Friday, 12 April 2013

Week 63: Adobe Illustrator

Seahorsey II © Karen Thiessen, 2013
When I was a textiles student at Sheridan and then at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design I saw the potential of using programs like Illustrator and Photoshop to generate patterns. Mostly I yearned for this when I was hand-drawing my designs onto acetate for very large screens with which I'd print the patterns onto many yards of fabric. As I designed various iterations of the pattern and then drew the designs onto acetate, I dreamed of a faster way to test my ideas. Canadian art colleges lag behind the U.S. and U.K. when it comes to technology. OCAD and Sheridan acquired digital printers for fabric only in the last five years and NSCAD still doesn't have one. NSCAD does have a state-of-the-art digital loom that was acquired while I was a student there, but I'm a flat-pattern person, not a weaver, so it didn't enhance my education. I acquired my Photoshop skills after graduation, and I'm still teaching myself Illustrator from books and trial-and-error because no courses are offered where I live. 

Now I'm fulfilling my dreams: Seahorsey II is derived from a motif that I cut from black paper while a Sheridan student. I traced the motif in AI using the pen tool and then went to town playing with various pattern iterations. I guess it's better late than never.

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