Colour is my Jam....For you it might be words, while others prefer grids and numbers and, to be fair, I can appreciate the words that can provoke a scene where I'm imagining the colours and the grids if they have a nice colourful stripy graph or a pie chart like a colour wheel. And numbers...well, in my mind 4 is sunshine yellow, 18 is French blue. I know not why but you can see how I roll!!
I can’t remember a time when colour wasn’t on my agenda, apparently as a three year old I was picking out my own clothes and persuaded my mother to buy me red shoes to go with my blue coat and my cream beret because I liked the combination. Colouring was my favourite activity. The basic set of pens that I owned were blended and mixed to create new shades and tones until the tips gave up knowing what their original colour was! The changing colours of each season are, and always have been observed and noted in my minds eye, and little details of everyday colour spark inspiration, for example yesterday's discovery of golden fallen leaves and red berries against the grey of a tarmac road had me imagining that this combination of colour might look great as an interior scheme, or the stripes on a new jumper, the contrast stitching on new shoes, maybe a highlight in a tweed fabric! But is this thought process really instinctive or have I learnt to perfect it through my education and career as a textile designer?
When I worked in fashion print design our holy grail was a visit to Paris every September for a forecasting show called ‘Premiere Vision’ The event predicted colour and design trends for 18 months ahead of the current date. Influences of music, politics, the environment, science and innovation all play their part, and as designers we helped to guide those choices, to be bold, not timid with colour and pattern and because of this we would seek it everywhere. Embroidery works in the same way for me, the laying down of colours, often one over another, the textures of the threads mimicking my found objects. What is influencing my choices now? Have I considered their visual and literal impact when I’m putting a piece of work together? Certainly, environment, science and innovation are guiding me but I think those decisions are largely subconscious because actually I’m still being driven by my innate love of colour.
We each have our own unique colour stories being played out everyday, once you start allowing yourself to really look and touch colour and pattern it becomes an instantly gratifying experience.
Green is my favourite colour but it’s number is 3 in my head. Why is red always number 1? Navy blue is 2 🙄 *goes off for a lie down*
Thank you for reading, I'd love to hear your colour stories