Monday, 31 October 2016

Handmade tropical cushions

Tropical printed cushion

I don't tend to do a lot of digital printing, however the last time I required a sample I used Bags of Love after being recommended by a friend and I was super happy with the results. So when they contacted me recently about reviewing one of their products I couldn't say no; I genuinely applaud their services and just had to share a positive review! (I have only had experience with their fabric printing option although they offer a range of customisable items from personalised clothing to things for your home, especially if you're not a lover of sewing.)

For the collaboration I opted for digital fabric printing as I really liked the idea of making cushions for our house.  I decided to take a look through my portfolio of lost drawings and ended up choosing a few tropical leaves I had illustrated in the past. Once they had been scanned into my computer I added colour using my favourite Photoshop brushes (I really wanted the textures to come through) and selected a deep jungle green against peachy tones and a warm shade of lime.

I designed the print to size (100cm x 150cm) as you can specify the measurements and it's not a requirement to make the design repeat if you don’t fancy it. As regards to the choice of fabric I decided to select the cotton linen however they have so many options from jersey stretch to velvet shimmer; the variety of fabric doesn’t have to be so overwhelming as you can purchase a printed fabric swatch pack which is a great way to get a feel for the fabric before buying!

The finished print with development


I placed my order on the 17th October and I received the package on the 20th October. Like before my package arrived super fast and I was really happy with the results… It actually made me consider digitally printing more in the future! My design is just as vibrant as I hoped and the quality of the cotton linen is great. The textures I had applied in Photoshop appeared as they should have and the lines were so sharp and clear.

I stitched the cushions myself using this envelope pillow cover tutorial I found online. As a textile design student I totally recommend Bags of Love, whether you like the sound of fabric printing or prefer a customised product instead. It will definitely add a more personal touch to your own home or even somebody else's!

What do you think? Have you ever tried fabric printing before?

Friday, 28 October 2016

People playing


Hello! My days have been ridiculously long and all the late nights at uni have me feeling a little run down, but I am super happy with what I've done so far. I know I shouldn't be putting my health at risk for the sake of my dissertation but I'm really enjoying it and I like finding out what I can create next. I finally managed to find my colour palette after having a bit of a melt down and I started putting collages together of people, trees and cars. It kinda looks like they're having a little party! 🎉✨

Putting scenes together

Sketchbook page for colour and mark making

A few of my dyed fabrics with screen printed marks

I really want to create my own city narratives through screen print, and I actually managed to dye the fabrics in colours I wanted! Dyeing has never been my favourite thing but all it required was a lot of patience and thankfully a quiet morning in the dye lab. I chose to colour cotton and linen but the linen has to be my favourite as it just feels so much nicer. (I really want to use this in my degree show but it's extremely pricey so I'll definitely have to get saving now.)

I'm so grateful that the weekend is nearly here, it's my mums birthday tomorrow and I get to celebrate it with her as she's coming up to Leeds. I can't wait to have a couple of days off with my family and finally have some downtime. I hope you have a great weekend! 


Saturday, 22 October 2016

NDF: Where do ideas come from?

The Granby Workshop by Assemble

Last Sunday Jake and I visited Newcastle to catch the end of Northern Design Festival. There were loads of things happening at The Assembly House so after a little coffee stop we headed down to see the variety of exhibitions that were on offer...

Monday, 17 October 2016

What's happened lately

Mixing binder until I get the perfect shade

Hello! Here's what I've been up to recently. 

I've started mixing colours and sampling things through screen printing, so far I'm happy with my experiments which means I'm just going to carry on drawing, dyeing and printing things! Dissertation wise I reached 1300 words last week and this weeks goal is to get to 2500. I'm feeling pretty good about things regarding uni, but that can change so quickly. I'll keep you updated. 

Jake and I popped down to the Leeds Print Workshop opening party to see what the new space was like and I'm really happy it exists. Knowing there are screen printing facilities out there makes me relieved as I don't plan on giving up printmaking when I finish university! It's a lovely accessible space full of all of the necessary facilities, you can find out more about what they offer here.

The lovely colourful shop front of Leeds Print Workshop

klub zin | Laura Jayne Hodkin

I wanted to share with you this new zine Laura (my sister) is featured in called klub zin which you can buy from Etsy here. It's so awesome to see things like this being created even more so when it's a collaboration between illustrators and artists. For those of you who are into illustration and animation which can be a little strange (yet charming) then you will looove Laura's work.

The Silson Contemporary opening night also went amazingly, (see this post for reference) and Jake received a lot of interest for his paintings. It was great to get out of the uni circle for once and communicate with other creatives who are more advanced in their careers. All the work really complimented each other and I think lots of sales were made that night!

I visited Northern Design Fest which I'll be posting soon and I have a little collaboration coming up that I can't wait to share with you. If you don't already follow my blog then you can keep updated via Bloglovin, I'd love to try and reach 600 followers by the end of the year. I hope you have a wonderful week!


Sunday, 9 October 2016

Doodles, dogs and messing up

Heart eyed babe

This week I've been suuuper busy working on my dissertation, in my head I thought it was going to be quite simple but I don't think I've ever had to do something this difficult so please excuse the lack of updates on my blog, Instagram and Twitter; I'm trying to figure it all out!

The dissertation requires practical work alongside the written research and whilst I have no troubles writing and creating things it's the "linking them together" part I'm failing to get my head around.  I'm still figuring out colours and themes, but I'm sure it will all fall into place (fingers crossed) and I'll hopefully be sharing some beautiful work soon. In the meantime these are a couple of inky doodles and something from my dissertation that I don't think I'll continue with. 

Cute dog being annoying (but cute)


The dog jumping around actually came from an A3 collaged scene, but I just wasn't happy with the colours so I cropped out my favourite bit and played around in Photoshop. Sometimes when I'm in the studio environment I feel a little bit of pressure (that everything has to look good because I'm constantly surrounded by other people,) whereas when I'm at home I can mess up because only I see it and I choose what everyone else sees via the internet. 

Living in this social media age of "perfection" I feel like it's slowly creeping into our every day expectations. I know it mostly comes down to my own anxious thoughts but it is something that's been nagging me recently and it has made me develop a small fear of making mistakes. One of my previous projects that I completed at home was very different for me and out of my comfort zone; it turned out great! But I don't think it would have had the same result if I had done it at university. I know it's a silly feeling and I can do whatever I want. I'll get over it, but it's good to get my feelings out somewhere hah. It's totally fine to mess up sometimes especially when it does involve experimenting with new things!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

STUDENT DAY at London Graphic Centre

© Amy Hodkin

As a design student myself I am all about anything that supports art education, so when London Graphic Centre contacted me to talk about their student day I just couldn't say no! Of course I wish I could visit myself but being in Leeds I'm a little bit too far away. For anyone who does manage to pop down (On Tuesday 4th, btw) they have 1200 goody bags to give away if you spend over £15 and if it's anything like the ones they had last time there is a looooot of awesome stuff. 

As well as the cool freebies there are plenty of little things going on in store too. People of Print have screen printed 300 t-shirts with their own designs to give away and CULT+MILK art collective will be creating their own illustrated wall for you to admire. There will be a live illustration demo from artist Carne Griffiths and a 'build-your-own' pop-up keyring workshop hosted by Freitag. Also, if any of your cables have sadly ended up all gross and frayed, Sugru are having a repair station on-site to fix them for you with mouldable rubber. How incredibly handy!

Goodybags galore!

The student day takes place at their Covent Garden store on Tuesday 4th October from 10:00am till 7:00pm. When you're in-store you can sign up for a student card and receive 20% off during the event which will make your art-school life so much cheaper. 

I visited the store last year and it is full of everything you could possibly need from paints and pens to silk screens and beautiful glorious sketchbooks; a little bit of heaven for anyone who loves stationary and art supplies. It would be silly to miss especially if you are in close distance, so don't forget to drop in and enjoy the fun day of workshops, competitions and freebies!


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