Monday, October 2, 2017

Hello Miami Beach // The Abstracts // A design process

We are very proud of our newly launched Miami collection over at Spoonflower. This summer we created a whole bunch of new abstracts inspired by Miami’s beaches and streets. In this post you can read a little something about the process of creating this range of abstracts.

For this collection I started with some expressive shapes. When I create abstract designs the process of creating the shapes is linked to how I feel. I usually make abstract art when there is lot’s of drama to deal with, it is a way to transform my emotions into creation without having to think to much about the final result, color palette or proportions of an illustration.

A hell of a ride
Throughout the year there have been several things I needed to deal with. A partnership that resulted in a dramatic ending. It turned out I was the only one invested in this colab, a romantic relationship that ended very sudden, uhm yeah, I sort of invested in that too. Some family ties that needed my attention. Lot’s of things have happened this year, shaking me to the core and rethinking my entire self. When I go though real lows I create. There is no other way I know to deal with these things. I have been making things ever since I was a little girl, and most of my designs are targeting kids, that is not a coincidence. Getting in touch with my fundaments, my pure self is all I can rely on. And that basic emotion gets translated into my artwork.

Soft edges
When I am angry I create raw, high contrast designs. I use a dry brush, black ink. It is very obvious you can tell something needs to get out. But this summer I was not angry, I was mostly hurt. And when I feel hurt I do not need to get into the ‘raw’ as much. For the new Miami series all designs and elements were made with markers and ink resulting in rounded geometric shapes. Using a large marker and large brush make the details and shapes a little softer, there is no raw edge like other abstract designs have had. This soft touch represents the vulnerability I did not want to avoid or ignore. But I felt vulnerable after all the events that happened this year. And I was not going to run from it. I decided to face it, and am still facing it. Creation transforms but does not take away the pain. it is a process.

There is nothing more soothing for me than to turn my illustrations, and for this series, my abstract shapes, into patterns. I think you have to be a little crazy making 2000 patterns a year. But turning these shapes into repeats is so fulfilling! It is like sleeping under fresh crisp sheets, or the scent of raindrops on the hot summer pavements. Well, I don’t expect you to understand but making patterns puts my mind at easy. There is no better way of meditating for me than staring at my own seamless repeats.

This too shall pass
The entire Miami series is about being vulnerable. Therefore the colors are soft with a warm blush pink and a light ice blue, and a contrasting whiskey brown for a little character. I am not much of a drama queen usually so when I finished my 15+ designs I felt like a huge weight fell off my shoulders. I can truly say making art is like cleaning my soul, at least get rid of a big pile of dirt. Creation, how I love you!

Every single design needs a name. When I started creating these basic shapes I did not work around a theme. I just noticed some shapes reminded me of the city and some reminded me of the beach. And I knew this series had to be named after Miami with it’s sunny sea side and busy streets, the art deco architecture. Naming these prints took away the serious and turned this collection into a fun range filled with humor. I had so much fun coming up with the names; cocktails, salt, derby. The bling, obviously. The food prints: fries, taco’s and hotdogs. The names of the designs tied them all together as a collection.

Now the entire collection is available on fabric and wallpaper via Spoonflower. Most of the designs are still available for licensing too. So take a look and enjoy the new abstracts.