my latest design :: geography of my life

i made it to the third round of the printed bolt REPEAT design competition. i'd be so honored and grateful if you'd vote for my design!below is cross posted on the printed bolt

tammie bennett my life surface pattern

tammie bennett my life detail surface pattern design

this challenge was at once exciting and terrifying. the moment I read the details of the challenge, i had a few images come to mind. then as the days went by, i faced a little resistance and a little dilemma. resistance because it's really hard to get personal and put your life out there for all to see. it's hard to put the sum of who i am into a piece of art. the dilemma is an age-old one that i think every artist has come across at least once. a lot of the art that comes out of my head onto paper (or screen or fabric) tends to be youthful, bold, bright and unsophisticated. and herein lies the dilemma. i know the judges for this competition don't have the same taste and design aesthetic as i do. i know that they probably won't choose a fabric that looks like it could decorate a modern nursery. so do i try to make my art more in line with what the judges really like, or do i keep true to my vision? i decided to go with my vision for my main print. i figure if this challenge is about who we really are, then i have to go with my gut. i have to design the raw vision that i saw in my head the instant i read the challenge instructions.

the main print represents so much of my life. i know it looks like sunshine and rainbows (literally), and that is certainly not how my life has been - i've been through more than my fair share of dark and twisty times. but i do choose to live my life focusing on the good, so it made sense to focus on the good stuff for this challenge. the icons in the design may seem common, but each one represents things or people that are important to me. my family, my love of running, my love of the mountains, the sad moments i've survived, the sun and the trees -- they are all in there.

tammie bennett surface pattern design life tracks tammie bennett surface pattern design the secondary print represents a huge part of who i am. i started running competitively when i was 9 years old, and continued to be competitive through most of my life. running is such a great metaphor for life, and tracks are a great way to represent running. we all go around and around in this world of ours. some days i move quickly, and some days i come across obstacles, but i try to always keep moving and pushing ahead. this design also reminds me of fingerprints, topography maps, and clouds. i love all of those images, and they all make sense in representing who i am. i am a dreamer who has made my way over hills and through valleys, and hopefully i've made a mark somewhere.

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