May 29, 2014

What I Am Reading Today

It is Ascension Day today in Switzerland and it feels like a Sunday…kids are not in school and I had some time for reading this morning.
Today I want to share what I love to read art, interior and surface pattern related.

Uppercase Magazine is on top of my list. It is truly a magazine for the creative and curious published, edited and designed by Janine Vangool from Calgary/Canada. The magazine looks always beautiful and even feels great made from nice paper…I could never read this magazine as an e-magazine, it feels too nice in my hands. The magazine's content is about illustration, graphic design, surface pattern design, lettering and crafting. I was lucky enough to be chosen to be part of issue's 21 Surface Pattern Design Guide which shows amazing work from 100 surface pattern designers around the world.

I also must have Flow Magazine. In the beginning I ordered the English version from Holland but now there is a German version available in Germany which I manage to get. It is the most beautiful illustrated magazine I know and there are always little freebies included into each issue like a weekly planner, sticky notes or stickers. Describing flow is not easy…Zeitgeist ( spirit of the times ) comes into my mind. There are great stories about creatives, inspirations, insights and ideas and even recipes.

Yesterday the new MOYO Magazine by Beth Kempton and Rachael Taylor came out. It is already issue 6 and it is all surface pattern related. And the best part - it is free and you can even download it via Issuu and read it on your computer or tablet. Each issue has a call for a competition and many designers are featured besides there is lots of insight from the industry. It is really a great read and lots of eye candy. For downloading please click here.

My favourite interior magazine is Elle Decoration UK. It is always spot on and shows trends well. There is a reason why it is called "The World's Leading Homes Magazine"… if I read Elle Decoration from other countries I always feel it is very much the taste of that particular country, not so with the UK version. But this is my personal opinion.

I hope you find time to read and get inspired today as well.

Happy Thursday !

May 24, 2014

MATS May Boot Camp Final Design

Time is flying and I can not believe it is already end of May…summer has arrived in Switzerland and I can not wait to hop into the lake and go for a swim ( right now at 16 C water temperature it is still a bit chilly ).

Two weeks ago I shared the mini assignment for the May boot camp with you - drawing faces and people / vintage dolls.
Last week we got our main assignment : Illustration for a manuscript on meditation for a magazine. Well…I can truly say I have never done this before…but it did not make me too nervous since I have done tons of placement prints for fashion over the years of being a fashion designer. I am not saying it is the same - not at all but I felt I am having a starting point. 

Still being in love with my choice of going with Kokeshi dolls I kept drawing a lot of them, studying the details and patterns painted on them. I knew my illustration would be a lot Asian inspired due to my choice of dolls. 
Lilla pointed out drawing your own fonts would be a good idea as well so I did two of them I used for this assignment.

copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014
Sketches : Kokeshi Dolls and font copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014

It is a fun article and I could really relate to it…I do not like to meditate as well - mind you, after reading the article, I think I should give it an other try.

Here you can see my final result…the background is rice paper and my Kokeshi doll is standing on a lotus flower surrounded by cherry branches. There are lots of thoughts running through her head while she is trying to meditate.

copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014
Final illustration MATS May boot camp copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014

I was lucky to see a few sneak peeks from my fellow boot campers and all I can say is "WOW"…beautiful, artistic…just fabulous. There is so much talent in this group and this assignment really suited the style of traditional painters and mixed media artists. The gallery is live now and you can see everyone's gorgeous work over here.

Since I did drew a lot of the Kokeshi dolls I am planning to keep going with them…trying more illustrations and also use them for surface patterns. Will keep you posted.

Happy Thursday !

May 15, 2014

Lupus…and Beautiful Butterfly Designs

Even though the World Lupus Day has passed already ( it was on May 10th ) I want to raise awareness of Lupus which is a collection of autoimmune diseases in which the human system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissues. This can affect many different body systems including joints, kidneys, skin, blood cells, heart and lungs ( source Wikipedia ). 

My designer friend Dawn Clarkson/Nice and Fancy initiated the idea to create beautiful butterfly art to raise awareness of the disease. 
The butterfly is universally accepted as the symbol which represents Lupus. 
Dawn had three showcases over on her blog on Monday with art from all over the world and of all ages…3-80 years ! 
In the past I never made it but I was determined to take part in her showcase this year.

Here you can see my butterfly pattern. 

copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014
World Lupus Day - Butterfly Design copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014
Please check out the Nice and Fancy blog to see all butterfly art Dawn has received for World Lupus Day. 
I think this is amazing and there is no better way to raise awareness than with art…don't you think ? 

Happy Thursday !

May 8, 2014

What I am up to - New Mini Assignment for May MATS Bootcamp

Lilla Rogers MATS Bootcamp

After no boot camp in April ( which worked out perfectly for me since the kids have been on Easter school break ) the new mini assignment came out on Monday. 
During April we were all guessing what the new topic would be but no one got it 100% correct…but some were close.
It is drawing faces and people…to be honest, something I try to avoid since I was studying, remembering the life drawing and fashion illustration classes. I decided it was not my cup of tea…and here we go. 

Lilla gave us pictures from her vintage dolls she is collecting and we are supposed to draw them. I made it an exercise for me to loosen up a bit and tried to do the sketches quick. I doodled a few more faces but felt I am not warming up to it. So I kept thinking vintage dolls - my grand mother was collecting antique dolls, but I still did not feel the connection to draw them. I like wooden dolls, like marionettes and Matryoshkas from Russia. Searching for them on the internet I came across vintage Kokeshi dolls from Japan and I fell in love with them immediately. They are so beautiful with pretty Japanese patterns on them or small traditional paintings - really lovely and with lots of details to discover.

Traditional Kokeshi dolls ( source )

The Kokeshi dolls are part of Japanese folklore and today, very popular with tourists. They are mainly carved out of cherry or maple wood with a simple trunk and an enlarged head. Its origin is dated back to the Edo period ( 1603-1867 ) in the Tohoku region of northern Japan. The traditional Kokeshi doll's shapes and patterns are particular to a certain area and are classified under eleven types ( source Wikipedia ). The area is attracting lots of tourists thanks to the hot springs and craftsmen started making Kokeshi dolls to sell to the tourists. Some belief they are symbols to wish children good health so they became typical gifts for birthdays or newborns.

Vintage Kokeshi dolls ( source )

More shapes of Kakeshi dolls ( source )

And here is my start to draw Kokeshi dolls…not much yet but I will keep drawing - it is so much fun !

copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014
My first Kokeshi sketches copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014

I am looking forward to receive the main assignment next Monday - what product will Lilla choose ? You will find out soon !

Happy Thursday !

May 1, 2014

First Attempt - Doodling on Porcelain

The Easter break is almost over…we had a fab time visiting grand parents, relatives and friends in Germany. I did not draw every day as I was hoping to but I was able to experiment with doodling on porcelain. 
In London I bought a special marker for porcelain and I went to Ikea to get cheap cups and plates to test it out. 
It was not easy since the surface is slippery and you can not put the drawing hand down on the table but as always…the more you do it the easier it gets.
Here you can see my first attempts…

copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014
Doodles on Ikea cups

copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014
Doodles on Ikea cup
copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma
Doodles on Ikea plates

copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014
Doodles on Ikea plates

You should try it,too. It is a lot of fun and it makes great gifts.
Please note all designs are copyright©Pattern Jots by Maike Thoma 2014

Happy Thursday !