Thursday, August 21, 2014

What I've learnt this month.......Quite a lot actually

Well it's been a while since my last post. So, sorry about that! So what's been happening?

Well as you may have heard, I didn't win the Robert Kaufman competition.....booo! I'll be totally honest with you, it did rock me quite a bit. Ridiculous, I know! But I think that there was such a humongous build up and I was getting so many emails and people patting me on the back, that when it was all over, it kind of left me a bit flat. OK, it actually left me very flat for a couple of weeks. I can't explain it really, because when I think about it now, I just think how silly I was, but at the time it was a real kick in the face. Artists/designers are quite emotional people and we work hard at running ourselves down....constantly! Nothing is good enough and we can always do better. Other people may love what we do, but we always know that it's not good enough for our biggest critic....ourselves! It's actually harder than you think, being of a creative nature.

So once I'd picked myself back up off the floor (it took a while), I said to myself NO MORE COMPETITIONS FOR ME and then promptly booked myself onto the Lilla Rogers famous GTS competition. I know! Madness! However, this one was even bigger and there was even more at stake! Ha! However, this time, I went into it it knowing that I had no chance of winning at all. But still I worried and because of this I probably did one of the worst designs I've done to date. I spent a lot of my time designing, binning, designing and binning that in the end I just scrambled something together and posted it! I'm not proud of this one, but hey, it's done now! Here it is - she says, hiding behind her hands! So why do I show you it if I'm not proud of it? Am I secretly wanting you all to say - hey, what are you talking about - it's fab! No, I'm not wanting that, I'm just trying to say that we all can come up with crap art sometimes. However hard we try, sometimes it just doesn't work for us. And as artists we just need to move on and forget about it.

So what have I learnt through doing these competitions.......

People are telling me at the moment that with each competition, you learn something. You grow as a designer. And I agree, I've actually learnt something about myself. I think that what I've learnt is that my real passion is textiles/pattern and that's what I should concentrate all my energies on. You can't be good at everything and I don't think you should spread yourself too thinly. Do what you love and do what makes your heart sing. I'm not an illustrator (I've always known that, but I think you can easily get carried away with the dream of it all sometimes can't you?). But when I entered the GTS comp I went into it thinking - there are a lot of amazing illustrators doing this comp, I need to man up and do some pretty decent and elaborative drawing. WRONG!! I should have just done what I'm good at and left the illustrating up to, well.....the illustrators! LOL! I can get better at drawing, of course, and I know I need to practise, practise, practise this skill, but it's just not my real passion. What I need to put all my energies into is what I love most - designing patterns. So from now on, i'll be busy practising my drawing skills (I know I need to get better as this is my weak point), but the drawings that I produce will go into patterns, more and more and more beautiful patterns!!

- I know what I've just said will cause many arty types of arguments - what is art? Is textiles not art? What constitutes an illustration? blah, blah, blah.....however, it's just my itty, bitty, teeny, tiny point of view :)

SO - No more competitions.......right?! ;)

What else have I been up to? 

Well one of the things that Rachael Taylor teaches is that when one door slams shut another one usually opens. So with this in mind, I busily started e mailing licensing companies for work. I had had some interest from the World Art Group a few months ago, so I decided to follow that lead up. They emailed me straight back and pretty much said they wanted all of my collections!! Hoorah! I wasn't rubbish after all....somebody wanted me!! Yes, it felt good and my mood lifted slightly. So I've been busy preparing 22 designs for this licensing deal, which is rather exciting.

I've also been busy with ABSPD summer school, which has been great. I've pushed my boundaries a bit and designed my first geometric, which I love and also this lovely water inspired design. If it were not for summer school, I would never have thought about doing either of these types of designs, or even put these colours together. So thanks once again to Beth and Rachael for coming up with the idea :)

I also sold a couple of designs via my UK agent last week. They will go on to children's apparel, but I have no idea what company bought them. So it's really a case of  keeping my eyes peeled in Target/K Mart etc for my designs next year. When I heard that I had sold these designs, it really did make me feel and know that I was finally doing what I should always have been doing. I'd found my place in the world. Just the idea of people wearing my products, dogs lying on pet beds that I've designed for DENY Designs (Yes, apparently I've sold a LOT of pet beds!!) fills me with happiness. I LOVE it!

On the subject of  DENY -  my new collection is coming together nicely. Here are a few pics.....

What's next?

I found out a couple of days ago that my book has finally gone into print, so it won't be long until I'm physically reading it! WOW, I never thought this day would come. Then after a well earned holiday with the family, I've got some courses booked, so I will be super busy updating all my AI skills.

And finally........

Happy Birthday to my gorgeous Greta - 7 today :) (this was her at 3) My determined and strong willed little girl. Love her so much xxxxxx

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