Colour Clash

Pinks and reds have been my favourite pairings as of recent. I have been getting a lot of wear out of this red vinyl skirt I found in Zara a few weeks ago along with a dusty pink long-sleeve (my essential for the cold season). Of course I can't go anywhere without my teddy coat and a pair of chelsea boots to keep warm.  I love keeping bright colours in my wardrobe even when it gets to winter; and this combination is the perfect way to subtly colour while still looking season appropriate and a little festive. 

Jacket // Debenhams  Top // Zara  Skirt// Zara   Boots // Clarks


Rococo Inspiration

Rococo architecture and colour palettes has been a huge influence to me lately. I love the soft shapes and pastel shades with a hint of sparkle. Maybe it's the festive spirit in me starting to emerge, but this sense of opulence, sparkle and femininity has been something I've been trying to emulate into my work and lifestyle more and more lately. Sadly, I can't afford any diamonds as of yet, but using luxurious velvets, rich jewel tones and touches of gold can uphold a similar effect in your wardrobe and home. 


Finding Your Perfect Colour Palette

Colour is a fundamental part of design and particularly in textile design, colour can really make or break a collection. Finding sophisticated colour palettes is something I'm continuously working on but I thought I would share a few of my tips with you to finding your perfect colour palette. 

What Mood Are you Portraying?

Colour palettes can be as open or as restrictive as you like but ultimately their purpose is to portray a certain mood within a piece.  Would you like to convey a clean freshness, something a little more warm and homely or more of a dark and mysterious atmosphere? How do different colours play into this mood, do some fit in more than others? A sharp pastel may be more suited to a fresh mood than a dark burgundy would. Play with different variations of tone and opacity within each colour and experiment with how they can be paired together. 

Finding Inspiration

I find inspiration for my work in so many places; books, magazines, artwork, a random piece of clothing in a charity shop; and inspiration for my colour palettes are no different. Try looking for resources related to your brief or project as a starting point and then expand on this by taking your own photos of project sources or conducting some first hand drawing. Sophisticated colour palettes can be hard to come by so always look for new inspiration and keep a note, even if it's not related to a current project. I like to keep a colour diary where I record new colour combinations that I find so that I always have a point of call if I'm struggling for inspiration at any moment. 

Honing In

So you now have a large array of inspirational research, photos and drawings but honing in can be equally as difficult as finding inspiration in the first place. Whenever I find a new colour I like to make a new colour swatch in my sketchbook so when I get to the development stage of the design process I can lay all of the swatches out and mix and match until I create the perfect combination for the project. As I mentioned previously, a colour palette can be as small or as large as you would like as long as the colours used within creating a certain mood cohere together across the collection.  

Applying Into Action 

Colour is something that is always at the forefront of my mind although I try not to let it control my drawing too much. As most of my prints are created digitally, I am have the advantage that Photoshop can always help altering a colour or tone slightly. It also opens a lot of doors in terms of experimenting with different effects such as the saturation, hue, and opacity of a motif. If you are screen printing onto fabric it's a little harder to play with different effects without it being too costly, so securing a firm colour palette may be more crucial. But ultimately, just have fun playing with colours, colour is fun!


The New Look

If you clicked on my blog today you may notice something a little different; we have a new logo! This is the first part of a few different changes that will be taking place on the blog over the next few months as I rebrand from Rachel's Fashion Patch into the new "Rachel Sanders." 

I have been working on the rebrand in collaboration with my friend and designer Frances Lucas; a fab graphic designer living in Bournemouth with a chic portfolio full of editorial and hand drawn work. Being a creative myself, I'm used to starting a project not quite knowing how the end result will turn out, which is great when tackling your own projects but not so great when you're working with someone else and wanting to experiment with different ideas,  so I definitely have to thank Frances for her patience and persistency on creating the right logo with me. 

I wanted to create a brand that was sophisticated but still approachable and had a hint of something new and different, likewise to my textiles work. I think these characteristics come through in the logo by using a timeless-looking font with a hint of originality of a backwards 'S' making up the 'R.' 

The process shots illustrate the journey of the logo design from start to finish; from our Pinterest inspiration and mood-boarding to developing through different ideas until arriving at the final product. There is still a little way to go in terms of fine-tuning business cards and label details, but I couldn't hold my excitement in for any longer, and I can't wait to hear all of your thoughts!


Creating Marks

I've always loved mark making and understood the importance of using marks when creating printed patterns, but recently this has also been one of my biggest challenges. I am starting to redefine marks and what they mean. It's easy enough to add a spotty overlay to a motif but where are those spots really coming from in the first place, have you really been looking closely? 

Lately I've been focusing a lot on surface texture for my marks, especially on surfaces that at first glance don't look like they have much texture at all. Petals for example, at a first look the surface is quite smooth, maybe with a few veins but not much else. But look even closer and micro-sized bumps start to emerge, maybe some scratches on the surface or faintly frayed edges... You get my point, when you look closely, really closely, things start to appear that you never noticed before; and this is what I want to exploit.  

I've included some examples above of paintings where I have put surface texture at the core. Pansies are a great flower to use as a starting point because they have so much colour and pattern to them, plus they are one of my favourite species to draw. I'm starting  to realise how much texture adds to the character of a drawing which is something I may not have considered before; but I am really inspired to see how far I can push this idea.


Reykjavik Rooftops

Could there be a more colourful birds eye view?! Reykjavik had some of the brightest rooftops I have ever seen, and I think the colour inspiration speaks for itself. I can see why a place so dark and snowy would paint its houses so bright as it really does cheer you up whenever you see them, no matter what the weather. It makes me question why more cities aren't full of colourfully painted houses! If you could paint your dream home any colour what would it be? Would it be as bright as one of these?


Interning Like A Pro

If you are a student I am sure you have been continuously told about the importance of obtaining internships and work experience, especially throughout your years at university. Internships are invaluable because it gives you a new insight into industry, which no amount of reading text books can teach, and hopefully you will even learn some new skills along the way. 

I've been lucky enough to have had a few creative internships throughout my Textiles degree, so when it came to writing this article, it made sense that I wrote this from the perspective of someone aspiring to work in the creative industries. My most predominant internship has been with a fashion outerwear brand Protected Species, who sell a range of waterproof jackets, and I really wanted to share my experience working with them in hope that it could help some of you with your own internships. 

What Does My Internship Entail?

My main role within Protected Species is working as a social media contributor. My priorities and tasks usually change weekly, but normally you can find me taking a lot of product photos and a lot of flatlays, editing the photos on Photoshop (which is my favourite thing to do), posting onto social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest and sometimes interacting with customers and bloggers on these platforms. I also create a lot of mood boards on Pinterest to inspire customers and give a feel for the lifestyle surrounding the Protected Species brand. The list could go on with other bits and bobs I occasionally get to do, but ultimately you get the gist.

How Do I Balance Interning With University?

So you have scored a great internship, now comes the challenge of keeping it! Finding the time to commit to your internship alongside all of your university commitments is probably one of the hardest tasks, and a juggling act I sometimes struggle with too. I'm lucky enough to be interning at home with the occasional meeting with the brand managers either over the phone or in person. This means I am able to choose my own working hours which for me means being able to work in the evenings and on weekends making balancing my life a lot easier. 

My strongest bit of advice is to be honest with yourself and honest with your supervisor. Take it semester by semester, sometimes you might just have too much university work and that's something you might have to prioritise more, and be realistic with yourself with what you can achieve,  just remember to communicate any concerns like this with your who you're interning for. 

I like to designate an amount of time at some point each evening and weekend to concentrate on my intern tasks for that week. Sometimes I might have to make sacrifices like going to a party if I know I have to get a task completed by a certain time, but ultimately if I keep myself organised I don't usually run into this problem. Setting reminders and writing to do lists on my phone is a way I like to stay organised for individual tasks, and using apps like "Later" to send me notifications for when I need to post a new Insta pic is great to stay on track for tasks that need to be done in the middle of the day. 

Finding Internships Where You Are

Finding an internship where you live can be a bit of a daunting task especially if you want to be in the creative industries and don't live in a large city like London Leeds.  I go to uni in quite a small city, so if you're in a similar situation to me, I would suggest contacting a lot of start-up businesses and smaller designers in your area. If you are still stuck on finding anyone, ask your tutors. They probably know a lot of local creative businesses and graduates who would be so grateful for an extra helping hand. A smaller business might not sound as spectacular as a huge multi-million pound brand on your cv, but working for a smaller brand usually means you get to learn more about the ins and outs of an entire company rather than being shoved into a fashion cupboard and forgotten about for an afternoon. 

Social media is also a great tool for gaining new opportunities these days. I actually attained my Protected Species Internship over Twitter after one of the co-owners saw and loved my Instagram account. I think this goes to show that today, opportunities can come in so many different ways. 

Ultimately I believe you make your own luck in life, so work hard and promote yourself in your best light, and opportunities will come in your direction. If you have nay questions about interning or balancing uni life with internships I will of course be more than happy to help!


Floral Moods

Something I have been learning this past week is the importance of setting a mood within your work and using a moodboard to illustrate the atmosphere you want to emulate into your work. A moodboard is generally a selection of photos, fonts, drawings, colours and textures collaged together to help direct you towards a more coherent collection. 

For my garden florals theme, I'm really interested in how different times of day effects the atmosphere in a garden, and how I could reflect these different atmospheres into the home environment. I focused on morning, day and night for my different moods.

 So which garden do you like the best? The  relaxing, dewy atmosphere of "Daybreak," the bright energetic atmosphere of "Daytime," or the mysterious atmosphere of "Midnight"?

If you would like to keep up with my work of a daily basis, feel free to follow me on Instagram or Pinterest where I am always posting my latest works and inspiration.


Capturing Flora

Nature has always been my number one inspiration for design, so when it came to deciding on the theme for my first proper textile collection, it was no wonder I was drawn to garden flora as my topic of choice. Drawing first hand is a huge stage in my design process and I really enjoy the therapeutic qualities that comes with sitting within the natural environment and seeing what you produce on the page.  It's a stage which I try not to take too seriously - obviously I still need to produce high quality drawings and not a load of scribbles - but if I make a mistake it's not the end of the world and if I do something i don't like overall, I'm not going to rip it out of my sketchbook.

I am so excited for my final year, even though it may be very stressful and a little daunting as to what's next when I get out the other side. I can't wait to share my progress with you throughout the year on the blog and hear your responses along the way. Let me know if you have a favourite flower, I am always looking for new ones to draw! 



The Pale Hues of Iceland

I have totally fallen in love with Iceland, and was recently lucky enough to go there for a second time. As a typical textile student, I fell in love with the beautiful colours; off whites, pale greys and powder blues that seemed to follow me everywhere I went. I collated together some of my favourite photos from the trip to obviously inspire you all to go! 
Reykjavik is the perfect long weekend destination. I stayed for just over four nights which was just enough time to have a look around the city, go whale watching, and do a couple of tours such as the Golden Circle and the South Coast tour to see some breathtaking waterfalls, glaciers and the black beach. If you have time one evening I also recommend a swim in the Blue Lagoon; one of the 25 wonders of the world and a very surreal experience.  

Iceland is one of my favourite places in world, and also probably one of the most photogenic, I can't wait until I can visit again and explore even more. 

Read about my previous Icelandic Adventure here