My local art shop, The Art Side, opened a competition last month to find the new design for their shopping tote bags. After finding out all of the details I needed and what my limitations were, I drew some sketches for different ideas, mostly based around art supplies and local landmarks. From those sketches I chose to do a selection of artists materials because (a) their previous bag (by Diana Mazuru Hooper) was illustrated with a picture of Plymouth’s beloved turtle Snorkel so I didn’t want to do a lesser local-based idea and (b) because I’m always looking for accessories that are decorated with illustrations based on illustration as a topic.
Because I wanted to do illustration as the theme, I thought it would be great to use a hand-drawn rather than clean digital style. I drew lots (and I mean lots) of different individual materials, from spray cans and markers to sharpeners, erasers, paints and glue. Then I scanned and cleaned up my images a little, keeping the sketchy style. I played with my images and came up with different compositions, sketching thumbnails as I went along to find balance and a good assortment of items.
Finally I found an arrangement I was happy with, and I entered it into the competition. I waited for the results with excitement and nerves and guess what? I WON! (Slight spoiler in the title there..)
My prize, as well as being the designer of the shop’s new bags and getting to see my work being carried around by people (and I will definitely get one for myself!) was a Daler-Rowney Screenprinting kit. I have tried screenprinting before at a short Saturday Art & Design Club workshop and have wanted the chance to try it properly by myself for a while, and now I can play with my kit at home and learn more about the process.
I have also been wanting to get some of my designs screenprinted for a while but haven’t had the money to do it, so now I can practice and make test versions at home which will help me to make better decisions about whether to get any designs printed professionally. I have tried lino printing on bags before but the results didn’t last well through washing, unfortunately. Now I just need a couple of days in a row free to play with my new kit..