My work is often inspired by vintage and historical elements - the mix of the old with the new. After a visit to The Musee De La Chasse Et La Nature in Paris I was inspired by the use of Taxidermy for a project brief of “Animal, Vegetable or Mineral”. This wonderful building, hidden away amongst the Parisian cobbled streets, contained an abundance of stuffed animals and hunting paraphernalia. I was completely fascinated by the use of stuffed stags and antlers, and - after several initial photographs and sketches - I used this inspiration to create several digital prints for a set of 90x90cm scarf designs.
I wanted the scarves to feel vintage but still retain a modern and contemporary twist, and I explored this within the project by using the historic taxidermy in a digital, modern way. For my main design I chose to look at deer and stags, inspired by the mounted stag’s heads I found in the museum. By constantly being inspired by nature and my surroundings, I turned to photography to capture my observations. Most recently, I have started exploring film photography with my vintage Olympus camera, because I enjoy the exaggerated saturation and different tones that film photography produces. It is not something you can always achieve so naturally with digital. I feel the choice of medium was a good way to reflect upon the animals, it captured the textures and colours of their fur with such interesting results. I then used the images of the animals themselves to determine a colour palette of muted, vintage tones.
For the most of my designs I used photomontage. I like the idea of digital collage because, as with my other inspirations, it is an art form that mixes older artistic practices with modern digital processing. In fact, I took this one step further by mixing the photographs with my initial animal drawings and water colour sketches. I love this mix of hand rendering and digital elements; it’s something I combine often within my work, as it retains a feeling of individualism as an artist. It is a large part of who I am and how I work. It makes the prints look more unique and visually interesting and, coming from a fine-art based background, it is the perfect way to fuse my interests as a designer.