First attempts

Three months ago I started studying a Diploma of Graphic Design. I thought that adding this skill to my toolbox would be a good thing to do: It would give me a career option to work from home while we have little kids, and then later I could simply use it with my work in Community Arts and Cultural Development.

What I did not realise was the amount of work it would take to study part-time, work part-time, and mother full-time! Somehow, with much support and help from my Husband, mum-in-law, lecturers, friends, and various other awesome people, I can now officially say I passed my first semester! 

Arts and Crafts Movement [1850 – 1900]. We then had to select an appropriate colour scheme, and justify why it was suitable.

Arts & Crafts movement colour scheme

Next we had to do hand-drawn sketches to digitize and then use in our designs of four seasonal menus, clearly reflecting the art movement we had chosen. Each of my menus feature hand-drawn images of British foliage since this was something that featured largely in that era. On each menu some of these are in white, which creates consistency and contrast with the muted tones used otherwise. I tied the the four menus together by the placement, font and colour of the words ‘Art House Bar’, as well as the centralised placement and consistent font of the word ‘menu’. The fonts used here are very typical of the Arts & Crafts period.

Menu 1: Summer

I chose to use greens which speak of life and growth, referencing the green English countryside. The flowers depicted here were inspired by lavender and daisy species that bloom in summer.

Menu 2: Autumn

The dominant colours used for this menu are autumn colours of terracotta and crimson, contrasted with white. Again the Begonia and Aconite flowers featured here are ones that specifically bloom in the UK in Autumn.

Menu 3: Winter

For the winter menu I decided to feature Irises and lilies that are typical winter bloomers in the UK. They have a very distinct shape and featured heavily in the work of Walter Crane. The dark blue is a cold colour to go with the temperature of winter. I used an ochre as a highlight colour alongside the white, as used in the other menus.

Menu 4: Spring

Tulips are such a typical spring flower that they were the flower of choice for the last menu. I used the terracotta colour in about 80% opacity, rather than the ivory I had originally intended to use, as the ivory was simply not strong enough against the white and turquoise. The turquoise is a beautiful crisp colour that shows off the pink and white spring blooms well.

So there you have it… my first attempt at marrying my drawings with graphic design.

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In with the old!

Tulip textile design by William MorrisI recently started studying Graphic Design and am absolutely loving it! For one of our first assignments we had to research a stack of historical art movements. The one that got me interested was the Arts and Crafts Movement [1850 – 1900]. The name of it is quite deceiving as it has nothing to do with knitting and embroidery in the craftiest sense of the word. Instead this art movement saw some extremely talented artists gathering to form artist guilds and societies to encourage top quality design and to support each other’s creative journeys. How nice! They worked together with a common goal of glorifying God through their creative practice.

Floral design by William MorrisI particularly love the work of William Morris (1834 – 1896), the father of this movement. He was an artist, printer, bookbinder, designer, poet, writer and craftsman. (No wonder I like his work!) He created the most amazing decorative floral designs!

William Morris designApparently he said: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I love it! That is pretty much the motto I like to go by when it comes to creating a home!

It seems this movement combined a whole lot of things I love! I can’t believe I did not recognise the beauty of the works from that era before…

Cray illustration by William Morris