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FolioFocus Sweet Greetings Showcase

kristy decastro

kristy decastro

Following a fab week of creating patterns and illustrations for the greeting cards industry, it's a pleasure to share a showcase of the wonderful art created by FolioFocus classmates for our Sweet Greetings themed brief. Once again we have a couple of designers giving a little behind the scenes look at how they came to their final pieces - Enjoy! 

Sara Aguiar

This week Sara gives us a little insight into her process and how she tackled the brief for our Sweet Greeting Week:

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"First I sketched a lot of anemones in Procreate, then I took them into illustrator and vectorized them. 

I made a repeating pattern using the pattern tool. I also created an illustration for the card. Then I took everything to photoshop and made the mockups card and journals.. I have to say I loved doing this assignment! Thanks Natalie".

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Daniela Glassop

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Classmate Daniela has a background where fabric and sewing has always been important in her life so when there was a mention of looking at embroidery (from this week's trend info), she revisited her Sewing and Embroidery board on Pinterest:

"I was inspired by some photos of flowers that I have taken over time and some greeting cards that I had photographed while looking at what there is already available. I make fibre art too and find that my sewing background is often a source of inspiration.

I always prefer to rough out ideas in a layout pad as the paper is cheap and light and I don't feel precious when making all sorts of notes and thumbnail sketches while working out my designs. I always work with pencil on paper too while thinking and designing, before I have to put a more complex work together.

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When I had worked out what I needed, I started to sketch out some flower forms and work out some colour choices. I will sometimes throw in more elements than I need but I also will sometimes a flower or element that I had not used in a previous design as necessary. When I had a selection, I painted my design elements with gouache. In this case I also drew and painted the hand lettering and made a coloured background which I did not use as it as there would not have been enough contrast between the type and the lettering.

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Once I have finished painting, I will scan my painted illustrations and work with them in Photoshop so that I can easily combine the different elements to get the look I am after. I always prefer to have modelling in my work, so Photoshop is always my preference. I printed off some proofs to check scale and readability as judging these things on a computer screen is not accurate enough"

Heather Powers

Next up sharing her process, we have Heather Powers:

"I started the week creating a few birthday cards but decided to stick closer with the brief and focused on the Mother’s Day theme.

Whenever I start a design I first ask myself what would I buy for myself or as a gift. I looked through some baby animals on Pinterest and when I saw an adorable fox I knew that would be my inspiration for my design. I tied in some of my favorite local wildflowers, adding them to the field surrounding my protective momma and cub.

After my card was finished I moved on to creating coordinating patterns. I pulled the wildflowers from my card, repeating them in an overall pattern by flipping and rotating elements. I decided I needed one more pattern and went with the chicory flower to tie in with my other two designs.

Since I started using my iPad Pro and Procreate this year, I work through the sketching phase right in my drawing. I added a video to share a peek into my process. I also worked up my designs in a few gift related mockups".

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More Wonderful Art for Sweet Greetings

Designer Spotlight: Kath Watmough

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, I'm Kath and I am a freelance illustrator and surface pattern designer working from home in Padiham, Lancashire UK. I did a degree in textile design, specialising in printed textiles at the University of Derby. After 16 years working for Hallmark UK / Hambledon Studios I set up Kath Watmough Designs in October 2013. I work on a freelance basis for clients in the UK and China, designing greeting cards, gift wraps, gift bags, money wallets, crackers and calendars, for retail and wholesale markets worldwide.

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR?

As a child I loved colouring books and I would spend hours colouring in. I remember being interested in patterns around the home and in my grandma's house; I think this is where my love of mid century art comes from. Anything art related I showed a real interest. I knew from the age of 11 that I wanted to work in the creative industry.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY/WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

Once I've got the children off to school, I check my emails, put some music on and start work. I like to do my research, get inspired. I look at trends and different themes. I work 5 days a week and weekends when deadlines are approaching but try to keep weekends free for family time.

IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 10 YEARS YOUNGER SELF ONE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE OR AN INSIGHT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

To be less critical of yourself, it's okay to make mistakes. Being a perfectionist can hinder your creativity. I enrolled on Module 1 of The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course back in February 2016 and I found it really helpful and inspiring. It took me back to basics which I'd not done for years and I loved it! I rediscovered the fun element of mark making again. At the end of Module 1 I entered and won the typography testimonial competition and got a free place on Module 2! It was a real boost for my confidence.

WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK OR IN A DESIGN RUT, HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF OUT OF IT AND BACK ON TRACK?

I have a break from the computer, make a brew, do some housework; this soon gets me back to doing what I really love! Other times I'll do some mark making with different materials or look at design books for inspiration.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I love my Wacom pad and I would be lost without it. Pentel brush pens, Uni pin and the pigma micron pens are great for finer line work.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? FAVOURITE APPS AND PROGRAMS

I like to sketch my initial ideas in pencil first. Once I'm happy with them I use layout paper or tracing paper and draw in pen before scanning them in. I then manipulate my scanned drawings in Illustrator. Colour is really important to me and it is the first thing that catches my interest. I like to do a bit of research on colour and look at different colour palettes and what's on trend. I look at pinterest and magazines, as they are a great source of inspiration and for researching trends.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I have sold a large number of my designs for gift wrap use only and here are some of them that I enjoyed creating.

WHO ARE YOUR DREAM CLIENTS OR WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?

I love stationery products, so seeing my designs in Paperchase would be a dream come true.

I would also love to see my designs on fabric and wallpaper.

THERE HAS BEEN AN ART SUPPLY SANCTION IMPOSED AND DESIGNERS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO POSSESS 3 ITEMS/TOOLS, WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?

Pencil, Uni pin pen and paper.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Everywhere! From household objects to nature. Visiting exhibitions, books, pinterest. Me and my family went to Barcelona last year and I found lots of inspiration there. I think I drove my children mad because I kept stopping to take pictures of patterns everywhere I went.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Ooh this is a hard one! There are so many great designers. I love 1950's vintage patterns and I love designs by Lucienne Day.

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me for creating colourful designs that make people smile and brighten up their day.