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Elizabeth Olwen

Surface Pattern Designer

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Dreaming about Garden Products

Hi everyone and welcome to the class! As you'll hear in the videos, there are so many possibilities for your artwork getting out into the world in form of products -- I hope this class excites and inspires you to start thinking of the potential for your work. 

WHAT'S YOUR DREAM PRODUCT?
For my class project, I wanted to focus on garden products. I've been dreaming about them for a while, but in a kind of abstract way. I knew I thought it would be a natural fit for my work because I do a lot of nature-based patterns and florals -- but I hadn't thought about the design of those specific products. I'd just been loosely daydreaming about them. I'd get excited when I'd see other products at shops and think 'one day!'. So for this class I started to explore… What *would* a plant pot look like? What products would fit in that category that I could play around with?

MOODBOARD
I started with a moodboard -- which I am a huge fan of, because it's like a little vision board for your work, or your goals, or what you're working towards. It just keeps me on track and focused and not getting lost in my head, where there are often a million ideas floating around. I gathered my inspiration from the world around me, the products I've collected and the internet -- and popped them into a moodboard that helped guide my class project. (I've provided InDesign templates if you'd like to use, or create one however you like, maybe a collage). 

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SKETCHING
After I came up with a direction for the products I wanted to design, with my moodboard at hand at all times, I started sketching. For this project I used patterns that I'd previously developed for my other classes and I absolutely encourage you to do that for this class! Or if you're feeling inspired, or you haven't taken my other classes, feel free to start from scratch with new artwork. I just drew and drew and drew until I felt like I got all my ideas onto paper and I felt satisfied that I had some really good, solid directions to move forward with. 

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BRINGING THEM TO LIFE
I reviewed my drawings and made little checkmarks on the doodles that I thought were the strongest or I would be most excited to implement, and then moved to my computer. I brought in all the artwork I wanted to use for my products, and developed some little templates for myself to use to mockup/test for specific products. For me, this usually means drawing quick simple product templates in Illustrator. For shapes I'm comfy with, I'll just whip up -- if I'm confused about a shape or not confident I'll get the shape right, I just pop on the internet and grab an image and reference it or trace the outline of it. Then I start applying my art to the products, with my moodboard and sketches by my side. After lots of fiddling, and tweaking, and making some decisions about what worked best, I arrived at these! I would loooove to see my work on garden products, so I'll use this as a tool to pitch to manufacturers. Or if I feel crafty, I could paint my own pots or sew up some garden gloves for my own personal use. Voila!

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FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT
I can't stress this enough! We all have to start somewhere so if you don't have real products out in the world, just fake it. Hopefully you've found the method in the class helpful for doing so. Here are a few mockups I did, which really help sell the dream and make it look and feel more real. So satisfying! 

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Hope you all enjoyed the class and are thinking about your artwork in all sorts of new ways! 

— Elizabeth 

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