Out of all of the projects for the FMP, this is my personal favourite and the piece I think is the strongest. Because of the powerful connection to the project, this was a bit of a emotional rollercoaster for me but it was a perfect way of honouring the people I miss, and almost a way for me to come to terms with the loss.
I’m so happy with how the dress came out. I have been asked where I bought it, which made me very happy because I wanted to create a highly professional looking dress that could be bought from a fashion brand. The finishing is perfect and my seamstress did a brilliant job. It turned out exactly how I imagined it would.
Creating the pattern was very challenging for me. I’ve never created a design as big as that, but thankfully it turned out perfect. The print is crisp, despite the fact that the images were blown up a lot larger than the original drawings. I think that although the meaning behind the print won’t be obvious to everyone, there is something about it that will make people think that it is more than just a decorative pattern. Venturing outside of my comfort zone to have such a deep, personal and meaningful concept was difficult for me but now I see that my work is so much stronger when a lot of thought goes into the design process.
Photographing and making the lookbook I felt was really important. I don’t usually undertake a lot of photography, and this project kind of made me fall back in love with it again. I now know the importance of using well thought out and beautiful photography in enhancing my illustration.
Using colour has never been my strong point, so I think I have done really well here in picking a beautiful colour palette that compliments each other really well. I also never draw flowers or fruits/vegetables ever, I used to be really bad at it and I didn’t enjoy it, but this project has pushed me to get better at one of my weak points in my drawing and designing. I also always stick to symmetry, so creating a print that was so random was really challenging, but it paid off here. A random design suits the subject matter and the flow of the dress so much better and gives the design a “natural” look.
I don’t know if I would produce more of these dresses, as this pattern is personal to me so I’d like to make this a one off. However, I see no reason as to why I can’t make similar designs to this with a similar dress.
I was initially worried that because I didn’t print the fabric or make the dress that it would seem like it wasn’t my work. However, i’ve come to realise that my role is that of an illustrator and designer – I’m not a printer or a seamstress. Focusing my efforts on being really good at one thing is really paying off for me. This year I have realised my strengths and limitations, and I know when things should be left to someone else more proficient in a skill to help me realise my ideas.
I will be collaborating with a clothing designer soon, so this project for me allowed me to get my skills up to scratch, so that when I create designs for fabric in the future it will be so much easier for me because I am already familiar with the technique. I really think that this piece will look fantastic in my portfolio, especially as up until now I have only created designs for t-shirts. Creating this dress and lookbook has strengthened my skills as an artist, and is helping me on my way to becoming a much more versatile illustrator. Although this design is dark, there’s no reason why I can’t soften up my work with brighter colours. I definitely think I could create work for more mainstream brands, which is key to me be able to secure more work and commissions in the future.