Round the World Blog Hop

I have been invited by Shirley Goodwin of Dyeing to Design to participate in this Round the World Blog Hop.  Shirley is a dyer and fiber artist from New Zealand who has recently completed a Bachelor of Applied Media Arts (Visual Media) degree in Invercargill and I have loved watching her progress.  Shirley and I have actually met – she came to stay with us for a few days when she visited the UK in 2010 (I can’t believe it was so long ago, Shirley!)

The rules of the Blog Hop are that we have to answer some questions about our work, show what we are doing, and then nominate some other bloggers to do the same.  (I’m going to cheat on this one, Shirley, sorry!  If you read this and fancy joining in, go ahead, please!  I have only just come across the Blog Hop as I’m a bit out of the quilting loop so I’m not sure who has already participated).  Please leave a message in the comments if you do so that I can add a link to your blog.

Here are the questions:

1. What am I working on? 
If you’ve been reading this blog regularly you’ll have seen my #trainticketart challenge – one altered train ticket every day.  So far I’ve kept up pretty well with it. Here’s a few of my latest pieces.  It has been very freeing just to play, and a small card the size of a train ticket is not daunting.
train ticket art (recent)

A mosaic of my #trainticketart challenge


I’ve also been designing patterns digitally by scanning various painted and printed motifs and layering them in Photoshop – here is one I designed in the summer.
I designed this pattern based on a theme of jewels; I did lots of printing with gouache and played with it in Photoshop.

I designed this pattern based on a theme of jewels; I did lots of printing with gouache and played with it in Photoshop.

 I recently put it in repeat and had it printed on fabric at By Hand London – they ran a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year to buy a digital printing machine.  The colours weren’t as bright as the RGB ones in the photo above but I like the way it turned out.  This was printed on cotton.
flower garden fabric based on jewels design

I think it looks more like a flower garden than jewels here, what do you think?

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
I think my style is very textural and layered (in fact I often can’t stop layering and wish I had stopped a few layers before – this is where Photoshop is useful as I can just turn off a few layers instead of having to get the discharge paste or bleach out!   I am very inspired by reflections and shadows and I think this emerges in my work quite a lot.
spoonflower fabric with nasturtium flowers developed from a photograph

This ‘fairy garden’ fabric was printed by Spoonflower on its silky faille fabric which is polyester – the colours seem to be much more faithful and vibrant on polyester perhaps because it is a different printing process than for natural fibres.

3. Why do I create what I do? 
 Because I love colour and I like being in the community of artists and makers online.  I like messing about with paints and seeing watery colours run in an unpredictable manner.
4. How does my creative process work?
Well, I’ve been trying to get into using sketchbooks and moodboards more, but up till now I have tended just to add layer after layer intuitively, waiting between layers to see what the design seems to want next.  I recently took Rachael Taylor’s course, the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design and learnt to use moodboards to gather inspiration and become more focussed from the start.
Moodboard with lace, doiley and flower fabric

This is a small moodboard on my design wall at the moment, sort of a victoriana theme going on, lace, doily and flowery fabric. The sock is there for colour inspiration.

Over to you!  If you want to see what other people have been saying in the Round the World Bloghop, the easiest way is to click on the link to Shirley’s blog and work backwards; there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive list of bloggers who have taken part.  Please tell me if there is and I’ll link to it.

Trainticketart Challenge update

Well, I’ve just posted #trainticketart no. 42 on Instagram and still enjoying it!  Here’s a photo of my latest ones:

9 pictures of altered train tickets

From the whimsical to doodles to collage, the last nine days of #trainticketart

It’s good to look at them all together and see some themes emerging.

7 altered train tickets with flower and plant illustrations/sketches

These ones are mostly flower and plant inspired.

9 altered train tickets with doodles, squiggles and other marks

And these are full of doodles, squiggles and random marks

And even better, yesterday I had an email from Daniela, who is studying graphic design at Winchester.  She had been doing some train ticket art as part of her course, using typographic phrases.  This is what she told me about it:

The project started off based on the concept of currency, but as a trade i.e. using objects as currency instead of money. I also looked at the idea of charity and good will, and just getting a smile off of someone being enough of a trade. So focusing on typography, I wanted to add quotes that would make people think or smile. The plan is now to hand them out at the train station/swap them for used blank tickets to allow me to create new ones. On the back of the tickets is an email address, and I am hoping that people will write in with their reactions/comments/thoughts/train stories/photos, and keep passing on the tickets. That’s the ideal plan anyway!

I wanted to use an everyday kind of object and make it special/unusual in a way people won’t expect. I am currently studying for my degree in Graphic Design in Winchester, so this is part of one of the uni projects I have been set.

This ticket project is something I might carry on past my hand-in in the new year, as I’ve got quite into it already!

Here are some of Daniela’s altered train tickets:

More #trainticketart from Daniela using typographic phrases

Aren’t they great?

More train ticket art from Daniela

And some more of Daniela’s #trainticketart

So look out for her if you travel by train!  Thanks, Daniela!

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