Giveaway & the Creative Process

10 Giveaway

It’s been a very exciting September, and what better way to finish it off that with a giveaway? Last week I launched three new tote bag designs in my Etsy shop, and now you have the chance to win your favourite! All you need to do is sign up to my mailing list, and then pop over to my Twitter or Facebook page and let me know the design you’d like to win!

This giveaway closes at midnight Sunday 5th October and the lucky winner will be announced on Monday 6th October 2014.

These three new designs have taken some time to finish. It was over a year ago that I drew the initial doodle of a camper van adorned with bunting in my sketchbook, and a similar amount of time for my vintage radio and Let’s Travel the World map illustrations. Now that I am lucky enough to be able to work on Ceridwen Hazelchild Design full-time, I can find the time to take ideas to the next level.

I get quite a few emails asking about how I work and create my illustrations and textiles, and so I wanted to share with you my creative process. Throughout art college I read a fair bit on creativity and how to generate creative ideas, and this research has been very useful now that I’m running a creative business and have to rely on the ideas and things I create.

It is generally accepted that creativity has six phases:

Inspiration

Every one of my illustrations or textile projects has to start somewhere. This can be a trip to a museum, a film, a walk in nature, or a chat with friends. In the case of my camper van illustration, I was inspired by my childhood holidays and fond memories of travelling.

Clarification

I then focus on what my goals are. So after visiting a museum and seeing vintage televisions and radios, I then was driven to draw an illustration which captured the experience and the beautiful forms. This may seem like an obvious step, but when it comes to something like sewing a dress or a bag, setting a goal can be incredibly useful as it is important that what you are making is fit for purpose. For example, what is the bag designed to hold, or what occasion is the dress for?

Evaluation

Drawings

Reviewing your initial ideas is essential as it is all too easy to dive right into making something which hasn’t been fully thought through. This is why I have a sketchbook full of little doodles with variations on composition, size and form. I made several sketches of my ‘Let’s Travel the World’ before taking it to the next level, playing with wording, font and layout. Back in college my class was trained to do this in-depth, annotating each miniature drawing and thoroughly evaluating everything. We found it so tedious, but now I can see that it was very useful training. Nowadays I tend to evaluate in my head, and don’t annotate the illustrations unless I want to remind myself of something when I come back to it, and the whole process can become a lot quicker because of years of experience.

Distillation

Next I decide which ideas to work on and take to the next level. During the evaluation process, I decided that one particular shape of the radio worked best, that a carry strap looked elegant if it was thinner, and that the five stars on the bottom of the speaker added a lovely extra detail. Compiling these elements together, the final design begins to take form.

Campervan Illustration

Incubation

At this point it is very useful to take a step back. Sometimes this is overnight – shutting the door to the studio, playing with the cat, having dinner, watching a film, have a good night’s sleep, and returning to it in the morning with a fresh view. Other times, in the case of these three new designs, it takes longer. It’s so useful keeping sketchbooks, as I can look through and find projects I have been working on in the past and have now reached the end of their incubation time and are ready to be made.

Perspiration

The final part is to actually do the making. Get the water-colour paper out, and the pencils, pens and paint brushes and get started. At this point I sometimes realise I have not fully completed a previous step, when a design just isn’t working, and go back to evaluate, or, in some cases, right back to finding inspiration again. But most of the time this is the part where everything goes smoothly, and I am working on making the image in my head a reality.

Untitled-1 copy Writing the creative process down like this makes it seem incredibly long-winded, but I can assure you that it becomes instinctual. You can read more about the creative process here, with more information about how to improve each step and develop your own creative process.

 

 

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