Laura’s blog has now moved from this location
If you’d like to catch up with her please visit the new blog on www.DesignMattersTV.com
If you’re here looking for digital fabric printing please head over to www.fingerprintfabric.com
Thanks for visiting!
Thursday, 7 April 2016
Copyright and intellectual property rights are understandably always hot topics. Creatives are always passionate about what they make, it must be part of the DNA and that passion can raise its head in different ways: some makers are very passionate about protecting their work; some makers are so busy passionately creating that they don't realise the idea perhaps isn't entirely their own.
It's so easy to be 'inspired'. There's so much amazing stuff out there. A quick look on Pinterest and it's easy to feel that every idea has probably already been taken. Let's face it, most subject matter and themes are timeless and universal: still life, landscape, the human form, portraits, love, tragedy. They've all be done time after time. So how can the artist find something that's their own?
I love to look at the work of other artists from old masters to present day. I think because my own work has been copied in the past, that I'm extra conscious about not copying something else, to the extent that if I see something even vaguely similar to an idea that I was possibly having, then I'll ditch it completely and give the whole thing a wide berth.
What's most important, in my opinion, is that whatever subject matter, media or theme that you choose to work with, that you make it your own. Whether you start on something because you were inspired and enthused by the work of another artist or not, there's still plenty of scope in the world to find your own way with it.
Easily said, but how can it be done? Well I would always encourage students to be inspired, but then to put that to one side and look at their own position in relation to the subject. Be thoughtful and think deeply about the theme, look for connections, variations, similarities and differences, subtlety and range. Over a few years I found my way with poppies as a motif. I worked hard, drew lots, printed, stitched and explored options. After a while, the poppy seed head became part of my vocabulary as an artist. In different works it takes on different symbolic meaning, the drawing sometimes more abstract, sometimes more realistic. I don't own poppies, but I know when I use them, I'm using them in a way that's mine and that has come about through a creative evolution of ideas.
There's the crux of it. Real ideas are rarely lightbulb moments. They usually happen because of hours of graft and thinking. Copying is quick and lazy and that is why it is so annoying. It's a shortcut to an end result, and for me, a copied piece of work is always hollow. Without the backstory of the journey to arrive at a piece of work, the result will always have less conviction, less credibility. So go ahead, copy if you like, but beware it'll have no soul!
To help artists and students find their own way, I've been doing a series of video workshops on DMTV on the subject of Finding Inspiration. Basically, it's about finding ideas and then what to do with what you've got. Current episodes are available to subscribers in the DMTV Latest Videos playlist and the new episode will be out in two week's time.
For more info about DMTV please do check out our new website www.designmatterstv.com where you'll find free videos and more info about the Latest Videos and Archives.
Thursday, 31 March 2016
With a bit of hard graft and very late nights, we've gone from this:
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
I have been feeling very square-eyed with all this computer-based work lately. One night I just needed to set the tech aside, and go back to basics with paper, pencil and just draw.
Nothing much, just a short time spent doing an observational drawing from one of my mummy wrapping photos from the museum (DMTV viewers will know about those). Have to say, I started out feeling pretty stressed and fed up, but drawing is the best tonic!
Hope you're all finding it possible to steal a few minutes of creative time in amongst the day job. It's essential!
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
I'd like to invite you to head over and take a look at the all new home of DesignMatters TV.
Archive Video Shop
Sunday, 13 March 2016
They parked up, filling the High Street, four abreast with barely a gap to squeeze between.
We ate tartiflette and crepes, bought Provence soap and garlic, but most of all enjoyed the sunshine and atmosphere.
Hope you've had a good weekend too.
Friday, 11 March 2016
I just love these roses, they're so abundant with their stacked peony-like petals. Summer may still be a way off, but this'll do for now.
If you'd like to make your own version, you can order the roses fabrics (there are three different ones to choose from), in our online store:
Thanks for visiting the blog today.
Thursday, 10 March 2016
Behind the scenes here at DMTV HQ we've been working relentlessly on the brand new DMTV site. It is so close to going live, we just have to test a few final areas of the site and make sure it's all OK. I'm so frustrated by how long this all takes, it will be a huge relief once we can open the doors and let you all in to explore! As with all websites, it'll continue to be an ongoing project that we'll keep adding to and improving, but hopefully you'll like how we've set things up so far.
All I can say is watch this space and I'll post as soon as it's ready.
Thanks for visiting the blog. As soon as the site is done I'll be back to work. I can't wait!
gorgeous indigo fabric,
funky skull lining. And...
...she hates it!
It's no good for climbing, digging in the garden, and riding a bike. Apparently. Trousers have been requested. With luck the fickle mind of a three-year-old will have changed by next week and she may get a little wear out of it. If not, her little cousin might be in luck with a new frock.
Thanks for the kind comments following the previous post. The house may be a building site, but I'm secretly loving it. This weekend we've been plumbing and wiring. It would probably be much easier to get the builders in, but we love doing the work ourselves. I guess we're gluttons for punishment, but the house feels more ours after a bit of blood, sweat and tears.
Thanks for visiting the blog today, back soon.
Saturday, 5 March 2016
We've finished renovating the outside of the house and now we're making a start on the inside. Walls are coming down and going up, and this week, half my kitchen was taken out. Anyone who's lived with renovations will be familiar with the fine, (and in some cases, not so fine), layer of dust that gets on every single surface.
Of course it'll all be worth it in the end. This space is going to be our new office/study. I've bagged the spot near the French doors for my desk. I'm just hoping we can get it finished by the summer. Wish us luck!
Thursday, 3 March 2016
If you've been inspired to make a mosaic quilt in this style, but can't face the hand piecing, her DMTV video workshop today will show you how you can machine piece the Tumbling Blocks units with ease.
If you're a subscriber, you can log in over on the DMTV site to watch now.
Monday, 29 February 2016
Thursday, 25 February 2016
Linda, Amelie and I made a flying visit to Birmingham last week. Now if you're a DMTV regular you'll know Linda's working on an altered book with a red theme so our eyes were peeled for red.
We spotted these red berries on this mural by Lucy McLauchlan. I've always loved these birds but I'm not sure what is to become of them now the building is being demolished.
Shame they were painted on such a big ugly lump! And yes, it did make me smile that it is 'this way to Paradise'.
Inside the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery we spotted red used in accent colours in painting. Loved the red fan, this is just a tiny detail of a much larger street scene painting.