspiration and where to find it here:

Read 'Where Do I Find Inspiration?' for more on this

woman using drawing pad while sitting in front of laptop

Photo by @josefandiaz on Unsplash.com

 

My process does obviously differ from whether I'm designing or making, and sometimes there's a decision to be made about which one to do that day depending on how I feel. Designing is more of a chilled day, watch some Netflix and draw, then jump on the laptop, usually getting some admin things done on the laptop as well. Whereas a making day can be a lot more active and varied, not just the sewing, but also batch cutting out and ironing can take a long time, and I absolutely want to avoid ironing at all costs during the hotter hours of the days at the moment!

After I have an idea, I tend to do a little research. I have a look on Pinterest, maybe some royalty-free image sites if I need a very specific image, and form a little plan. I usually also look for my colour palette around this time, I usually have at least one colour in mind perhaps from the fur of an animal or something else subject-specific, but then I usually consult my handy board of colour palettes I like. I tend to do a contrast palette, it's just become my go-to style, and I do love using the colour pink, I think it just goes so well with everything.

canadian wildlife spoonflower contest pattern

 

I use Procreate for drawing my motifs, a motif is the individual drawings that make up the pattern, such as a hedgehog, a flower. It's important to decide on the edges too, as if anything was left unfinished on an edge then it wouldn't be complete and look strange in a pattern.

Surface pattern design is reliant on good motifs, and once these are finished on Procreate ( I use a combination of fineliner brushes, shaders and highlights to finish my drawings ), I transfer them over to photoshop and start arranging them around the edge of the canvas, then filling it the middle, before playing with background colour and filling in the holes for a completed tile that can then be repeated.

You can find videos of me completing some surface pattern designs here on my Tiktok.

 

scrunchies set with surface pattern designs based on nature and florals in bright colours

 

Now my making process can be a simple process or a complex one, depending on whether I'm batch-making or just making a few things. Although to begin with a new product, I like to test out how I'm going to make it firstly and this can go through a few stages of working out the initial shape and refining this. I often do this in half-size or less to minimise fabric waste, so I do now have a couple of tiny tote bags hanging around!

Once this is finalised and I know all my measurements, I start with cutting out, which can be done in bulk, and ironing. Some pieces need ironing before any sewing is started on them, and others may need ironing halfway through to make sure something stays in position. 

Then I tend to get through the bulk of the sewing and finishing. Again though, usually music or Netflix is my best friend, as sometimes sewing up 30+ things that are all exactly the same can get quite repetitive and boring. 

See the results of my processes in my portfolio or in my shop.


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