MATS week 3 – assignment # 2 review & thoughts on plate subject matter

Week 3 of Lilla Rogers’ MATS course has just begun and, as every Tuesday, today we were presented with her very pleasant and uplifting review of selected assignment # 2 submissions. I was holding my breath for being in that pool again while trying not to hope too much. I’m still getting a feel for some aspects of this course, including the system by which Lilla chooses designs to discuss. Perhaps she will let as many participants as possible have their turn. Or maybe it’s really all about which pieces shed the most light on good design. The only recurrent artist so far to be discussed is Daniel Roode, winner of the 2nd prize of this year’s contest hosted by Lilla. No doubt, a lot can be learned from him, being one of her artists.

I worked many hours on this assignment, and I was a little disappointed to learn from the review that characters are taboo on plates. The same goes for type or hand-lettering, which I didn’t know before. The theme here was bromeliads, but we were allowed to branch out to similar flowers in addition. Aiming for a well-rounded, thought-out design, I drew little fairy-like characters in pictures that matched quotes about flowers and love on the edges of the plates. Due to limited space, I didn’t hand-letter but used a script font instead. Each plate has a different background pattern, matching one icon in the main image. The review made me reconsider my background behind the plates, as its mood does not exactly match that on the plates, but I thought it would make a nice contrast. I envisioned a child sitting at a table with this grey gingham tablecloth, in a stern, rigid kitchen setting, with his mother telling him to finish his food. The plates would provide the playful contrast to this, a pleasant distraction for the child.

For now, our task is to design a unique bird character for use in assignment # 3, to be revealed tomorrow. I have been working on a chicken but I’m considering giving her a bird friend…I’ll see. In any case, I’m quite certain that next assignment will involve drawing the cover of a children’s book with our bird character(s). And since I’m currently working on a book already (albeit a cookbook), that subject couldn’t come at a better time!

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