Saturday, June 16, 2012

Urban Bouquet

In January of 2012, Spoonflower hosted a design contest with a graffiti theme. I knew I had a graffiti-like squiggle somewhere that I could maybe use to make a design. It was on The Shirt, of course, right up under the arm pit. A filler design, but still a design. Somehow, it immediately seemed floral to me. I tried to keep the 's' shape in tact but quickly realized it had to go.

I was having problems inventing a flower and I remembered I had taken photos months ago of a bouquet of flowers I got in the fall (Thanksgiving, maybe?) from my mother-in-law.

I duped & rotated that little squiggle to create the middles of the flowers. I removed the inner lines, scaled & rotated them in 2 or more layers to create the petals. I stylized the middle of the flowers with large radiating circles that I think give the design that 'urban' appeal. The final touch was adding the heavy black offset drop shadow. I think this added a bit of dimension & made it more graffiti-y. 
Then, I arranged the repeat. It turns out, even this process is a bit subconscious for me. I'm sure there's a formula, or trick, or something for this step but for now I eye-ball it to make it work. It's probably the long way of doing things but it works. I evenly distributed the flowers so the same colors don't touch, creating balance within the design. As I examine what I did, it seems I scattered about 4-6 of each flower within the repeating area. In retrospect, I suppose I did apply a bit of a mathematical strategy, just not in a preconceived, calculated way. 

As for the contest, I placed 15th out of 157 entries with 254 votes for UrbanBouquet. My highest ranking entry so far! While I've gotten more votes on other designs, this design is still generating viewers that are marking it as a 'favorite'. And I've even sold a swatch to a customer who says she has plans for curtains! I hope she doesn't change her mind.