MIID Summer School – Brief #2

This morning I’d like to share my designing process of my second Pattern Making brief (Make It In Design), which had to do with tribal shapes.
I was really really excited with this because I really really love tribal prints.

They provided some inspiration material with a big influance from the African Ndebele tribe. The tribe uses very cool graphic shapes, heavy lines and beautiful colours in their home- and body decoration. They wear (well…the people I saw pictures from on the internet) a lot of jewelry consisting of big beaded necklaces, ear hangers and headdresses and rings around their neck and ankels.

I tried to work a little bit different this time. I think when you join a summer course with no strings attached you have the freedom to do whatever and however you like, because it’s a learning process!

I began searching for inspiration images about the Ndebele tribe and coloured and geometric shapes (within patterns). I, again, used the internet for that (it’s easy…), and printed the nicest pictures to stick in my sketchbook. That was also part of the new plan, to use a sketchbook… Below you can see my sketchbook pages starting of with a (kind of) failed brainstorm session, because I didn’t do much with the info I wrote down, and after that the inspiration collages and sketches.

Because you’ll find tribal-like patterns all the time, I wanted to add something different, something that had to do with the presented tribe. As you can see in my sketches I played with the rings around the legs (very literally) and I actually liked this object in contrast or in addition with the more geometric shapes. I wanted to build up an almost square-like pattern and digitalize it in Adobe Illustrator.
(That’s another new thing in my process, as I usually don’t like to use Illustrator for illustration if it’s not necessary. But I got inspired by the first (of three) classes about pattern making by Bonnie Christine where she shared some easy tips and tricks about Ai. I ended up in doing the same things as I always do, but now I knew there were better options, ha ha.)

Going digital now…

I pasted the sketches I thought were best to use in Ai and traced the different elements. Blue was just a nice basic colour to work with…
The colours I got from my collages, mostly from the ‘colour and pattern’ collage as I found they worked well together and I located them as well in the ‘Ndebele’ collage.

I tried some ways to repeat the pattern, trying to perfect the shapes some more, and coloured the different objects into my colour palette.

I didn’t like it…. And got on with my favorite blue colour. Maybe adding another colour? Or just a detail, like the rings? No, no, no. In the end it came down to two colours to choose from: the blue and white and the red and blue.
Because I already spent the whole day on colouring and ‘screenshooting’ and trying different pattern repeats I chose to just submit the one I was working on from the beginning. After I sent it I wanted I had submitted the red one…… But I reminded myself that it wasn’t a case of life over death, just getting to know the ins and outs of pattern making!

That’s done!
On monday the 25th I will receive the third and last assignment and I can’t wait!

Some PS’s:
PS. Coming out of your comfort zone, like doing something you normally won’t do, is great and very informative. But I also learned from this that there are a few things that just don’t work for me, or aren’t fun enough, even though it looks so nice if someone else it does. (Like working in a sketchbook, illustrating in Illustrator, etc.)

PPS. As I mentioned earlier I found most of the inspiration pics on the internet. Most of them can be found on my Pinterest and have links to the sources and original makers.


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