The past few years I have been completing Make It In Design Summer and Winter schools for inspiration and a challenge.

They’re each a month long with both trend and creative briefs to complete, with submission dates as well. So they keep you on your toes, its like designing for a client but the designs are to build your own skills and portfolio of designs. What I love about it apart from the trend briefs that push me out of my comfort zone, is seeing how others interpret the same brief. We all get the same information however the final designs are so wide and varied, as we all look at information differently and have different skills.

Here is a look back at some of the trend briefs and my interpretations of them.

Kabuki Kingdom

The brief was to: ‘Get inspired by the theatrical costumes and mood of Kabuki’ and ‘Draw from as much Kabuki inspiration as you can so that you can create a detailed, stand out design that invokes the Japanese theatre’

I struggled with this brief, partially as I had no idea what Kabuki was until I did some research, however also because it was so far outside the style of designs I had worked on that I found it a real challenge. I used to draw/paint lots when I was younger but they were never totally realistic and then I had a brief calling on me to create a detailed design with animal motifs.

However despite the challenges I found I was really pleased with my final submitted design, its one I will go back to at some point to review and rework the motifs in a different setting.

Jungle Bugs Luxe

This brief was calling for bugs and beetles in luxe designs, with the suggested colour palate full of rich deep colours.

It was another design calling on detailed illustration, I took my inspiration from a scarab beetle. Which I had difficulty drawing symmetrically so I drew half a beetle then replicated it in illustrator to create on perfectly symmetrical motif for my design as a simple stylish repeat, with a gold like colour on the rich backgrounds.

Lessons Learnt

In both these designs I used a finer pen for sketching, where I discovered in the scanning and digital manipulation to create a vector image I lost some of the details in the process. However I feel this adds a little charm to the designs, especially for the jungle bugs as it gives them an old rustic feel suiting the luxe old world charm of the brief.

If you would like more information about the Summer & Winter Schools then you can find it at Make It In Design.


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