Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fabric Design - More Lessons Learned

I've been working 24 -7 on my signature fabric designs for Adaptive Textiles for the past two weeks. It has taken some serious research and experimentation that I am sure will continue for some time before I really figure this out. I've been having a blast though as this is one of those great projects that lets you be truly creative with no boundaries ( okay just a few boundaries - but no bitchy client) .



My first step was to decide what medium to use to produce the original art. Not being much of a painter I was reluctant to go for tubed paints and instead figured out a way to put my giant collection of colored pencils to work. I separated all of my water soluble pencils and made a color reference chart. This was essential to keep myself from going crazy trying to relocate a pencil once I had used it as the wet colors are very different from the dry pencil colors. Each pencil was charted and referenced with its number. ( I am awaiting delivery of a now justified - new 120 color set of watercolor pencils - Yummmyyyyy !!!)



The first set of designs is representative of the patterns that I used in illustrating the window treatments in my first book. They are tentatively named after my daughter ( Angelica) and my sisters. I haven't thought of a name for the whole collection yet - any ideas?
The collage shown above is put together to show how the mock ups of the first patterns correspond to the illustration that inspired them. This one is the cover of my book.


Here several individual motifs are combined together to form a stripe. Backgrounds will be added later. ( once I figure out how to produce them!)




I really like this geometric pattern.

One of the biggest challenges is to design motifs that can be linked together or grouped effectively in repeats on the face of the fabric. This one was particularly challenging and took quite a few tries before I got it right.




This collection is inspired by the design that will be in the first set of workroom instructions produced by Minutes Matter.
I am already seeing a trend in the shapes and motifs that I am drawn to, I tend to group things symmetrically which is a hard habit to break. I have to work hard to fight my basic impulses or everything will turn out looking exactly the same.

This is a fun damask pattern. I have to figure out how to produce a washy looking background. That is my next challenge. Ink Jet printing is very different from silk screening or hand blocking ad I am trying to produce patterns that are uniquely suited to the process.


Here are some of my original watercolor motifs ready to be shipped of to Adaptive. The images look so much brighter on the computer screen - I am hoping that they will end up much more subtle and sophisticated once they are printed on fabrics. Thank God for Photoshop!!!

14 comments:

Linda Merrill said...

Jackie - these are so beautiful! You go girl!

michelle said...

Look at this amazing work! going outside your comfort zone with other mediums will only make you better Jackie...they must be very pleased with your work!

Take care,
Michelle

Kathy Bokman said...

Jackie...you take my breath away. I have always looked at fabric as works of art but you are taking it to a whole new level. I can't wait for your next postings. Heads up to Minutes Matter...they need to print tons of your instructions!

ex-textile designer :-) said...

Fantastic design, Jackie!
And great idea about color chart. I didn't know one can make such beautiful things with watercolor pencils.
Thank you!
Alina

Chari said...

Hello Jackie...

I've been following your blog for awhile now but I believe this is my first time to comment.

"Heart be still"...ohhh my, your new designs are simply gorgeous!!! Just had to say something!

Warmest wishes...
Chari

Lee said...

Looking at those gave me goose bumps! Even the color chart is gorgeous.

Cote de Texas said...

amazing - you are so talented. I love seeing this from the ground up - I've always wondered how fabrics get designed. you are something, my hero!!!

how about Lavender boudoir haha!!!oh God, that's horrible!!!! how about name them after a movie? too tacky? Gigi's Room

ok - I'm done offering lame names.

Topsy Turvy said...

Wow - congrats! What a great job you are doing!

-Lana

Jackie Von Tobel said...

Thanks for the kind comments everyone! I hope it all looks good when it's on fabric... Hopefully I will have samples to show you soon.

Cemaya said...

Jackie! What a wonderful process you've discovered. Thank you for sharing.

I like idea of using girl names for your fabric collections. Just purchase a baby naming book!

The Decorated House, Donna Courtney said...

Jackie, Jackie.....
Beautiful work!
Donna

Colour Me Happy said...

What a lovely blog you have. And we have another talented artist, so exciting, fabrics! Wow I'm so impressed.

Storibook Designs said...

Jackie ~ these are OUTSTANDING!! I'm loving the line already!! I can not wait. Would love to have a "launch" trunk show of your fabrics in my showroom... all very exciting!

Sarah

frosted window film said...

Definatly taking it to another level. experimenting with new fabrics, it's great
seeing what you've done for inspiration. Impressive and like the color chart too.
frosted window film