This past week, I participated in my first ever “Speed Design Challenge” and it was indeed a challenge! In fact, it might be the MOST challenging thing I’ve done in quite some time. A Speed Design is just that – produce a design based on a brief in a short window of time. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it’s more like a “rough draft” of a design, but it needs to look good enough to present it as an idea to a client.
Sounds pretty straightforward, but since I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, it’s really challenging for me to produce a design in a limited amount of time. I started on one design and hated it – but it did produce a really cool effect that I’ll probably use in another design. I only played with that for about 10 minutes before calling it a night. The next morning I was up before my alarm clock and thinking about the challenge. I loved the effect I had stumbled upon so much the night before that I decided to try it again and expand on it.
Hopping out of bed and heading into my studio, I felt excited to have 30 minutes in which to produce something I was happy with. It was challenging, but it seemed to be such a great way to start the day that I just got right down to work. I chose a simple floral painting I’d done before and set about transforming the very romantic floral into a “glitch floral” pattern by applying a few effects to the scan of the watercolor painting and then cutting out certain elements to use in the new design. Inside of 30 minutes I had a brand new floral pattern – and I even put it on a “dress” form that I found by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay.
Yes, my repeat is off on the bottom, but it was a ROUGH DRAFT. And, it did it in about 30 minutes start to finish. If I had another 10 minutes before I had to leave for work, it would have been spot on. But my speed design challenge resulted in 5 new things:
A new pattern (that still needs refinement)
A new technique I will use again
A Mock-Up (I had never put my pattern into an apparel mock up until that morning. Total. Game. Changer.)
A confidence Boost – Knowing that I can produce a rough draft of a print in under 30 minutes means I could spend 3 hours on a Saturday making rough drafts of prints and wind up with 6 new patterns once I put them into repeat and refine them!
A productivity boost – This morning, I spent an hour putting together three of my own fashion illustrations to use as mock-ups, then I spent 20 minutes learning how to fill the dress forms with my patterns in the easiest way possible.
So my 30 minute speed design challenge resulted in 5 new things that I will now do that I didn’t really think about or know about before. I can’t wait for the next challenge!