This week I mostly regret making the joke about technology, because this week everything has gone so wrong! However, it has made me re-evaluate a few things and given me a bit of a wake up call about backing up my work! That being said, I have kept on persevering through with other parts of the project that I could work on, despite the (mostly) technical mishaps. I feel this image sums up the week I have had, mixed with the fact my macbook stopped charging, and there was a two hour period there where I didn't know if it was the macbook (with only 9% battery and all my files on) or the charger. Luckily it was the charger and I have a new one on the way, and all of my files are now 100% backed up!
I bought fabric which has been specifically coated for sublimation printing and really hoped this would work with the pattern to give a more vibrant look. I wanted to experiment a little first with the shapes and the sizing of what I had already on the scuba suit, as I just felt like they almost had no personality? Like they are missing the "thinglyness of books" I am hoping to achieve through both the digital and physical design language. So I set about trying to create a variation of the prints to try out on the suit. I also thought it might be an idea to develop a darker version of the suit, for children who like to get messy, as white isn't an easy shade to keep looking fresh after a few washes.
I decided to try testing the prints with the sublimation fabric as I had arranged to meet Ruby at the Dreamland studios this week to try out the overlockers to see if I can get a better finish. Unfortunately the combination of the fabric being a texture that doesn't really show off the print well and the new prints, the quality wasn't what I was expecting or hoping for.
I printed full sized versions of the samples too, I thought by taking these to Ruby at Dreamland I could ask expert advice from someone who has been through this process with printing in the past, especially such vibrant colours.
As you can see in comparison with the previous prints on the scuba, it really has not been as successful. I asked Ruby's advice and she explained that using an overlocker with the scuba and jersey combination would be really difficult due to the tensions needed for the different fabric, so finding an alternative would be ideal. I also asked about the ribbing for the cuffs, explaining that I was looking for something more fine sweatshirt like and she recommended Vend Fabrics. So I will definitely be checking this out later!
Also being in her studio has given me an idea for creating something similar with the triangle vinyl's she has on the wall for my final video! So this was a really positive visit. We discussed more in detail what I was hoping the final prints to look like, which was a good pick me up and inspirational talk that got me realising it might be a time to go and look at some shapes!
*also* the QR code on the first print has come out really well and it works. This is how I am thinking to connect the suit to the app with an inside label. I have worked within a branded fashion company and interned at Dreamland for a few years so understand with textiles etc... the details are important, and I want to use these to add to and enhance the experience.
The next step
After what felt like a print failure at the start of the week, I decided perhaps it was time for a bit more inspiration with the pattern and shapes for the final suits, and I know the David Austen exhibition at the DCA just opened as I was working the opening and got a bit of a walk around with the curator last Friday. "Underworld" is all different elements of Austen's practise to create another world almost. With my current game concept being about the world, and with the shapes and colours etc... that I saw briefly during the opening I thought it could help to inspire some further exploration.
It's actually quite interesting to see the parallels between underworld and what I am seeing in my head about play.world and currently felt unable to get on to paper. I do really appreciate the very free-hand nature and colour
It is actually this part of the exhibition which possibly inspired me the most. This is a font which has been made especially by David Austen for his work and the world's he has created. This has got me thinking more about the font I have created and how potentially I could use the shapes which I have drawn (that were based on the original graphic shapes) and replaced some of the punctuation in my font for. How would these look as patterns?
The dark prototype
I am mostly convinced it is the pattern which makes the dark prototype less appealing visually that the light version. However practically (dark colours being better for kids getting messy) and with me hoping to involve different "fascias" the way this is offered in most pieces of tech such as phones, smart watches, laptops etc... as a way of customising the tech, it has got me wanting to explore this a little more too. I have mocked up the activity tracker of the app in black, to get an idea of how an alternative / custom option could work.
I have a lot to get sorted in the next few days, but I am really excited because things do seem to be coming together (despite the hiccups) quite nicely. I am going to focus more on the game play in the next few days, developing the app further and also developing the new prints. I urgently need to find fabric that can work with the sublimation print and has a bit of weight to it so that it sits well and is a more robust fabric. I am thinking some kind of shell suit / tracksuit style fabric. I am pretty sure these are polymer based, meaning they should take the print from the heat press pretty well.
I have a testing session in 10 days, so the aim will be to get the sensors in to the suits and as much of the app finished as possible, to get the best possible results from this session