Vote for me!!! Round Two of Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search!




So today the voting starts.  I am sooo excited to show you my entry for Round 2 of Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search and I would be delighted if you'd vote for me! Below are the details from the competition website.  Click the links to cast your vote!!!!


"Fifty artists were selected from around 1,000 entrants to go through to this round of the competition, and tasked with designing a personified animal character for a young child’s t-shirt. The artists were encouraged to be themselves with a vengeance and create a character with personality.  Check out the fabulousness they created in our online gallery which is open here now!"   

Now is the chance for you to cast your vote

Five finalists will be chosen by our esteemed panel of judges, and one finalist will be chosen by the public! YOUR VOTE COUNTS. The person with the most votes when the gallery closes at 9am PST / 12 noon EST / 5pm GMT on Friday, September 12th will go through to the Final as The People’s Choice."

This means everything to me and my Aztec Zebra knows it.  So here she is pleading on my behalf!


I loved doing this brief but again - the timing was a challenge. We had nine days to complete the artwork and during the first four of those I was still in England without a computer.  I spent that time thinking about a concept and doing some truly awful sketches (see the lion below).  I knew immediately that I wanted my character to be first and foremost a vehicle for pattern - and lots of it, as initially I was thinking about incorporating embroidery into the design.  I knew I wanted to do girlswear as I have more experience designing for females and have a very feminine aesthetic in most of my work.  I also knew I was aiming at 3-5 year olds as the brief referred to 'a young child'.
At first I thought of doing a little lion in a dress and had visions of this beautiful, richly patterned mane.  Then I had a conversation with my cousin and she reminded me that lions are, in fact, boys.  
Oh.  Start again.  So which animals can carry a pattern  and embroidery really well? I was keen to choose a jungle animal rather than a woodland one and was also keen to have it holding something that could be a design feature.  A balloon seemed the obvious choice to become a pocket and a heart shape lent itself well to the function of the pocket.  Since Christmas I've been dying to do a design featuring horses (I didn't have time before Surtex) so a zebra seemed to be the perfect choice to meet all my criteria!  The words "Wild at Heart" seemed fitting as a) they fit with the heart motif and b) the sentiment reminded me of my own children, looking endearingly sweet and innocent but being capable of behaving like wild animals!!!

So I drew this.  Ordinarily I don't sketch much but my computer was still locked away, having come back from holiday, so I had no choice!
I finally managed to put her into Illustrator and give her a bit of color.  Obviously the wrong ones! I printed her out onto fabric to test the idea of embroidering and it didn't work.   The colours were dingy and the idea of then photographing the embroidered zebra, bringing it back into Photoshop and trying to put it on a mocked-up T-shirt, without losing quality and vibrancy, made me change the plans entirely.

I decided to completely revise the colour palette to something more commercial (looking at children's clothing websites and Pinterest helped here!) and imply stitching on the design. I thought this way, at least, the image would stay fun and crisp and work well on a mock-up. 
This design was obviously crying out for co-ordinates.  My intention was to give it as much mileage as possible with the use of pattern so I chose to focus on additional swatches rather than more mocked up products.  I kind of wish I'd done a pair of wellies or a journal but was worried I'd diminish the co-ordinates by mocking them up.  
I used to work as a womenswear textiles designer so adding the neck lining and the trim was the fun bit that came easily at the end.  I really enjoyed doing this group of designs and that lion is going to find a home in there somewhere - not as a transvestite but as a pretty little boy out playing with his zebra friend.