So you want to put together a creative project, let’s say a collection of garments?
How do you even start that mammoth task?
Well, I like to start by writing a list of thing that are important to me right now. Whether that is a political issue, a social movement or just a pretty fabric. For me, I find that my creative process is fuelled greatly by people. I find people who I want to dress because the inspire me, look interesting or have a story to tell. I also sometimes start with an idea, like unicorns or steampunk or sparkly stuff, and run from there. We’ll call this a concept!
Once I’ve got a concept, I collect every single piece of information I can find that may even be laterally related to the concept. In the process, I’ll usually find something that is interesting and new, and then I follow that line of thought until I run out. Often I will find entire lists of techniques, plans, ideas and methods that I didn’t know existed, and then end up with too many options! From this research, I pick out the bits I’m planning on using or experimenting with, and pop them into a sketchbook.
Sketchbooks don’t really do it for me, I find the whole premise confusing and upsetting and not in any way productive for my creative process. However, what ever method of collecting your research into one place is a-ok!
From there, I identify shapes, colours, and reoccurring themes and then begin to thing about trend studies, and how much I’d like to adhere to them. Trend studies are published by forecasting companies and cover all aspects of design, from fashion to interiors to cars. You can get copies online for a reasonable price. If you don’t fancy being on trend, feel free to just go with your creative feelings and instincts.
I also really love experimenting in 3D. I have a half scale form but there is nothing stopping you from experimenting in full scale with some calico. When I design and experiment in 3D, I also take a boat load of photos. This is partly because I love updating instagram, but also because sometimes you need to refer back to the photos when you realise you were onto something half an hour ago. You can also throw the photos in Photoshop and drop fabrics into them, or even print them and scribble all over them with what you love about it, or what hasn’t quite worked.
Then I draw about 100 sketches! That’s 25 sketches per outfit, varying from quite similar to drastically different. Next week I think I might do a piece on how I go about drawing rough sketches for designs!