Sunday, November 17, 2013

Central Saint Martins - Drawing & painting for textile design

I'm so excited to finally share my experience and what I learnt at Central Saint Martins in London!

I'm constantly enrolling in different courses, mostly in Sydney (during the week after work) and I had dreamt of taking a course at CSM for years! (you may remember this video I made)
It has such a world reknowned reputation and many of the incredible designers that inspire me so much all studied there at some point - Matthew Williamson, Mary Katrantzou, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney (to name a few!!)

I remember looking up the short courses and thinking..why don't I just book it?
I found some amazing earlier bird flights to London and it all fell into place!


I packed my art supplies and headed off, full of nerves and excitement!
I spent the first 3 weeks of my trip exploring London, Paris and Rome - visiting every museum, art gallery and tourist hot spots and then spent my final week taking the course.

The Granary campus was right near King's Cross Station on Regent's canal - which was really convinient and easy to get to. The building itself is a massive warehouse that has been purposely restored into a really cool arty campus.

Our teacher Dominique Lolive was awesome.
It makes such a difference when you have a teacher who has so much experience & is so passionate about the subject they teach.
She originally studied fashion design and then moved into textile design because she didnt enjoy the patternmaking and sewing part of the course (I can relate as print design was my fav subject at fashion college too)! She has her own company now and has worked in New York & London creating her unique textile designs. Such an inspiration!

There were 12 of us in the class from all over the world - London, Sweden, Japan, China, New York, Norway, Brazil & Sydney! I loved hearing everyones stories of why they had chosen to take the course, what they had studied previously and what they wanted to do after they finished! They were all such talented and creative people! :) Quite a few of us had studied fashion only to realise that textile design was our true calling.

I think the best way to explain my experience is to give a brief summary of what we did each day: (and explain the design process we learnt)

Day 1:

Reasearch - we spent the morning in CSM's amazing library (there is a hug section dedicated to Fashion & Textiles - and all the latest design/trend magazines!!)

Moodboards - we then created our mood boards (I brought a lot of pictures/colour chips that I had collected from home)

Initial Sketching - We then looked for simple shapes within our mood board and started sketching as many ideas as possible

Day 2:

Techniques - Today we learnt heaps of new painting techniques using masking fluid, gesso acrylic paint, candle wax, quink ink, bleach and watercolour inks.
This was really fun, and definitely opened my eyes to a whole new way of designing.

It really pushed me out of my comfort zone, I'm so used to drawing in pencils first before painting and spending a lot of time on the one design - before scanning it into the computer and editing.
Instead we learnt to create interesting textures and abstract designs by hand, and to be really quick and not too precious about one design.

We learnt to never start with a white back ground (it's way too boring!) and that these interesting textures could be used as a back ground to add more interest and depth into a design.
They also help make your work more unique and one of a kind.

bleach and quink ink - a word of warning when using bleach - make sure you step out and get some air every so often!

gesso acrylic stamped with a textured paper

The amazing Dr Ph Martin's water colour inks - they give a really nice consistant background colour.

This was one of the many gourmet food trucks that was outside the uni at lunch time (we had spicey burgers one day and mexican wraps on another day) It was soooooo cold outside, but definitely worth the trip outside for these lunches!
There was also a really good canteen on campus with very reasonably priced meals!

Day 3:

More techniques - We learnt some more painting techniques - including creating our own stamps

Day Four:

We spent the day working on our own collections which was really fun!
I ended up using the stamps I created along with masking fluid and watercolour inks.
The end result was quite different from what I have done before.

In the afternoon we had a chance to present out work to the class and recieve feedback.
It was so really cool seeing how different everyone's final collection turn out.

Three things I learnt from the course:

1. Experiment with all different materials and supplies - you never know what you will create - and you may have a happy accident. Textures make your designs more interesting and unique!!

2. When creating a print collection - link the designs through colour and technique - but experiment with scale, direction, patterns etc

3. Create a moodboard that inspires you - it makes the design process so much easier and more exciting. I thought it was such a great tip to spend time sketching simple shapes and motifs from within the moodboard to use in creating new interesting patterns.

The only negative was that the course went way to quickly - I was wishing I could have stayed on for a few more weeks!!
A few of the others had booked several courses - something I wish I had done too!
I really hope I'll be able to go back again one day :)

If you are thinking about taking a CSM course or any short course for that matter I say go for it!!
I believe learning is the key to creativity and that the more you learn and try out the more ideas you will come up with!

I'm more than happy to answer any questions you make have about taking a course there :) so feel free to leave a comment.

Happy Sunday!

D x

Thursday, May 16, 2013

London in little squares!

In March I made my very first trip to Europe!! It was a dream come true! I've always wanted to travel to London and to study at Central Saint Martins, so when I found early bird flights that matched up with the easter courses dates I grabbed the opportunity! (more on the course in a later post)

I took a crazy amount of photos but some of my favs are actually the ones I took on my Iphone with instagram! I thought I'd start by sharing these :)

I loved every minute of London! Even though it was freeeeeeezing cold I soaked it all in!
I spent most of my days exploring the incredible museums and galleries, walking the busy streets (somehow I kept ending up at crazy oxford circus) and one of the highlights was definitely a morning spent in beautiful Hyde Park! 

As cheesy as it is to admit I really loved seeing the iconic touristy side of London - the red double deckers and phonebooths, the black taxi's and the proudly displayed Union Jack flags <3 

I feel so lucky and grateful to be able to travel the world, to explore, learn and be inspired!
I already can't wait to return to London again one day <3

         Westminster Abbey and door detailing

 sketching the crown jewels at the Tower of London
               The cute houses on the street I stayed on

 The incredible Natural History Museum
 Inside Harrods - and the crazy things you can buy!

 My wheels - we rode these to Buckingham Palace :)
 The Amazing V & A <3 loved loved loved this museum!
 Pretty flowers brighting up London on a rainy day!
View of the millenium bridge from the TATE modern
So cool to see the Lichtenstein exhibition at the TATE modern!

 Message on the tube at Angel
 Crazy Camden markets!!
 Onesie charity dash through London city and over the Tower bridge!!

 The new skyscrapper - the Shard - you can't miss it!
 The travel book store from Notting Hill <3 (it's now a shoe shop)
 Portobello Road
The Sea of people at Portobello Road Markets on a Saturday!!! Insane crowds!!
 My coat and beanie purchase - I was still freezing in this!
 scored cheap tickets to a musical (in the splash zone!!)
 The British Museum
 MAD MARCH Blizzard! 
Visiting the Queen at Buckingham Palace

The Beautiful swans of Hyde Park

 Flowers at Carnaby Street <3
 Travelled all over London on the tube!

 brick lane breaky!
 crazy hair - exploring brick lane
 long stem roses for 5 pounds from the Columbia Road flower Markets

 black cat at brick lane
 coloured bins in Shoreditch

Paddington Bear!

 Harry Potter Fan - couldn't miss it!
 Kings Cross Station!
 Oxford circus sunset!
 Borough Food Markets!
 Westfield Stratford