MIID Summer School Take 2: South Africa

safari-lowresThis week's brief for the Make It In Design Summer School was another doozy: Animal Print and Tribal Collage. Whoo. If there's anything I don't see myself doing it's an animal print. Why won't this trend go away? I love animals. I just don't typically want to wear, sleep on, walk on, or carry over my shoulder their prints. In fact it brings to mind this little leopard print scarf I had in high school or college that I used to tie around my neck "french style" and it makes me shudder just a little bit. And yet that's what this summer school is for: stretching me and challenging me to do something new, maybe even something a tidge uncomfortable. On the other hand the whole "tribal" theme does invoke some heavy interpretation, doesn't it? What do we see as "tribal"? Why do we see it as tribal and what does that mean? What's the difference between tribal and cultural, etc. And I just kind of had to let that go for the sake of designing. I was immediately more drawn to the tribal collage theme because it had this bright rainbow color palette and the aim was to create a variety of smaller prints you could then collage, piecing together something that could maybe be used in a children's print. Below is a mood board I put together for both projects.

Bead photo from Africa Image Library | Masks photo by Tharindu | Jewelry market stand photo by Erin Corr | All other photos by me.

I thought about a trip I took to Cape Town, South Africa back in 2000 with my Dad and sister. We visited Green Market Square and I looked back at some pictures of all the bright jewelry, textiles, and bead work hanging in the stalls. That's a picture up there of me (in the black) and my sister shopping at the market. I also remembered a safari trip I took with my Dad and came across a photo of some cliff paintings we stopped to look at. I love the simple smooth shapes of the animals, so I tried to draw my own loose animal shapes. I also worked up some sketches (below) of a variety of small motifs I could use in smaller patterns. Once I got them into Illustrator I played with color and arranging.

Sketches and work in progress in Illustrator.


Unfortunately for me we had a little power outage while I was in the middle of the project and I lost most of my work. Ack! Fortunately I had already saved a picture of my final design and my mockup, but if I ever want to return to this design I'll have some work to redo! You'll see that mockups are not a particular strength of mine yet. I was going to finesse it a little, but  - power outage. Hmph.



For the animal print I used some of the same patterns I was working on for the tribal collage. My family visited a zoo last weekend and I used the opportunity to source my own inspiration (thanks Bonnie Christine!) by taking pictures of animal prints I might use (seen in the moodboard above). In the end I decided to marry the animal prints with a strong geometric so the animal print itself would be a little less obvious. I still didn't really like the design until I started randomly re-coloring it and that's when I decided to make it mostly monochromatic. Again, it brought a cohesiveness and simplicity I liked. I also wanted to make this pattern a strong contrast to the collaged pattern. Still not my favorite print, but a worthy exercise none the less.


So that's Brief #2! One final assignment coming on Monday!