Sydney Writers Festival

SWF Brooches

I received an email from the SWF about a special project. It would involve letting a partner of SWF use one of my illustrations to produce a special item. An item that was for guests only. Of course I said yes.
The partners are Polli, they specialise in creating accessories that feature Australian designs and themes. If you don’t know about these amazing group of people, head over to their website to find out more.

www.polli.com.au

They wanted to create brooches and use an illustration of mine.  We talked about the possibility of using the Chesire Cat or Yik Yok, but it didn’t seem to feel right. We decided that something more was needed, something specifically designed for the festival. And not just one but 4 illustrations. As everything was still under wraps we secretly sent emails back and forth.

First off I came up with a theme called ‘ink’. As writers and artists both use this medium, it was a nice choice. Then Polli mentioned Australian and my head went into another direction.
I threw away ‘ink’ and came up with – DREAM  CREATE  INDULGE.

We DREAM up ideas
We CREATE the content
We INDULGE in the creation.

I did some rough sketches of characters sleeping. They were dreaming and indulging in what they had created.

I ran this past Polli along with the rough sketches and they loved it. SWF did too.

SWF Brooches

I did a few sketches to finesse the designs a little further. Once I was happy, I then traced the platypus onto watercolour paper which is my preferred surface for pencil work. Added watercolour.

SWF Brooches

Did a couple of variants for Polli to test, and see how the fine pencil work would hold up on the plywood. I then waited for the samples to arrive and was surprised to see the quality of the print. I thought to myself, these guys know what they are doing.

SWF Brooches

It was a risk to hand over an illustration to someone who you have never met and never known of their work. To hand over an illustration that represents you, and to hope that I didn’t get back a muddy or slightly out of registration print quality was a fear of mine I must admit. But Polli did an amazing job. They even tweaked the illustration to accommodate for the colour saturation on the ply. Sounds a little techy I know, but it’s these things that make a difference.

Now it was time to charge ahead with all the finals. I changed the platypus a little, and also the koala.
The pencil illustrations were then scanned and a texture was applied to certain areas. A few tweaks here and there and then it was hand over time to polli.

SWF Brooches

SWF Brooches

SWF Brooches

 

They printed the finals onto the plywood, had them laser cut that best suited the shape of the illustration. They then applied the pins on the back and packaged them ready for the festival.

 



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