Posts in Experimenting
Pushing Beyond My Comfort Zone - New T-Shirt Designs

As the title suggests, I am trying to go beyond my comfort zone and push my creative boundaries. 

Not only do I want to experiment and push my visual creativity but I also want to give the customer more choice in what they can wear. Variety is the spice of life after all. 

Initially I decided I would have three categories to work within: 

- my new slogan

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- single and layered linear drawings and  

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- single images that are either drawings or mixed media mono prints.  

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But me being me, I was not satisfied and the ideas started to grow where I also wanted to have another category that was more playful, more spontaneous and collage like.  

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So utilising September Vogue (British edition) I did some quick sketches of WoC and scanned them in to my computer. Here I experimented with text, colour and collage to see which ones were more visually striking. 

The trouble is my taste is specific to me so who knows what others think? So I am thinking of various strategies and ways I can market the designs on my website to gauge which designs should be sampled. 

But moreover, I really want to create a range of designs that I am very proud of and that allow for me to combine my love of art and fashion. I really want fabric to be a canvas to explore diversity and representation of various women of colour. 

More room for exploration and really pushing my boundaries more so I think - waiting for that ‘that’s it’ moment. What do you think? Any preferences?  

Plan of action is to keep pushing the sales on the old collection, still £35 down from £50 with free P&P - bargain. Seek funding options for the new samples and just keep creating...

Identity, Representation and Art

Starting this brand was motivated by a number of factors, namely representation. Having experimented with numerous mediums and multiple concepts I wanted to concentrate on one core value, which was diversity. 

Flood fill colour on photoshop 

Flood fill colour on photoshop 

Previously I have written about race, my identity and growing up in a world where there were very limited faces and more importantly role models I could align myself with.  One minute I did not fit, the next I did. It has always been confusing, the notion of identity. 

The disconnection from Indian culture that is part of my mums heritage, lost through her adoption has always resonated with me. It has been a productive catalyst inspiring my creativity. 

Mark making with the brush tool in photoshop 

Mark making with the brush tool in photoshop 

Art allows for a platform, a voice to be heard through visual expression and communication. Experimenting with my favourite media - collage, mixed media and print making has been both therapeutic and exciting conceptually.

Whilst there have been a variety experiments with other concepts such as capitalism and consumerism inspired by The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, which I will write about at a later date. I knew I wanted to focus on this notion of diverse, identity representation and trying to create a space to express this. 

This led up lots and lots of different experiments before I had settled on the final design, which I had written about last week. Who knows if these will turn into something? 

Water colour painting that I started and stopped as I quite liked the combination between the black and white elements in stark contrast to the colour.

Water colour painting that I started and stopped as I quite liked the combination between the black and white elements in stark contrast to the colour.

The name of the original piece has always been called Abstract Asian, which is always close to my heart and will continue to be the most important imagery and is an avenue I wish to explore more. 

 

 

 

Template Trials

In preparation for the new photoshoot and images that will be produced I am experimenting with a couple of different templates that have more of a magazine aesthetic. The hope is that the landing page will have a scroll effect with different content landing there from other platforms I use, for example, Instagram, to keep it fresh and will hopefully inspire people to come back time  and time again. 

This is mainly because, through analytics, I can see that there is not much movement between people reading the blog and then moving to other spaces within the website. There is no incentive too. Especially if the content is the same. So pushing new content on to the main / home page will encourage visitors to engage more with the products and message behind the brand, I hope.   

Below is a trial collage 'hero' shot for the banner. Which will be replaced with a group shot but at this stage it is good to see a visual in place.  

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The issue I am facing is the speed at which I can work. My little MacBook Air only has so much memory and is hating life at the moment. Which in turn impacts on the level of experimentation I can do. I like to work quickly and quite impulsively too, which is frustrating as it inhibits what I can do in a timely fashion. 

Anyway, not to focus on the negative. Keep researching by looking at websites I can draw inspiration from them in terms of various aesthetics. There is a push pull at the moment between being really creative and keeping the look polished and clean to be commercially viable.

So the best way I can do this is to carefully place everything together so it looks well thought out but not too art school like. The creativity will be in amongst the other images so there is not too much going on as it can look too busy if it is all on the same page due to the colour palette I tend to use and the amount of mark making.

That is the beauty of having a lookbook, retail and location shots, they allow for different visuals in different spaces on the website. I fully intend to utilise this as there are so many ideas in my head and I like lots of different looks and ways of representing the garments. Also, I am still very much in the space regarding the boundaries between the art and fashion world being intertwined. I need this as my outlet and self expression not only in a commercial sense but for my sense of creativity and being an artist first and foremost. 

Since I wrote the start of this blog, I switched to another template, which is working much more successfully. Great. Now I am working at a much more desirable speed that feels like real progress is being made. Relief and the functionality of it feels much more intuitive to me, another positive factor as I need to feel competent in being able to create a website that works for both myself and consumers. 

Sigh of relief. Now I am on a roll.  

Below is a sneaky peek of the potential lookbook page below.  The animal print background might be too much but I felt inspired one Sunday to create 'looks' so here they are for now. 

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Right so back to writing content and feeling motivated by this splurge of creativity. As any creative person knows, we have to utilise the time whilst it is here as it is not a constant force and not something to be reckoned with either.  

Any tips are greatly welcomed. 

Last but not least, real positive shifts are happening with the fashion and consumer world as a whole. Neelam Gill has been named the face of L'Oreal, which is a major triumph. Amazing for me and my Indian friends who had little to no exposure of women from the same ethnic background being a representative in the main media world. So major congratulations to her on that front.  

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And last but not least, Pirelli's new calendar for 2018 has an all black cast of many a notable person, which was shot by Tim Walker. Actors, singers amongst many other talents will grace the pages such as Naomi Campbell, Whoopi Goldberg, Lupita Nyong'O and Sean Coombs. Again, another big shift in terms of representation and people of colour not being the token person but the only choice.

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These two campaigns are hugely significant and will hopefully lead the way to more positive representation of people from a variety of differently ethnic backgrounds.