March MATS assignment: Jell-o!

I just wrapped up the March assignment for our Lilla Rogers Make Art that Sells bootcamp project. Our assignment was to create a pattern for bolt fabric inspired by jello and jello molds—how fun is that? I admit, it has never occurred to me to draw jello before, although being from the mid-west I have had my fair share of the jiggly stuff.

I started off with my usual process of drawing and sketching but it just felt too heavy for the transparency and bold colors of jello. So I started cutting up bright colored papers and using modge podge to get some layering between them. Tissue paper really gave them a nice effect. When I think of jello, I think retro, and being a lover of mid-century modern and the artwork by Alexander Girard, I wanted to try something inspired by that era.

These are some of the collages I made with paper:

I really liked the look of these—simple, bold and graphic, plus the transparency. But I knew that creatiing the entire pattern by hand wouldn't be an efficient method for the final design. So instead, I cut multiple shapes of black paper with an exacto knife that I then scanned into the computer and created vector artwork that I worked  with in Illustrator. This gave me a lot more flexibility to layer, play with colors and create a repeating pattern. I still was able to keep the imperfect line work that I wouldn't have if I created everything from the start on the computer. 

My first instinct was to go BOLD with the color. Jello inspires an ultra bright and artificial palette in my mind, so I started here:

A week later we got our color inspiration palette from Lilla which had very desaturated colors, she called it a 'nougat' palette. It was very lovely, but so different than the bright colors in my design. 

But I really wanted to try it, I gained so much from pushing my color choices in the first project. This was my design with the more desaturated palette:Wow, such a different feeling! It felt more sophisticated, less garish. I liked it, but still loved the boldness of the original palette. After working on it more, I ended up with this as my final design. The palette is a little bit in the middle, plus I added some texture in a few of the shapes:

I also created these two coordinate patterns for fun:

This assignment was really fun and I enjoyed this new paper cutting technique. I have a feeling that each of my bootcamp assignments will look completely different as I seek out 'my' style. We have April off so that will allow me to focus on some other projects, including the design for my neighborhood garden tour. The gallery of all the artists jello designs will be live tomorrow and from what I have seen they are all so different and inspiring! 

Update: Here is a link to the MATS March gallery.