From thoughts to art to design. October 26 2014
Ever wondered how the pretty things you like come into being? Allow me to show you.
Most of my ideas start off very vague. I get a feeling for what I want to make but need to pin it down to real things. So, I begin by flicking through my reference books. Unless that is I need a new book! If that's the case cue much distracting internet shopping. (Although I am boycotting shitty Amazon after finding out just how much they are screwing over all the small companies out there)
I quite like checking out ebay for books. Sometimes old, sometimes I like the photographic clarity of new books. I also pick up books in charity shops and flea markets whenever I find a good one.
Anyway, I digress. Let's assume I have the book I need.
Once I find an image I like I draw it in pencil. This is where I need to pay attention and get the basic shape right. I decide where the shading and highlights will be. Now a confession, I don't try and make my drawings as realistic as possible ;I just make them look how I want! So if you want highly accurate botanical drawings, you are in the wrong place.
Once the outline is completed I use ink to add the dotwork. I use a variety of pens. I especially like Staedler pigment liners but I also use dip pens when I'm feeling more traditional.
This is the longest part of the process. Every miniscule dot you see in my wallpaper and art prints was originally done by hand. There is something very therapeutic about this process. I can put some music on and lose myself in this tiny, intricate world.
When I have a completed drawing I scan it and covert it to a vector image using Illustrator. When I have several images I play around with duplicating and reflecting until I have a design I am happy with. This can take a while! I have to make sure that the pattern will repeat effectively which means taking into account the dimensions of the product. whether that be a 10 metre roll of wallpaper or an A4 art print.
The first time someone else gets involved in the process is when the design is complete, it is then that I send it to be engraved onto a roller. The roller is sent to the printers and after some colour discussions and checking of proofs my wallpaper is born.
At the moment my rollers are being engraved, keep your eyes peeled for when my wallpaper hits the website!