Most of the prints that I do, are my own work. Funnily enough, I think I can't draw. I am certainly no artist. I guess that is just my own being "down on myself" thing. Takes me back to high school art class.... and then all the way through Fashion School. I never thought I could draw, but somehow I got by.... and actually I got great marks!
So now with my own clothing line, I need to come up with NEW art for my prints every year. Its daunting.... especially when you consider yourself "art challenged".
I often find photos of real shells or real ocean objects, put them on a lightbox and paint over them with ink, adding a swirl or two.... or dots. For example, below you can see how I started with a photo of a starfish, painted it in ink, scanned it in and turned it into a fabric print for our 2020 collection.
Do you think this makes me a fraud? Sure hope not.
Last year, I met an artist who has amazing "real" talent and a love of the ocean. I met Debbie Laan at our local markets, and we connected right away.
Debbie's work is intricate and adorable. Here she is working on a new piece, whilst camping on one of Australia's many awesome beaches.
Just look at how her amazing work comes to life as she adds color. To follow Deb on instagram you will find her @papermachemermaid. Have a scroll through her photos, she has done some interesting exploring around Australia and Asia too.
I just couldn't help myself, I wanted to put Deb's beautiful work onto fabric. I asked Deb to create some artwork for my tribe of island friends, and this is some of the collection of lovelies she dropped off for me.
The next step is actually simplify these designs a little, because it is not easy to put such intricate detail into printed cotton, its a whole new medium. Printing onto cotton means the darker background color sometimes bleeds into the white, and the detail can be lost. I needed to work on a layout and prepare the artwork for the factory. I think you will love the final product though....this is our OCEAN TUNIC.
I couldn't help myself, I had to add a sparkle of sequins to the style too. Just imagine the shimmer of sunlight on the ocean.
If you wanted to have a closer look at this tunic, here is a link to a video of me wearing the tunic, and explaining a little about it.
One love x