Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Starting to see a pattern...

I am moving right along in my current design class (ps Thank you everyone that helped me reach my goal)... This week we were asked to look at colour and what it means to you. I dug deep into my wardrobe- actually I didn't have to dig that deep as it was everywhere. Though I wear the typical mummy wardrobe during the day- usually jeans and a black top, I dress up to the nines when my husband and I go out and as the sun reappears that date night wardrobe starts to invade my day time wardrobe... Here are a few things I picked out:

grouping 1

vintage vera scarf

grouping 2

vintage Fredrick's of Hollywood 
(why yes, I did wear it to a movie premiere)

grouping 3

love this one! a vintage sheath dress
that I call strawberry fields

I don't normally shy away from colour... I wear it, I celebrate it and more and more I am loving it! How does colour show up in your world?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Visual Language

Building a visual language: just about everything around us us offers a source of inspiration. No matter  how mundane, innocuous with a closer look there is always more there.   Even when the water is still it is forever moving. Simple lines form complex patterns, repeating then breaking creating a visual focal point. I hope I can do in my designs what was created by an early morning breeze on an empty pool.

Create More Ideas

Sometimes I get an idea and just run with it and that is a creative process too, but most times I work through ideas in a systematic way.

I usually start of with a theme... it is handy if one is given, such as theGreat Big Stitched Postcard Swap by the inspiring innovators at Do What You Love : Create...   With Theme in hand I start off brainstorming, writing down words, phrases associated with the concept.  For this particular wordCREATEideas and imagination were the two most reoccurring words. They ideas. It's about  making ideas happen." Scott Belsky "Everything you can imagine is real." Pablo Picasso. From there I start to build: I doodle and collect images (I use pinterest- you can follow my Mood Board here). Then narrow down on concepts, which can be hard especially when words such asIdea and Imagination have such big meanings but I picked two- Brain  (my husband is a neuroscientist, so the brain is brought up a lot) and Lightbulb, how many of us have seen a cartoon with a lightbulb atop a characters head when they have a bright idea? I know a cliche right? I had a very smart creative man tell me once that sometimes a cliche says it best, everyone already knows what you mean by it.  I played with the idea of a brain, a head, a combination of both images but then I decided to go for simple.  A light bulb containing text.  I wanted it to be concise and say exactly what I was thinking/feeling "Create More Ideas".  

were presenting themselves over and over again in my own lists and phrases. "It's not about
Click Through the pages of my Sketchbook to see some of my process...
Through creative process I often create more ideas than I use... Sometime they are abandoned, sometimes they are left to be fleshed out later and sometimes they spawn their own little idea babies.  
Show me your creative process and I will show you mine!!!  You can follow me on Facebook A Scrappy Carp or on Instagram MeganHCarroll

My Story

Scrappy Carp got it's name for all the reasons listed above but but what is Scrappy Carp Designs? Scrappy Carp is a newly hatched Surface and Textile adventure. I want to combine my years of practical craft, design and art education into a company that's focus is on the love of good design.  You can read my story or skip to the end to get the synopsis. 
At a very young age, I knew I was an artist but had no idea what that meant. I thought to be an artist you had to have your pictures in an art gallery- yes I had designs on that at age 4. I still remember the picture I drew that I was going to 'hang' in a little community gallery. It was a picture of my Mother (with frizzy hair- 80's bad perm & a striped shirt) and my dad (with a beard), sadly I don't know what happened to this drawing but to me it was the most fabulous thing in the world.
I also wanted to make clothes from a very young age, being to small to operate a sewing machine my mum used to hand draw paper dolls for me, that I would create outfits for. Later in years when I could take Home Ec, I took as many sewing classes as I could. I fell in love with not only fashion but also fabric.
I eventually went to art school and got my BFA from Emily Carr University (then Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design) focussing not in design, or drawing/painting but ceramics! I got the fine craft bug. Four years of ceramics and not one perfect pot! But it wasn't about that, it was about the process, about doing a job and doing better the next time and the time after that.
My ceramic/art education (though I squeaked by and graduated) came to an abrupt end with pregnancy. Though I had it all planned out- I was going to have my baby months after the final Grad and Graduation show, i got news as I was loading a gas kiln that I was having twins. At 20 weeks I went on bed rest, missing both Grad show ( though I think I had help installing something- can't remember what it was, my mind was on other things) and Graduation ceremonies. I got one more shot at it the following year, they made an exception and let me redo my last studio class and I got to be in the Grad show, this time with a full body of work that caught the attention of a local gallery that had an Emerging Artist show each year!
Yay me... I was on my way! Nope not quite. Those babies that interrupted my last year of school sucked just about all of the ambition out of me. And I became a domestic. No art, nothing...  Just head down, getting through the days. My Husband was in grad School and I was a stay at home mum, just trying to keep going. I didn't notice how unhappy I was or how unhappy my husband was and we had a wake up call- a strain on our marriage and we knew we had a choice to make- we now had infant twins, Shit or get off the pot. I started drawing more, I started cooking more, I started sewing again, and though it wasn't easy I started being happier. 
Since then I have pushed all those skills as far as I can take them- do I go back to becoming a full time artist? A chef? A Seamstress? My Husband now graduated and working in his field has to go to where the jobs are. We have moved countries, moved states from one side to the other and we honestly know that territory comes with his profession and are fully excepting that it may happen again as his career changes and grows. So where does that leave me?
And now we get to the real reason of Why  Scrappy Carp Designs and what is it.... I don't know if I am leaving the house anytime soon.. My husband and I consciously chose to chase his career for very specific reasons, leaving me as a stay at home mum for for a while longer, thus making me redundant in the working world. Luckily I am stubborn and refuse to believe that my worth is only that of my job title. I started looking at all the things I was/am doing and how they relate, quite frankly it was there in front of me for a long time.
Have you have ever picked up a hand thrown mug and ran your fingers over the surface and felt the tactility, or stared mesmerized at tiles trying to figure out just where it the pattern begins and ends or drape a piece of fabric and watched how the pattern shifts to reveal a new one? My love of fabric, design, surface, texture- I never dreamed in a million years that Surface Designer was a job but it so makes sense for me. Scrappy Carp Designs is that love and passion. My Aim, my Goal is to design textiles and surface for living be it for a professional company or home sewer that is looking for originality, quality and a little playfulness.

Megan H Carroll

Why A Scrappy Carp Design

There are many reasons for the Scrappy Carp name. 1. I have small children and as an avid user of colourful language I had to come up with some more suitable phrases... One of them was Oh Carp!!- yeah I know, not very inventive, but I thought I was hilarious and maybe it was the martini or the lateness of evening that I first said this- chances are my husband was away so I would have been delirious (infant twins will do that to you) it kinda stuck. Later going through a bit of a rough patch ( yes small children and travelling husband will do that to a gal) the quote Carpe Et Diem had value to me and my life, I knew if I did not do something I would fade away .... 3. I am an artist, seamstress, cook, designer.. I have scraps. Paper Scraps, Fabric Scraps, Food Scraps, Magazine and Knick Knack Scraps, why not use them as a source of inspiration? &  4. I really liked the idea of a Boxing Carp!