THE PROCESS OF CREATING A SILK SCARF - PART 1
One of the things that made me fall in love with silk scarves was their structure and the fact that each and every one of them is a wearable work of art. Even if they are hand drawn or digitally drawn, the amount of time, from the first sketches until it is hanging in the shop, can take months. That is one of the reasons why high end fashion silk scarves are timeless and seasonless!
My specific process starts with letting inspiration guide me. It could be traveling, brainstorming with a friend, museums, books… Anything that stimulates me and gives me an immediate feeling. This process can take one week or one year. Sometimes I’ll have a wonderful idea but I would not have a clue even how to start to paint it. Sometimes I will just see the colourful design ready in my head and I will just have to sit and paint it down. This process is unexpected and that is how it should be.
Otherwise, we will always produce variations of the same thing.
THE ARTISTIC PROCESS
What is so wonderful about the silk scarves is that they have a closed shape. A square. This square becomes the artist’s freedom and boundary. Everything has to happen inside that shape.
Now comes the question of the structure of the scarf, that for most cases has to be premeditated. As you probably noticed, I like to make an unequal image. I think it gives the scarf spontaneity and it does not look artificially. Of course, it can take hours and hours, but in the end, it is worth it.
When I start to paint, I try to find the right language for that specific design. Because I come from the “Graphic-designer” world and not the “Illustrator world”, I tend to start and paint directly on the computer. For many cases it is exactly the effect I am looking for, but sometimes I would like a more “hand painted” look and then I would paint on my Wacom tablet, which is a painting technique I completely have fallen in love with.
For those who doesn’t know the difference between an Illustrator and a Graphic designer: An illustrator is a painter. Normally would paint his/her designs on paper and then would give it to a graphic technician to scan it in a very high resolution. Then the technician would perfect it as much as possible, add colours and it is ready for printing.
What does that mean? It means that the moment you scan your work you have to work on it like a picture – with Pixels (not Vectors). You have to paint your art work in the real size! Later on you cannot enlarge it because it will pixelate and it would look not sharp. That is the biggest problem with scanning your work. It is not flexible.
On the hand, a graphic designer could also be a painter, but he/she would paint directly with vectors. That means that they will paint directly on the computer in a way that they could make their artwork bigger or smaller without losing the quality of the print. The program lets you enlarge or reduce your painting without losing the proportions and sharpness of your image.
Now we arrive to color separation. The Vector method was invented for the old way of printing, which is Screen-printing. Screen-printing is a very complicated and time-consuming printing method, because one has to print each and every color with a different screen. If one is to make a mistake in one of the colours, all the previous work goes to the garbage… But! With screen printing one can get more bright and shiny colours and better color penetration to the other side of the fabric.
That is why, a vector base painting would never look light an oil painting for example. Because of the color separation.
Both methods have their strong and weak sides but for me it will always be better to paint with Vectors. I like to keep my options open. Be able to change the sizes of the elements I paint.
As I was born to a mother that owns a silk-screen printing factory, I find the Vector way more beautiful and efficient. From my experience, this method brings much sharper results when printed on fabric and there for higher quality of image.
Stay tuned for part two where I’ll continue writing about the process of creating a silk scarf!