Initially, the only requirement for my pattern making final was a packed layout in two colors. I was very excited because when I doodle, I often fit the elements together just so and this assignment was right up my alley. A week or so later, however, the instructor changed her mind and decreed that the print must be autobiographical in some way. I was crestfallen. I didn’t want to talk about myself, I am myself! Why should I have to explain anything to others?
Reluctantly, I started thinking about what it is that makes me “Claire”. At first, I was so stubborn, I was going to just draw what I had planned on drawing and assert that, as a contrarian, it was autobiographical. But then, slowly but surely, I began to remember moments. I would pick out specific objects from various memories and draw them. Some of these memories hadn’t been accessed in so long, they startled me when I could recall them with such clarity. Inside jokes, old past times, so many things packed into just a couple of decades!
The tile I came up with looked like this:
Which would have created this pattern:
Unfortunately, the photo emulsion was too gloppy and was unable to capture such fine lines, and I had to rework the pattern. Because everything had to be bigger, I was forced to choose fewer elements. The print turned out great, and in hindsight, I think the first one would have been too busy.
This semester, I’m taking a class called “Pattern Design and Print”. For this project, we needed to screen print four yards of muslin using the same elements in different ways. I work best when I have a theme to work off of, and the week before this was assigned, my friend’s dog had had an unlucky encounter with a skunk, stinking up her house. I decided to avenge my friend’s nose through art.
I preferred to use stencils rather than photo emulsion for two reasons: I could make stencils quickly, and I could change them out easily (I was only given two screens to work with).
I started by thumbnailing shapes for the skunk. At first I thought I wanted a linear skunk with its legs splayed out to the sides, but decided that didn’t create enough movement. I ended up creating a skunk that curved, which not only created movement, but could also interlock somewhat. I made three sizes of this design.
I experimented with the tire/road element throughout the process. I kept asking myself “How many different ways can I convey the idea of a road?”
Mixing the colors was fun, figuring out the different levels of transparency.