Design detour

When I started this blog my intention was to share my work in progress with the website. This could be a really daunting task and I thought that maybe I could make life a little easier for others in the same situation, or at least get an idea of what not to do… However, I soon realized that I actually have to have content to fill my website with, otherwise there is no point in having a beautiful homepage. Clearly. Surely I have loads of patterns and paintings already, but a professional portfolio is so much more than randomly uploading a lot of images of them. So I had to rewind a little and do some hard core organizing. And as it often is, one thing lead to another, my original plan took a detour – just a detour, since everything I do right now has one goal, the same goal as before: to launch my website with the best portfolio I can acheive and start selling my designs!

So let me share some of the things I am into at the moment:

I have been organizing all my old work in Adobe Bridge, filing, structuring and cleaning up the files, one by one. I have organized them in collections and individul patterns, and also added a folder for prints – placement patterns that are not repeat patterns but will be great for printing as art or on pieces that doesn’t require repeat. 

On January 1 I joined a facebook group challenge called 100days2018 where the aim is to do something creative (your own choice) every day for 100 days in a row. I decided to take on the challenge with only my sketchbook and one marker pen. I set those restrictions for myself with a purpose – to get on friendly terms with my sketchbook and make it a habit of drawing everyday, and no matter how small or big, ugly or beautiful the outcome was I would share it in the fb-group and on Instagram to hold myself accountable. To this day we’re on day 55 and I haven’t missed a day so far! By day 53 I changed my own terms to include other artwork as well. I need to be able to create in other ways too and time is simply not adding up to achieve all of it if I prevent myself from connecting the different projects.

In the beginning of February I started a new online course called FolioFocus 2018 spring. This course aims at building a portfolio whilst working to briefs, one new brief a week. That clicked for me since that’s exactly what I need to do and there is no better way to learn and at the same time be productive in a very supporting environment than this! We’re only in week 2 but so far I am so happy to have joined the class. Below are my work for the Nautic theme and Park life theme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there are many things going on and I am enjoying it all immensly. If I could do this full time I would be the happiest person in the world!

The days in between

My nine best liked posts from 2017 on Instagram!

Christmas came and went and now we’re counting days to the next celebration, New Years Eve. Usually I am not very into Christmas, or at least I haven’t been for many years. This year I made a decision that I was going to embrace it instead of rejecting it, go with it instead of against it. I think at some point it was about embracing myself, my new self, who is much more happy with life and the path I have taken in the last year. 2017 has been a strange and difficult year for the world and the people on the planet. Me and my family have had our share of difficulties and some things have really put us to the test, as human beings and as a family. I started this year recovering from being burnt out and trying to figure out what I needed to be able to get back to work but not to the state I was in when I crashed. One thing had becom absolutely crystal clear during my sick leave – I had rediscovered my creative self and I knew that this was the key to feeling whole and not frustrated.

Some of you who know me might think that I have been very creative since I have been singing the whole time, performing even when I was ill. And surely, singing is still what makes me feel most alive and fulfilled – but I no longer feel the urge to sing at any cost, anywhere, at every occasion offered. I love to sing when I am free to express myself in the way I want and to use my voice to connect with people. Which leaves some rare occasions…
So this year I have been exploring the world of art and patterns. I have painted with watercolours as pure therapy. I have taken courses and classes in pattern design, connected to like-minded people all over the world. I have invested in hardware to be able to create and share my work. I have watched hundreds of tutorials learning everything from drawing simple motifs to the most advanced technical skills. I have created lots of patterns, exploring my style and the things I like. I have started to put myself out there, with my instagram feed, on twitter and with this blog. When I look back on 2017 I have accomplished a great deal and I am very happy and proud of that. Exactly a year ago I was if not a mess, at least a bit messed up and at the end of this year I feel strong and full of hope and I have a very clear picture in my head of what I want for 2018. I will continue to put myself out there, share what I do and start selling my design. I am usually not the kind of person who set goals and very decisively work towards them, but this time I feel different. I want this to happen, a dream I want and need to come true. I hope you will join me and I would much appreciate questions, feedback or just a like now and then.

These are my thoughts on the days in between. See you soon!
And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: @madeleinewidelanddesign

Saturday night amusement

On Saturday nights some people do things like spending time with family and friends, having a nice dinner or watching tv. I spend my Saturday night in front of the iMac and some tidying up in what we in Swedish call ”filträsket”. Freely translated into ”the file swamp”, a place that I know all of you are familiar with. The creative work demands a certain structure and organization, which can appear to be obvious but oh so hard to achieve for some of us. For me at least. The pattern making is a process with many steps and sometimes there has to be several kinds of files in different formats: a work file (original file) in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, made in layers and with all the motifs, correct settings, colours, swatches, and so on. Then you might need a .jpg or .png for web. If you are to send a file to a manufacturer you need to adjust the settings to their requirements and save for that purpose. This is a very time consuming work, since these programs seem to have a life of there own and even might have been designed to destroy the lives of creatives. I tend to be very organized in the beginning of working with a new pattern, but as the creative juices start to flow a forget to think ahead and stay organized. So when the pattern is finished and I am satisfied with the outcome, I often end up with a document that is a disaster. Luckily for me I haven’t done this for a very long time and I don’t have hundreds or thousands of patterns in disastrous documents, so I decided that before I start presenting my patterns in a portfolio or launching my website, I must organize my patterns carefully. I decided to use Adobe Bridge CC since I am used to that from work and I find it to be powerful and give a good overview.

I started with a folder named Collections and numbered each collection folder 01, 02 etc to make sure they appear in chronologica order.

Each collection folder contains the patterns named with the number and name of the collection, the name of the pattern and size of the file. I also mark the file with ‘repeat’ if that is the case.

There is a seperate preview window and a very extensive meta data list underneath. I like the keyword feature where you can add as many keywords you like which makes it easier to search for a specific pattern later on.

This is a very technical blog post, I am sure, so those of you who are not into pattern making, or at least the technical side of it, I am sorry if I bored you to death…

Have a nice weekend – what’s rest of it anyway!