my own smart creative style. BOOM.

last weeks post was short and sweet so i'm afraid to say i'll be back to waffling this week!! :p  this week is about the latest e-course i took part in - Smart Creative Style by Monica Lee. it's a touch late i'll admit (i completed the course in at the end of last year!). it was a great little group and the steady growth of the classes really made you assess and dig deep into what you and your growing business is about. 

throughout the course there were tasks to complete and videos to watch. lots of notes taken covering a lot of different areas, but as the title suggests the main aim was to find YOUR OWN CREATIVE STYLE. everyone was having their 'wow' moments, their realisation of what they should be doing, where they should be heading, and it was great to follow their journey. but i hadn't mine. well, why the hell not?! this was not fair! i wasn't having a sudden 'BOOM, this is it!!'... not even just a little bit. {sad face}.

so what had i discovered along this journey then? well, through my pinterest boards (above) i found that despite me thinking i wanted beautiful wallpaper dressing my walls i actually liked my interiors to be white with splashes and layers of colour. and this was just how i would lay out my lovely boutique shop. my fashion style was similar - more block colours with just a little pattern. the illustration and artist inspiration that i was drawn to was always fairly graphic-y. that is it was simplified shapes and characters in (yup, you guessed it) block colours with subtle texture, but always with a hand drawn feel... 

so ok, looking back it was all there and i could see a vague kinda link, but then about a month ago i think it all came together. i had just bought two books - Olle Eskell (above) and Charley Harper - and was flicking through. at around the same time i did a blog post on how i wanted to get into illustration a bit more an featured some other designers (Peter Donnelly (bottom) and Angie Lewin) and things started becoming clearer. i must have just become blind to it before, a common thing for designers to go through when they've been working constantly on a project. fresh eyes are a joy!

i did a blog special on Mad Men graphics (by Malota, left) following a Mad Men themed hen do, and finally i had a tidy up of my pinterest boards and took out any designs i didn't really, really like. and then...


it all came together, all my inspiration and styles i am drawn to and what i know i WANT my own stuff to look like but isn't quite there yet (close, but not quite). i had discovered Lucienne Day back at uni and have always loved her style, and that has led me to these other mid-century artists, more from the 40's right through to the early 60's its seems. i even had a comment that a lot of the fashion i selected was quite 40's. again, not something i'd actually picked up on.

so all this time i thought i was all about pattern, pattern and pattern. turns out i'm not - it's the colour, pattern is secondary. and i always love it when someone compliments me on my colour, much more than when they compliment me on the pattern. huh, who'd've thunk it.

this course really made you dig deep and it covered everything about you as a brand - style, branding, logo, website, social media persona... the variety and just outright amazing-ness of the videos covered absolutely everything in an easy to follow - and fun to follow (who'd've thought that for marketing advice?!) - way. and what has made it different to the other e-courses i have taken part in is the variety of creative areas involved - it wasn't just surface pattern based - and although chatting to other surface pattern designers is invaluable you can get some really different perspectives when talking to crafters, artists, illustrators...

i've just completed a small xmas card range and homed in on this style more, added texture and doodled more to get my character style right, or at least started. still a lot to do and work on to really get what i want but  it's getting there and i'm really excited to be starting my new collection for release 2015!