Hello lovely fellow participants in Design 1! I’m sure you’re all familiar with the assignment in question, but for those joining us today who find themselves less up to date, let me explain the idea of this particular project. Our goal was to create a final design that incorporated all the crucial elements of design. We were also trying to use repetition on a grid to create a unified design, while subverting the grid. We did this through many processes. And believe me, they proved to be trickier than I had expected at every stage.
First, we began by creating motifs by having one shape pierce another shape, creating an entirely new shape. I display mine for you now, so you may see how erratically my brain follows a train of thought, then derails it. Needless to say, 75 motifs meant a lot of thinking outside the box as much as I could.
Next we came up with some cell options. We chose a motif, then placed it within a square in any way we decided. At this point I was feeling incredibly confident. I had come up with a good amount of solid motifs, and felt that I could create something very interesting. These are some quick sketches of how I would place my motif in the cell. You can see that the last one was my favorite since I played around with it some different ways, then moved to drawing it neatly over and over again till I had one that I felt was clean and sharp enough to photocopy.
After I had photocopied my motif, I was incredibly excited. I had many different ways I could arrange it to make some cool designs, and I still felt strongly my grid could be easily subverted. After discussing it with a couple of friends in class, I decided that my particular motif would be much too busy with 100 tiles, so I went with 25. During critique however, it seems that every member of the class that I didn’t speak to, felt incredibly differently on the matter. But such is life and art, and we’ll discuss that further shortly.
We knew we’d be choosing black or white places in our final piece, but I didn’t know at this stage that I would be showing you all inking patterns separately, so when planning for white space, I just flipped some tiles over to get a feel for it. I tried out a lot of different arrangements, and these were my 5 favorites.
Next were the inking plans. I became beyond frustrated in this stage. I had felt so good about all of my work so far, but then found that my designs became significantly less dynamic without the grid. I spent more time on this stage than any other. It took days before I had something I thought looked good, but in class, Professor Waldvogel suggested I try something else, so I spent the rest of that class period cutting out and rearranging my tiles to make new inking plans. In the end, she told me just to go with my gut. Which is a terrifying feeling, when it doesn’t seem like your professor will like your work. She told me just to execute it perfectly, which I was intent on doing.
These are 3 of my possible inking patterns. I chose these not because many of the others were scribbled over in frustration (although that may be true) yet because I like how these demonstrate the evolution of thought I was going through to reach my final layout.
Remember how I told you that I was intent on having perfectly executed craftsmanship? Well I apparently didn’t accomplish that goal. I wish I could say I should’ve gotten a smaller brush, or the right ink, (miscommunications between myself and Ex Libris can really only be on me) or an exacto knife that actually kept the blade in, but I’m not a complainer, I’m a learner! And in every respect that I was lacking on this piece, I shall account for on the next!
The class was unanimous in how grey my piece was in comparison to theirs (my 6+ layers of ink did a terrible job with the incorrect brand I had), and it was pointed out that my borders were rough, and some of the lines could have been better. I agree with these people. Looking back on it now, there were many things I could have done to improve. And personally, I wish I had gone with a different motif entirely. The girl assigned to review my piece repeatedly used the word “potential” and “clunky” so there must have been something different I could have done. I thought I had done well though. And I took hours and hours like everyone else, trying as hard as possible to be concise and accurate in my inking, but we don’t always succeed. And I’m more than ready to try again on this next project to knock it out of the park!
This is my final design. Even though many didn’t like it, I still like it. I hope you do, too.