The whirlwind that was week 1 of the Make Art That Sells has abated slightly while we await the week 2 brief.

When I posted my finished design on Facebook ( and on Flikr ) I wrote 'Challenging is an understatement...' Having no prior experience of textiles or fabric design this opened up a whole new world of opportunities, a chance to try something new..right?! I felt there was a huge gap, a gulf even between my doodles or pen and ink work ( that I loving produced during the mini exercise)  and what was expected from manufacturers seeking a super bolt fabric design.

I couldn't get my head round translating my line work into 'icon's that were needed to make up the bulk of the design. Sure the pyrex dishes were retro & funky but about the berries. I was under the assumption ( rightly or wrongly) that linework for fabric design had to be stylised and almost abstract. I hit a road block on the Friday, two days before the deadline - I was feeling the fear. 

Now it gets kooky. I meditated on what I should do. I thought very long and hard about times in my life when I was excited to create art. I had to travel back quite a way. An image of the print room at my old uni sprang to mind...ok print room, silk screens, etching, collograph, monoprints.....that was it. I used the mirror of a old bathroom cabinet to print off, the shapes of the pyrex dishes and lil blobs for the berry shapes. I hadn't been gleefully happy with a paintbrush in hand for years.

Almost every image I had was scanned and then traced in Illustrator. Then I had a small break through - the linework placed on top of the monoprints looked marvellous. Although playing with the layout was like some mad suduku game, which bit fits where to complete the challenge.

I'd like to add that I was still doodling for Shutterstock in the evenings, and helping my kids with homework, wiping the cooker & faces etc. until they were in bed. Time management has to be more of a priority next week.

So I finally uploaded late Saturday evening, after playing with the colours and co-ordinates one last time. The relief was immense, but I was also wildly elated. The amount of times I had to wrestle and knock down that negative self talk that cropped up at inopportune moments. I was also rather proud that I had put something out there that wasn't a doodle. 

Having the Facebook group was a fascinating experience. I hadn't worked in a studio since my eldest was born. The Facebook MATS community was so supportive and enthusiastic it was a revelation after years of working from home away from my creative friends.

 It remains to be seen if my design fits the bill for the bolt fabric market. However the main thing is how far I have travelled creatively, I feel there could be some mile stones in the coming weeks.