The most special night of the year the nights when the Kindness Cup is presented. A great celebration for the winner of the highest accolade.
I initially cringed at the magical worlds brief but quite enjoyed it in the end, right about the time I started adding fairy lights to the illustration.
The Brief: The ‘Magical Worlds’ prompt for #portfolioclub for this month got me thinking about ideal worlds, and how it would be if kindness was valued above all else and was the greatest achievement of success.
Life in this alternate reality would have cultivating kindness at the foundation of its values. It would be life’s work to be kind.
The brief had an ‘ethereal’ prompt and a defined four colour palette, which are not my normal colours therefore this was challenging, but I enjoyed working with them.
I spent time this year drawing trophies for illustration work to promote tennis club events for social media posts and on winner’s certificates. This work informed the development of the Kindness Cup.
The Kindness Cup with the cast iron work of the Paris Metro, which inspired the design. I love this art deco work by Lyonnais architect Hector Guimard.
I made the characters into silhouettes and gave them LED lit balloon and light up tulips. Added a little mist for atmosphere. The fairy lights, a fuzzy moon and multicoloured stars light the scene.
Great days start with great mornings so I wanted to create a positive, inspiring breakfast cereal in response to the brief: Create a fun sized design concept and packaging for a new cereal product.
I wanted to inspire and uplift women through a positive, confident image of a female pilot. She already has three stripes so she’s doing well; metaphorically and literally she is flying high.
Here are my rough drawings whilst brainstorming ideas for the box creative…
The character was further inspired by the aviation PR work I’ve been busy enjoying in recent weeks, thanks to my client in Florida.
I thought that aeroplane shaped breakfast cereal would be fun and novel. This idea was warmly received in consumer testing, with enthusiastic feedback.
I later added the fruit, and additional cereal aircraft, into the bowl for the final iteration.
Once I had the character idea I felt the breakfast cereal design concept formed around her.
In order to create the entire packaging concept it was necessary to define the target market, and what would appeal to them, to decide the ingredients, flavours, also to create a cereal brand, logo and product name.
I had all this in mind when choosing the colour palette of gold, red wine and cobalt blue. These were colours I could use throughout to represent the morning sun, and the colourful sunrise sky.
I chose ‘Inspired Mornings’ for the cereal company brand, and after painting a sun in watercolours I recreated the round window effect of my ‘Inspire by Kim’ logo and added the new brand name.
Nutrition and natural ingredients are key to wellbeing, which is fuel for a positive frame of mind, so I wanted the flavours and sweetness to be natural, therefore I chose fruit flavours on a Tropical theme, This flavour choice was to evoke the idea that the pilot is flying to a tropical island destination.
Travel, new experiences and the relaxation enjoyed on holiday/ vacation are fundamental to enjoyment of life, so by bringing flavours that are associated with holidays into the cereal concept the consumer would start the day enjoying a breakfast that the brain can associate with positive, pleasant experiences and help the person benefit from the associated holiday feelgood factor.
By illustrating the ingredients it was possible to give the consumer quick visual references and these were to denote the fresh, healthy, natural qualities of the product and brand values.
The reverse side of the cereal box was a great fun opportunity to further inspire the consumer and providing positive affirmations to start the day, in the form of a circular word search.
The wordsearch was placed over the watercolour sun using my favourite digital application of present, Procreate.
I created a template to fit the sizes in the brief, 4×3 inches, and arranged the completed panels within this.
This was the completed concept.
I was delighted that as I completed the design I saw the Virgin Atlantic campaign to inspire young women with a day of activity using the hasttag #seeherfly Wonderful that this timing coincided with my design.
Tiny lavender bouquet brought by bluebird, delivering relaxation and sweet slumbers.
Textile illustration using hand and machine stitch with appliqué.
First sketched as part of the #illustrationworkshop process before being made in paper, then fabric.
Inspired by the lavender at #dawnirelandtextileartist group
Poppy stages embroidery inspired by our morning walk.
Saw this pretty poppy on our walk yesterday morning so I decided that it would be my subject for an appliqué embroidery. It’s not quite finished, a little hand sewing to follow, please pop back to see the completed work.
Created at @dawnirelandtextileartist workshop at #stitchedupandfleeced
This image shows the three key stages of fabric design that I’ll be demonstrating and sharing at my workshop on Sunday 2nd June in Sheffield.
Step One is a design worked out on paper.
Step Two is to create the design in heat sensitive dyes on paper.
You can apply the dyes to paper using paint brushes, or you can collage painted papers or you can stamp the dyes onto paper. No drawing skills are required but some thoughts on composition are worthwhile.
The colours in this stage of the process are very different from the final outcome, as demonstrated in this short colour sample video.
Like any art work you can spend as much or as little time on your design as you wish. You can print your design and then move the design and over print if you like.
You can print a number of times from the dyes, although each later print will be slightly unique from the previous one, but we experiment with time and colour during the workshop.
Step Three is to press the paper with the heat sensitive dyes together with your desired fabric at high heat for a few seconds. This will activate the dyes and make them turn into gas, to wrap around the fabrics fibres and thus transferring them.
In seconds you’ve got your designed fabric and it can become whatever your imagination will allow.
As a recap on the process here’s an alternative design, a small coastal landscape design made by collaging torn papers which had been painted with transfers dyes.
Step One: I had a seaside composition in mind to fit into a greeting card window.
Step Two: I collaged torn paper to compose the picture. Note I have not drawn anything in this piece. For many people drawing skills, of their perception of their skills can be a barrier to them enjoying art. That’s a shame as there are many other ways to make marks and create. This is just one suggestion.
Step Three – I heat pressed the design onto one, then another piece of fabric.
I’ll be sewing into the design next before mounting it in into the greeting card for a unique, handmade, frameable gift.
If you’d like to try these techniques for yourself you can book at the Stitched Up and Fleeced website. Stitched Up and Fleeced is a lovely studio with great facilities which are ideal for our workshop.
The workshop will be from 10am to 4pm giving chance to learn techniques and enjoy exploring them and developing your ideas using these new possibilities.
Whether your a textile artist, crafter, designer, or just fancy trying something new you’ll be creating in no time and will have a number of fabric designs by the end of the day. Your fabric designs could be framed, appliqued, made into accessories such as zip bags, glasses cases, cushions, home decor, gifts and so on.
You can see more details of the workshop day at this post. When you’re ready to book you can do that here.
See more fabric design ideas to spark ideas of what you might like to create:
With an idea to create doll I drew sketches then began assembling pieces of fabric that I had created through exploration with free machine embroidery techniques and heat sensitive fabric paints.
I’ll be demonstrating how to design and colour fabric in this way at a workshop on Sunday 2nd June. More details here and to follow.
I arranged the fabric pieces I’d created and stitched them together on my beloved Bernina before free motion embroidering further details of my favourite things, swimming fish, tulips, spiral shapes, hearts and flowers.
Once I had the assembled and embroidered a length of fabric I drew pattern shapes and then cut them from the fabric thinking carefully about the placement of the different designs, details and colours, so as to create a striking bright design and balance where the colours popped against each other.
I stitched the legs and arms front to backs and she started to take shape.
My optician had asked me to capture my colourful Johann Von Goisern frames with my artwork so this seemed a good opportunity for a shot for this. The optician called it ‘frames and threads’ and shared it on their social media.
As the doll has two facial expressions one eyes open and one in calm restful bliss I needed only a little hair. I had a small piece of the bias binding leftover that I had pressed with magenta coloured heat sensitive paints, and wax relief of Passion flower tendrils, for the draught excluder project.
Turns out she’s a sun lover, I spotted her relaxing in the sunshine as I rethreaded my needle.
This work gave rise to the idea of placing supportive words and phrases on a doll to reassure and inspire the owner when life feels its most challenging, I’m going to develop that idea further.
Try it yourself:
All of these pieces of fabric were plain white when I began this project. Using heat sensitive paints I added colour and design to the fabrics to create something unique and original.
You can learn and explore these wonderful dye and stitch techniques, creating with colours and designs that you love to make something beyoutiful and uniquely you.
Join me on Sunday 2nd June at Stitched Up and Fleeced in Sheffield. 10 – 4 pm, £60. A wonderful day, no experience necessary.
You can book now by messaging your interest at this link.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed this work.
I’m off to draw the doll now in different poses and develop a story around her.
If you’ve enjoyed this post these are other projects that you may enjoy seeing…
I’ve been on the ball with designs for a local tennis club. After determining and drafting key messages for the club I developed a number of artworks to encourage new members onto the courts through poster designs, and visuals and a video for social media.
Member testimonials for social media to give a player perspective.
I used this tennis ball and changed the colours to create a junior coaching poster….
Thanks so much for reading to the end. I’m delighted with this work and will be looking at the display of it. So watch this space by popping your email address in the box at the top of the page to follow my blog. Normally a maximum of one post per week, a little bright creativity into your inbox
Here is the work that led to the passion flower creation.
And finally here are flowers I painted in pomegranate juice (and a little green watercolour). The juice was a stunning pink so I could resist making art with it. The work is inspired by a great book I’m reading The Joy of Watercolour by Emma Block.