Posts tagged Art
It’s Here - ‘We Are Here’ Collection Launched Today

I am beyond happy to have launched my second collection of t-shirts - We Are Here.

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From conception to samples and finally updating the website, which has been a varied journey but one that I am now happy with as I believe the t-shirts look great and convey the messages of Inclusivity, Representation, Visibility and We Are Here despite the very small budget I had to work with. 

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Of course I would like a bigger range of models to showcase the messages above, but this is an aspect that I really want to work on in the future. For now, I will embrace and be forever thankful for the generosity of everyone involved that helped my collection come to life Including the models. 

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There is no small irony in the visual aesthetics of the models who in a way represent my Mum and Aunty, who are both mixed race and grew up in a world with very little role models for them to align themselves with. They have inspired me to be the woman I am today. 

I hope this collection of illustrations will enable more visibility of women of colour and create a concrete catwalk that is not confined to the runways nor gallery spaces that seem to only appeal to the few.  

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These T-shirts are unisex and deliberately so, so anybody can support this message and wear them regardless of how they identify. In addition they are print on demand, using a company that uses fair trade so to not only support workers but to try and reduce environmental damage, which is so important given the amount of damage the Fashion Industry can have.

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I hope you like the We Are Here collection and thank you to everyone who have supported me this far this journey so far x 

Tania Swift - Second Collection Shoot

So here we are, the second collection photoshoot has happened and I am beyond excited. 

I wanted to work with a team as I had been finding it quite isolating working by myself. But equally I still have so much to learn, I was keen to see the process in the lead up to and after the shoot, it is important to grow.

After meeting various stylists I decided to work with an Art Director, who would put together and manage the whole team whilst taking a significant amount of pressure off myself. 

Hiring Sarah was a bold move on my part, (@bonesstudioofficial), but equally an exciting one as she could use her knowledge of the fashion industry and contacts to make my second collection and brand vision come to life. 

A sneak peek from behind the scenes.  

A sneak peek from behind the scenes.  

Sadly I could not be at the photoshoot due to rescheduling, which at first I was really gutted about. But then it enabled me to completely put my trust in the team despite how hard it was with the brand being so close to my heart having been inspired by my mum and her personal journey. But on the flip side, utilising people’s experience helps to ensure that the message is visually strong. 

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On the day of the shoot, I was teaching but completely enthralled by the updates I was getting during the day with videos and photos capturing the energy on set. How the t-shirts were styled and how the models looked. They (Bryanna @bryannagold and Rahima @sexy.mutha) were great, their makeup by Maha (@maha.gram) was amazing and of course the photographer, Piers (@piersvernonkell) was fantastic for lending his studio and offering his talent to capture the t-shirts, basically everyone was great. 

I am indebted to the team for their support on this second collection and working for a snippet of what they would usually get paid. Their generosity has allowed me to express not only my creativity but to use fashion as a way of expressing my ideas regarding inclusivity and ethnic representation. Without them I could not have done it and for that I am eternally grateful.  

So what next? I have seen the raw images from the shoot and have selected the ones I like. So they will go back to the photographer for retouching and then we will look at art working the campaign images, sorting the lookbook, updating the website and then on to marketing - PR strategy time, which needs some serious thought.  

But the final thought for now is naming my t-shirts, lots of ideas for them but I want to be true to the artistic element whilst being true to the brand image regarding inclusivity but for now the collection will be know as

We Are Here.  

New Designs, New Women of Colour, New Creative Expressions

Waiting for the inspiration to kick in can be a real test of patience. 

Simple t-shirt visualisation of my initial sketches. On the fence about this. 

Simple t-shirt visualisation of my initial sketches. On the fence about this. 

But when it does there is so much productivity. It feels energising and motivational. I have a new sense of focus for the brand. 

Visually this is very impactful but is it too decisive? 

Visually this is very impactful but is it too decisive? 

 

 

Conducting some market research in a few of my favourite shops definitely helped. Coupled with the customers in there really cemented who I want to wear my garments - the young and fashionably edgy. So I best make edgy designs that are commercially viable. 

Another quick visualisation of one of my sketches - too plain? Too much white space? 

Another quick visualisation of one of my sketches - too plain? Too much white space? 

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So to improve on the designs, to experiment, to remember who has inspired me from the art world and who continues to do so. I will take inspiration from them, my favourites ~ Warhol & Basquiat. 

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So, embracing the vitamin D today I just sat in my garden and added to the drawings I had already sketched of women of colour.

I knew I wanted to be more expressive but in my own style. To just add paint, ink and pen in anyway that felt right. I wanted the images of the women to be strong, to be visually impactful. 

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It was very liberating and enjoyable process because I just went with the flow. I just wanted to make marks, add texture and experiment. 

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These are not the finished designs as I want to incorporate more layers, more text and maybe some colour. I am not sure yet but I want to push the visual aesthetic whilst keeping to the ethos of the brand - being inclusive and celebrating women of colour. 

I have also been thinking of a new statement to coincide with the collection, which again is about drawing attention to women, women who identify as being of colour and highlighting the need for more visibility not just tokenistic gestures that are supposed to appease people.

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The statement has been rolling around in my head for a few days. So I quickly inked it on to a page with some eyes, to symbolise the need to be looking, paying attention and questioning. it needs some work but I am happy with the message overall. 

 Let me know what you think - all feedback is good feedback.