Friday, 24 August 2012

Emerging Design Talent: Victoria Robinson

Today I am introducing new and emerging design talent which has become a regular addition to Creative Sketchbook. Victoria Robinson's country life inspired designs instantly grabbed my attention when she exhibited at New Designers 2012. Victoria has just graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a Ba (Hons) in Textile Design.

Victoria's collection below is called 'Country Pursuits' and her inspiration was taken from the North Yorkshire moors and the rugged English countryside. Originating from North Yorkshire myself with a family upbringing deeply rooted in the countryside, I just fell in love with Victoria's choice of traditional imagery with a modern and fresh approach. Victoria cleverly combines strong hand drawn game birds and natural foliage with an innovative colour palette of mustard, aubergine, raspberry and stone providing a contemporary twist.

This collection beautifully illustrates and captures English identity through a broad range of techniques including digital print, hand print and jacquard to create a versatile and appealing collection. I can't wait to see what Victoria creates next!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Exciting new 'MOYO' magazine! Issue 1

Today is a special day in the design industry… it sees the launch of MOYO, the world’s first online magazine dedicated to surface pattern design! I feel soooooo honored to be a part of the team! Packed with interviews, design briefs, colour challenges, art reviews, student showcases, design tips, inspiration, trends and more, this free resource will be published quarterly, and you can read and download the inaugural issue here!

This magazine has been several months in the making and I am thrilled to share it with you. ‘MOYO’ (pronounced mo-yor) is from the Japanese for ‘pattern’. ISSUE ONE August 2012 This premiere issue includes an exclusive interview with hot new design talent Louise Tiler, a designer diary from Rachael Taylor, an art review by myself and a design brief for you from Japan! Read it here!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Emerging Design Talent: Alice Skipp

Today I am introducing new and emerging design talent which has become a regular addition to Creative Sketchbook. Alice Skipp's bold and fresh designs instantly grabbed my attention when she exhibited at New Designers 2012. Alice has just graduated from Swansea Metropolitan University with a Ba (Hons) Surface Pattern Design, specialising in Printed Textiles for Interiors.

I love the dramatic effect and unique imagery Alice incorporates in her contemporary prints. "I would describe my work as joyous, colourful and celebratory." Mostly Alice's work is informed by personal narrative, with her most recent collection 'A Piece of Home' taking inspiration from the elements that make home a special place: fond childhood memories, familiar patterns and objects, in particular her families colourful collection of retro ceramics. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Bookshelf: Flower Fairies of the Spring: A celebration by Cicely Mary Barker

Today's feature on the 'Bookshelf' was another treasure given to me by my mum that she spotted with her eagle eyes in a charity shop. I have always been a lover of Cicely Mary Barker's flower fairies since a child and I thought it was about time I shared her beautiful creations with you.

Cicely produced an extensive range of stunning fantasy fairy, elf and flower illustrations in her life principally using watercolor paint with pen-and-ink to capture this delicate detail. "I have always tried to paint instinctively in a way that comes naturally to me"sourced. Below I have selected a few of my favourites from this book and included the beautiful little poems too!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Twirling Water Colours by Jessica Doyle!

I really like the simplicity of the shapes and structure of Canadian Jessica Doyle's work. Reminiscent of an underwater sea life she uses both loose and detailed line work to capture quirky and interesting detail. Whimsical creatures feature in Catherine's portfolio of designs and handmade papers are her interesting surface of choice to work on.  Enjoy!


Day Dreams

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

If Walls Could Talk by Catherine Bertola!

I spotted the work of Catherine Bertola at the 'Walls Are Talking' exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester a couple of years ago. As I wondered through rooms of wall coverings, ranging from traditional to contemporary I saw Catherine's installation through a little window in the corner. Catherine's exhibit was an intriguingly small room with walls covered in an usual overlapping floral design wallpaper. It almost looked like a 3d paper sculpture was tumbling down the wall and onto the floor, twisting and turning on itself. The colours used were very tonal and muted and what amazed me was that Catherine used ash from her own fire to achieve the colour and print.

Scratching the Surface

Scratching the Surface (detail)

Monday, 13 August 2012

Sweet Treats by Wayne Thiebaud!

Wayne Thiebaud is an artist that my students particularly like exploring, so I thought I would appeal to your sweet tooth and share him with you.

Interestingly Wayne was born in Arizona, moved to live in California and spent several years as a professional cartoonist at the Walt Disney Studios before moving on to teach art himself. His interest in everyday objects and celebration of popular culture is evident throughout his paintings that excitingly capture delicious looking cakes, sweets, cupcakes, pastries, lollypops, ice cream, pies, donuts and sandwiches to name but a yummy few.

Assorted Cakes and Tarts

Sweets and Treats

Friday, 10 August 2012

Emerging Design Talent: Katie Allerston

Today I am introducing new and emerging design talent which has become a regular addition to Creative Sketchbook. I was instantly drawn to Katie Allerston's unusual and contemporary designs exhibited at New Designers 2012. Katie has just graduated from Somerset College of Arts and Technology with a Ba (Hons) Interior Textiles and Surface Design after previously studing 3D Design.

Katie's work really stood out to me personally as it was intriguingly different from anything else I saw at the exhibition. Her collection took direct inspiration from nature by capturing patterns, colour and unusual qualities and oddities that Katie found. Through the use of photography, digital print and laser cutting, the link to nature is clearly visible across all three collections that incorporate printed designs through to innovative manipulated surfaces and structures, all of which use natural materials.


Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Bookshelf: Maw Broon's But An' Ben Cookbook

Today I am sharing a cookbook with a difference ...  Maw Broon's But An' Ben Cookbook has got to be the most creative and visually appealing cookbook I have seen. It is crammed full of family home cooked food and personal recipes that have clearly been collected over time and passed down from generations that date back to 1940. However the way it has been presented, to me, is what makes it so special. Every page is bursting with jokes, pictures, cuttings, photographs and good old fashioned hand written recipes and comments. There is memorabilia tucked into the pages including hand embroidery, dried flowers and postcards and aged effects have been added to the pages like coffee cup marks, old sellotape, stains, staples and curled edges which make this look like a real scrapbook cookbook.

It sounds silly, but I actually haven't read any of the recipes, this unusual book purely serves as a creative visual resource. But if you do treat yourself, please recommend some of the recipes. 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Beautiful and Distinctive Work of Alphonse Mucha!

I am delighted to share Alphonse Mucha with you today, he has got to be one of my favourite artists of all time and well over due a feature on Creative Sketchbook. As I am sure you are aware, Mucha is a well known Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist from the Czech Republic. Mucha has a very beautiful and distinctive style across a wide range of paintings, illustrations, advertisement posters and postcards and I just can't get enough of his work.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Swirling and Whirling Out of Control with Melinda Hackett!

Melinda Hackett is a very talented abstract painter who was born, lives and works in New York City. Melinda's stunning work is just how my head feels sometimes, swirling and bursting with too many ideas and thoughts that kind of clash and complement each other. “One of my purposes in making paintings is to transport the viewer to a necessarily foreign place, where nature can be experienced without knowing it fully, and where reality is communicated through the senses.”


Monday, 6 August 2012

Antiqued Geometrical Patterns by Louise Despont

I have been meaning to feature the work of Louise Despont for a while after stumbling across her work whilst I was blog browsing.  Louise's work is highly graphical and technical in structure, combining precise straight lines, angles and shapes with softer circles and curved lines. The use of graphite and coloured pencil creates a soft and muted effect enabling the details from the original paper to remain visible. I particularly love the subtle and antiqued colour palette Louise uses, apricot combined with apple green and charcoal really complements the old book pages and graph papers used with their aged and torn edges.  Louise must spend hours and hours accurately measuring and drawing out her designs, which results in beautiful and eye catching geometric patterns.

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