12 Sep 2016

The story so far

People start blogs for lots of reasons; as a personal diary for their everyday lives, to share things which they find inspirational, to document a new project.

I realise that my reasons are a bit of all three.  So - I thought, why don't I do this post as a bit of all three as well?  Here goes then...

Part One.
What's been going on in my personal everyday life to make me want to start this blog?

Photo by George Bale
As you will know by now, I got married in this summer.  We're already one of those newly-wed couples who walk around starry-eyed and can't believe their luck.  Of all the decisions made I've made so far - this feels like my best idea yet. 

Even though it is just a piece of paper and two rings, marriage for me represented something important.  That decision started me thinking about what kind of person I wanted to be.  If I could make this wonderful change happen just though my own choice, can't I do this for other parts of my life?  Shouldn't I stop waiting for opportunities, and start making things happen for myself?

I decided that I wanted to finally meet my own customers, find out for myself what they want, and be able with speak to them directly.  Instead of spending my time pursuing middlemen, I would be making the kind of work that I actually want to make.  And if it resonates with someone then, great!  That work will be for them too.  So I thought to myself; there is a huge and welcoming network available for craft and design out there, why not start making and selling my own illustrated products?  I considered it and found that, to my relief, all I needed was permission from one person - yours truly.  Something I much prefer.

Part Two.
What's been inspiring me lately?

If you've read my previous post, you'll know how I feel about daydreaming!  As I was deciding what kind of work I wanted to create, I started looking around at things that I love, that make me excited, the sort of things I like would to have around in my dream home.  I began collecting things on my Pinterest account "KOSheaPins"

It is so much fun!

My Pinterest playground!

It's like having a digital junk shop full of all my favourite things; Vintage botanical illustrations.  Old black-and-white photographs.  Cyanotypes.  Folk art.  English roses.  Hothouses filled with exotic ferns.  Block-printed wallpaper.  The crumbling stone of abandoned mansions.  Cottage gardens.  Hand-painted gypsy caravans.  Victorian interiors.  Victorian anything.  Living in Bristol, I can't go far without coming across something Victorian.  I just love learning about this era - it was such an formative time for Britain as we know it.  I'm always finding out something new they created, for instance, just this weekend I learned that they popularized the chicken as our favourite meat.  British chickens used to be scrawny and rubbish, but Queen Victoria in her infinite wisdom decided to collect all sorts of funky and exotic breeds, sparking a trend leading to the chubby chickens we know today.

I'm going to be blogging about these things here, as well as posting on my Instagram, katherine.oshea.  Likers of my new Facebook page will also be updated with pictures and stories - just as soon as I set one up that is!  So keep watching this space.

Part Three.
What's happened so far in my new project?

I soaked up all my research.  I read and asked people for all the advice I could get.  First of all, I started out making botanical sketches of plants.  I spent some time creating what felt like endless variations of these, trying to work out how my patterns might fit onto different products.

My very varied work-in-progress
At some point however, I realised that I was concentrating too much on the designing and remembered that I really wanted the focus to be on my drawings.  I drew out some more thumbnail sketches, wrote down a bunch of words, looked again at my favourite Pins, and finally thought up the theme for my first illustrations.

Cue three weeks of Dianna Wynne Jones audiobook and technical pencils.  Funnily enough, the moment I decided on my final design, I worked out the perfect application for it.  Now my prototype materials are ordered and on their way, and my ideas are going to have real-life physical form.  I'm very excited and more than a little nervous!

After a few trials, I have even my got logo sorted out.  As is typical, no sooner did I nail this down than I thought of a great new name for my product range.  But... I'm going to leave that possibility for another day.

For now, I'll be eyeballing the letterbox, eager to get my craft knife out and start making things happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment