The Owl & The Pussy Cat Design drawing by drawing

I am actually a textile designer but have drifted into the world of fashion, business, accounting and lecturing. I have always known that I will not wonder too far away from it but I have to admit that I do miss drawing. Earlier this year I made a return to paper with my pencil and was pleasantly surprised that I could pick it up again so quickly. To be honest, I think the past few years of business have taught me to be less critical of my work and to just go with it which is a good thing.

As a students of design I was taught to analyse everything, push boundaries, push harder, criticise and rework. It is only by doing this that we are told that we create great designs. I agree with this but I also find that it is then hard to have confidence in one’s design ability as you are so used to it being “torn apart” only to be “recreated” later to be better.

When you enter the “real” world designs cannot be over analysed as there is simply not time. With The Owl & The Pussy Cat design it took hours but it also came together with a clarity I have not had before. I stayed on the path of my intention which was to create a design that I liked using line that told a story and was geometric. All I had to do was let this design be great and I really love it.

So how did it begin…I started by drawing cats and owls on graph paper. I drew several before I settled on my favourites.

Cat Drawings

I extended lines and joined them…. exploring several ways to connect both the lines and the forms.

They then had to be put into a repeat so that like a textile design, it could be continuous.

One of the main challenges was how to “pull” the owl and the pussy cat out from all of the lines. How to bring attention to them so that they were not lost.

I explored using colour and texture but decided to emphasise them by using a simple but thicker line.

I added a new dimension to the design by embroidering some cats and owls and creating limited edition for the Design Indaba Expo earlier this month. They were beautiful but a lot of work because it is difficult to stitch where you can barely get your hand (as they have to be stitched once sewn up).