"a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor"
some days I really love to listen to podcasts when I'm doing design work, other days I love working in silence and listening to the wind in the trees and the birds going about their business. These last few days have been filled with wisdom from the internet, and I've noticed a recurring theme: getting out of your comfort zone is good for your creativity
when I started out in surface design the path was full of uncomfortable moments: trying new techniques, learning new software and endeavouring to find my style (it turns out there was no need to search for my style, it just was - but that's a story for another day!). During that time I made some work that I still love, but there were also some designs that didn't make the cut - it was frustrating, scary, but also very exciting!
I've reached a point where I'm in a happy place creatively, but listening to these podcasts has made me aware that part of me misses the excitement that risk and uncertainty hold so I've set myself some challenges to ensure that I get out of my comfort zone a bit more often
challenge no. 1 has been to try and incorporate negative space into some designs that I'm currently working on. I love a busy "all-over" pattern and enjoy playing with motifs to fill the space and to create rhythm. So what would happen if I forced myself out of my comfort zone and consciously placed motifs leaving negative space? And what effect would this have on their interaction with each other and how would this affect the design as a whole?
sometimes a risk pays off and sometimes it doesn't. I have to admit that I still prefer the "busy" version of the Cow Bells pattern (below), but I love the effect the negative spaces have on the flow and rhythm in the Tiny Triangles design (above)
on a more practical note there are some products that can really benefit from using patterns that incorporate negative space (for example wallpaper and interiors fabrics). The "empty" spaces allow the viewer's gaze to rest whilst also creating a path for the eye to follow. I'll definitely be conscious to try incorporating negative space into some new designs, and I'm excited to try re-working some of my existing patterns to adapt them for use in other market areas
which versions do you prefer?
my next challenge: experimenting with colour...