Friday, July 23, 2010

My sketchy memory...

I've decided that I'm going to try and write something every now and then that's a little more personal to Big Fish Little Cheese.  To kick things off, I'm going to write about my time at Art College studying Fashion in the late 90s.

Textiles was by far my favourite subject at high school - mostly because I was good at it so I found it pretty easy!  I used my grades to get an interview at Plymouth College of Art and Design for their Fashion course.  What I didn't realise when I went for my pre-acceptance interview was that the course was 50% art based and having no art experience whatsoever I was a little stumped when they asked to see my portfolio.  I had nothing to offer except a sparkly white satin party dress that I had made for a Christmas party (which incidentally I wore with a feather boa and it made me look like a fairy which was totally unintentional - festive all the same).  

To say I struggled with the art side of things was a bit of an understatement.  The head of department, Louise Allcoat, ran this segment of the course which took up Monday and Tuesdays.  She was an extremely eccentric woman, tall and thin and always dressed in black with paler than pale thick waxy foundation, clumpy black mascara and blood red lips.  She was quite a sight but totally passionate about what she did and she was a massive influence on all of us girls (and one boy!).  At the beginning of term she would give us a design brief which we would work on - Mondays were always on our print design and Tuesdays garment design. 

We would spend hours in the library researching various random things to influence our work!  I remember one of our print projects being entitled 'Heroes and Villains' and our interpretation was so diverse!  I personally chose Egyptian Gods and the Constellations as my influence but many chose your typical superheroes or even things as random as mobile phones and skateboards!  And why not! 

Once we'd gathered all our research we'd start sketching.  Louise wasn't happy until we'd done at least 100 designs of basically the same thing but with teeny tiny alterations to each one!  Once we'd chosen the designs we wanted to make we'd discuss them with our Construction tutor Pam and then we'd move onto painting massive A1 paintings of models in our clothing!  Louise was so very particular about this part of our work down to the very finest details such as the cloth weave!  I think I had designer gouache on the brain (and permanently under my fingernails) for the entire 2 years!

Unfortunately I don't have any of my old work to share with you!  It's a long story as to how I lost my mojo but basically I never thought I'd sketch again and so when we moved to Australia I considered my artwork non-essential and it was donated to our local rubbish dump.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

All the same, I've pulled out some of the doodles I did of the two styles I currently hold and one that I'm working on at the moment (which I hope you will like!).

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed my little ramble - Next time I'll write about the pattern making / construction side of things!