Making Hybrid Art
Insisting on doing something by my hands, I made the photogram below by using the process of cyanotype. I chose a pixelated ogee pattern that I designed digitally to create film work. It was an anomaly with the rest of the patterns at first, because it was handmade while the other patterns were created digitally. I added one more layer to it, printing the cyanotype digitally. This is my attempt to find that gray area or unseen place, where something is both digital and analog...a hybrid way of making things.
While dabbling in surface design, I realize that my mom has always been an artist. When I walk into her closet, I see patterns of all shapes and sizes. Nowadays, I like to borrow clothes from her. For as long as I can remember, she always buys me great outfits. When I wear them, people would compliment how nice they are. So my mom is an inspiration for my work.
Some of the patterns I made later were based on different concepts that I explored. One of the concepts were Dark Stories. In the 1600s, people extracted corpse from the catacombs and decorated them. The outcome were beautiful and scary at the same time. The corpses were Christian martyrs. They placed the decorated corpses at churches to commemorate them.
While researching, I was amazed by the WGSN website, where researchers and designers could predict what will become popular in the future, based on our purchases today. The colors of my patterns below were decided based on their predictions for spring/ summer 2018.
Another inspiration was Simon Rodia, the king of mix + match. He would put broken dishes together with tiles and imprints to make designs. The photo was taken during the period of time when I made all my pattern work. Some of the patterns were directly influenced by the places I visited. Others were more subconsciously inspired.
Finally, I'm grateful for my friend Max who invited me to try an unconventional paper format. Paper usually comes in predictable sizes like 13" x 19", but the inkjet paper he found through Red River Paper was 13" x 38" double sided! It was really exciting to me to design for an unusual size.
I still love working with my hands. It feels more sincere for me to make artwork that way. For the problems we have to solve this time, it made more sense to use Illustrator to make patterns. The process was not foreign to me. There was definitely a learning curve. A turning point came when I received the fabric that I outputted with my patterns. Wow! I thought to myself, what I create digitally could actually become something I could see and touch.