Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Freedom in the Design Process

Sometimes the design process can be a bit frustrating trying to get just the look that you want, especially when resizing and shrinking a pattern. I have tried a few techniques to get my resizing perfect all to no avail because of the geometric complexity of the pattern of curves and angles and the scaling of a pixel vs. the scaling of a regular rulers' inch. Shown above is a new prototype 12" bear. I make up a prototype bear in muslin fabric and then pin it together and mark the areas I want to change. This time I made 8 heads before I got the look I wanted.

I tried special "scaled rulers" at 1/2 scale and 3/4 scale which do a bit better job than scaling the pattern in Photoshop, but the angles were still off. (Some areas would be too chubby or too thin.) The height proportions were much better though. This technique works great for making clothing patterns to fit the bears as there aren't as many extreme curved shapes to deal with. To get some printable scale rulers visit this link. I found it very informative. I used the radial technique to shrink my bear patterns.

 I think it's time to do some freehand guess pattern making. This can be more freeing and satisfying since one isn't "trying" to make any particular look. This is when the good mistakes help you create something new and fresh. I took this approach with my drawing and it really helped my attitude that my drawings weren't "good enough" and improved my drawings. New respect goes out to those artists that can make their bears look the same no matter what size they are. It's a long process that requires patience and a bit of guess work. But, somewhere in there one has to keep that feeling of freedom to create whatever comes out. This is what truly gives one's work it's own identity and character.

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