MATS Bootcamp #1

Our first Make Art That Sells (MATS) Assignment Bootcamp (whooh mouthful!) assignment was to brainstorm with Edwardian Brooches...and then, we were to turn our musings into a journal cover.

This is what I came up with for the assignment:

Here's how I got there...

We got our Mini Brief and after preliminary research, I started sketching like crazy.
sketching like crazy!

ballpoint pen crazy sketches
You can probably already see which direction I chose to follow in the end, but at first I didn't know.  I went in a couple of directions at once. I wasn't sure which idea would work, and I brought some of the sketches onto my tracing table.  Other sketches I painted over, others I traced with felt-tip pen, but I scanned everything first -- just in case it didn't work out.

In the end, I felt I needed to pick a style.  My sketches went generally into three styles:
1) swoopy intricate
2) crunchy colorful painty
3) slightly naive line-art

I went with "swoopy intricate" and then I created two moodboards: an observational one from the research and a style guide to help reign in my madness.

FYI: These mood-boards were from a template from a really helpful Skillshare class with Elizabeth Olwen.  The class really helped me with workflow and technical tips with Illustrator.  I can highly recommend it if you're looking to figure out how to make a repeating pattern in Illustrator.

I focused mainly on plants, flowers, and birds... although I really wanted to try insects I just had to focus.  I really could have worked on it forever.  This is the trap I set for myself.  Infinite possibilities and I just drown.

Anyway, the mood-boards set me on my course and my ship sailed here next.

I played with hundreds of variations with the brooch widgets until I saw a classmate's background treatment, and it clicked for me.  That's what I was missing.  Context!  So, I added textures to the background.  Tweaked the elements some more, and even started a whole new artboard where I tried something completely different, and then cleaned things up for the final mock-up layout.  And, that's how I got to the journal cover and accessories I turned in.

It's been a while since I felt like I was doing something super exciting while I was illustrating.  I still get excited about knitting design, but it had been a while in the illustration department.  Reflecting upon the first MATS Assignment Bootcamp 2015 assignment, that's what I felt.  I felt energized about drawing.  I'm elated that the Assignment Bootcamp community is turning out to be more awe-inspiring and supportive than I could have ever imagined.

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