Wednesday, March 27, 2013

freebies // The 2013 Designer Calendar :: April

It's still freezing in Milan, and I'm about to order Nature to let Spring play free and delight us with its warmer temperatures and pretty flowers. In the meanwhile, let's warm our senses with April's gorgeous Designer Calendar freebie designed by the great Onneke

Onneke is one of my favourite designers… I just love the simplicity and playfulness of her work! Her motifs are memorable, modern and whimsical, and are always able to make me smile :)


About Onneke:
"My name is Onneke and I am a surface pattern designer and illustrator. I'm Dutch but have lived in the UK for the last 10 years. I make illustrations, patterns, personalised prints (like family trees, birth and wedding prints) and I also design cross stitch kits.

I have always believed that it's the small things that make us happy. Like letters in airmail envelopes with stamps from far away places. Cups of jasmine tea. Old books and vintage wallpapers. The sound of an old typewriter and the smell of ink. I love simple strong images that become like symbols and I love birds, and trees, and my little home sweet home. I have two beautiful children who inspire me with their brilliant ideas and always remind me of what is really important. When I'm not in the studio you can find me on the beach, out in the fields, or at my messy table with my sketchbook or a little cross stitch project."

Her quirky detail:
"I have two lovely cats who always join me in my studio. One likes to sit as close to my computer as he can get and is known as the Supervisor."

Her favourite Designer:
"My favourite surface pattern designer and illustrator is the amazing Ingela Arrhenius from Sweden. I'm also a big fan of the work of Lotta Jansdotter."

You can download April here or clicking on the download link below the image above, and remember, it can be printed as big as an A3 format (42x29.7cm / 16.5x11.7in). Don't forget to visit Onneke's portfolio to see more of her lovely work.

licensing // MaJoBV for Artscase

Hi everyone,
Finally I can share the great news with you: I've signed my first licensing deal, yaaaaay! Nine of my designs now decorate Artscase's fab iPhone 4/4s cases. I would like to thank the Artscase family for welcoming me to their creative world. I'm really excited and happy to be working with them, and can only hope for my brand new cases to become bestsellers (hehehe). If you like them or know someone who would, share the joyous news :) In case you are interested, you can get the cases here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

contests // DIYcouture :: exotic frog scales

exotic frog scales designed by 2013 © Maria José Bautista V

exotic frog scales {mock-up} designed by 2013 © Maria José Bautista V
(mock-up template courtesy of DIYcouture)

Time for a fashion contest. 
DIYcouture's brief made me wonder of an adventurous exploration of the deep sea and the dense Colombian rainforest. And it is there… among the unique Colombian fauna that I found myself lost in the bright colours and patterns of our many exotic frog species. I had my colour and pattern inspiration when it occurred to me that I could use one more: a repeat inspiration. Shark skin came immediately to mind, especially its particular structure (that I had studied once many years ago while in my bionic design lecture). 

Here it is how I imagine my exotic scale frog would look like…what do you think? 

Please, check my entry in facebook, and don't forget to LIKE it and leave a comment. Thanks! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

101 florals // succulent animal plant (or print?)

succulent animal plant (or print?) designed by 2013 © Maria José Bautista V

A while back I noticed the talented Nicky Ovitt (one of the other designers participating in REPEAT(ed)) had a 101 florals badge on her blog. I was curious to know what it was, and discovered a fantastic collaborative project started by Llew Mejia and Lindsay Nohl where flowers (plants in general) are the main subject of inspiration. I emailed Llew and asked him if I could join their floral quest and he said yes! The design above is my first entry. It was inspired by Fenestraria (a very cute succulent plant). 

Read more about my design and see a detailed view of it here, and don't forget to peek around the blog to discover other great designs. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

contests // auf wiedersehen REPEAT(ed) :(

Today's been a heartbreaking day: I got eliminated from REPEAT(ed). Yes, totally unexpected (especially after all the positive feedback I got). I'm really sorry my journey has been cut short, but I'm truly grateful to Ellen and Madeleine for the great opportunity they gave me (I just wish I had had the time to show you more of what I can do). I also feel very proud to have been among the other 9 talented designers. I'm happy I've met you all and I hope we'll keep on building and nurturing our creative friendship. 

I would like to thank the judges of the first challenge, Michele, Kim and Rashida, and REPEAT(ed) creators Ellen and Madeleine for the wonderful feedback. My journey was short but very valuable and a true learning experience. It's been enriching. 

In spite of the grey day (literally), I got to finally finish Lilla Roger's amazing book (review will be coming soon), and I found the wonderful quote above that filled my evening with hope. Thank you Lilla's mom for such encouraging words. 

press // design juices

A couple of weeks ago I was featured on Design Juices: a creative blog run by Jared Thompson where you can find showcased many inspirational and talented designers, artists, photographers and more. If you haven't already, I invite you to get to read the article to get to know me a little bit better :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

review // project runway vs fashion star

I've been a fan of Project Runway since it started 11 years ago, and every year I'm excited for each new season that comes. I'm also a fan of PR All Stars and PR Accessories, but the original remains my favorite (I just ♥ Heidi & Tim). When Fashion Star came out last year I was very happy to see a new contest dedicated to fashion designers (it is still my dream to one day become one, and I would LOVE to eventually participate in both shows... Am I being too greedy? hihihi). However, both shows are very different, and I've finally decided to share with you my pros and cons :)

Before I do so though, I would like to talk a little bit about each of them separately. I'll start with Project Runway 'cause it is the pioneer after all. Project Runway gives young (and not so young), experienced (and not so experienced) fashion designers the opportunity to show in NY's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week if they are to be among the 3 finalists, and the winner gets many juicy prizes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Super model (and gorgeous) Heidi Klum is both the host and one of the 3 regular judges together with fashion editor Nina Garcia (wich by the way, is Colombian) and fashion designer Zac Posen (up until last season the third judge was fashion designer Michael Kors). I must say, I really like Posen's sweetness and awesome outfits, but miss Kors' hilarious sense of humour.

The designers' mentor is the fabulous style guru Tim Gunn. For each challenge he takes the designers shopping at MOOD and critiques their work in order for them to figure out if they are doing well or not, and decide whether to continue the way they are going or make some changes so that they can 'make it work!' and continue in the contest. During past seasons, designers faced the challenges individually (with the exception of a couple of challenges). This season on the other hand, they've decided to make designers work in teams so that they can experiment what the fashion world is really all about: teamwork. In my opinion, some designers don't really think of this new mechanism as a formative experience, but as an easy way to stay in the game. Why? Because not everyone works or has the same level of taste and skills, and this means that sometimes the best designers get pulled down by the worst ones in their team or the bad ones avoid elimination thanks to the good designers in their team. 

On the other hand, Fashion Star's dynamic is completely different from that of Project Runway, but let's first talk about the changes the show has had this season compared to its first one. This year, model and TV personality Louise Roe has taken super model Elle Macpherson's role as presenter. They both are very beautiful and have sexy accents,  but I must say I prefer Roe's hosting style. She seems much more at ease on the stage while Macpherson kind of looked stiff and not completely involved with the audience. Another thing that changed this season is the stage: it is now simpler (less colorful) and has no distracting dancers in the background. The mentors remained the same, although this time instead of mentoring together all of the designers each has chosen 4 to work with as a team. Now there's team Jessica Simpson (singer and fashion designer), team Nicole Richie (reality show character and fashion designer) and team John Varvatos (fashion designer). 

As part of the program's original format, there are 3 buyers from three of the biggest stores in the US ready to buy, produce and sell the designers' creations. Last year the stores present were Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Swedish fast fashion brand H&M. This year H&M was replaced by another big name, Express. Each week designers are given a theme to use as inspiration to design a garment for S/S in two color ways that then is shown to the buyers, mentors and public on the runway. After the runway, the buyers get to bid for the garments they like and the one that gets it, produces and starts selling it the same evening the show takes place. One of the designers that doesn't get its garment bought gets eliminated at the end of the evening. The winner of Fashion Star will sell its collection in all of the three stores mentioned above.  

Now let's compare both shows:

  • PROs
    • Designers work on challenges: there's an inspiration theme and also a purpose each time.
    • Designers get to not only show their creative skills, but also their pattern-making and sewing skills.
    • Designers must complete one complete look (sometimes the challenge requires to complete more than 1). 
    • Viewers know exactly how much time the designers get to complete the challenge (usually 1 day). 
    • Viewers know the designers' budget for materials, and where they get them (usually at MOOD). 
    • Designers get to experiment with fashion: some challenges are unconventional or avant-garde.
    • The mentor guides the designers and gives critique that allows the designers to reflect on their work without giving them the correct answers upfront.
    • Designers get lots of feedback from the 3 regular judges plus the guest judges.
    • Designers learn how to style their looks.
    • The winner gets lots and lots of awesome prizes, including a cash prize and expensive equipment to develop a collection.
  • CONs
    • The winner gets economic funds to develop a collection, but no assurance that it will be bought and sold by an important fashion store. 

  • PROs
    • Designers have the opportunity to have their designs bought and produce on every episode allowing them to understand if their styles are commercial or not, and what they can do to improve.
    • Designers get to earn money each time their designs are bought after the runway (they don't have to wait to win the whole show to do so). 
    • The winner knows that its first collection will be sold in all three super stores (this implies lots of doors opened).
    • The winner gets a cash prize too. 
    • The winner gets immediate success (that can be maintain afterwards depending on its hard work). Last season's winner Kara Laricks (whose designs are absolutely beautiful and cool) has been able to maintain the success gotten during the show thanks to her dedication, and is building a great career and brand. 
  • CONs
    • There are no challenges, just themes. For example, last Friday the theme was 'sex sells'.
    • Designers only design one garment per runway.
    • The viewers don't get to know how long did it take the designers to create the designs for the runway.
    • The viewers don't get to know how much was the designers' budget for materials nor where they them from.
    • Designers proceed based on their designs, but not based on their total package as designers (pattern-making and sewing skills) because they have a staff of professional seamstresses to rely on. 
    • Mentors', more than guide, instruct the designers which way to go with their designs. Designers can choose to ignore what they say, but the solution is bluntly given to them.
    • Feedback received from the judges or mentors is very limited (or at least that's how it appears to the audience).  
    • Designers must only create commercial (but with something interesting) garments if they want their designs to be sellable. 

Ok... this post has gotten longer than expected. Hope not to have bored you, hihihi. So far these are my pros and cons... if something else comes to mind, I might update it (lol... it might get even longer). So, which one do I prefer? Well... both shows are great and I really like them both, but I think at the end Project Runway does prevails as my favorite one because it is the one that pushes more the designers to excel both creatively and technically. 

(all images were taken from google images and then doodled on by me)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

contests // Tigerprint :: lovely days RUNNER UP :)

Remember my entries for this month's Tigerprint's lovely days competition? My Stitched Love design was one of the 17 designes short listed. Yaaaaay! The winner wasn't me, but I'm still pretty happy to know that one of my 5 entries caught their attention. 

news // first post on Rachael Taylor Designs' blog

click on the image to be read the post

Good morning everyone!
As I mentioned last week, I'm the new Beauty Editor over at Rachael Taylor Designs' blog. Today my very first post goes live, yaaaaay! Don't miss it! Visit Rachael's blog to discover what it is about, plus a simple (but very helpful) secret ;)

images courtesy of 1-agence L'oeil avisé 2-Delo 3-Halley des fontaines

Monday, March 11, 2013

contests // REPEAT(ed) :: Challenge One

The Tourist Guides designed by 2013 © Maria José Bautista V

Hi everyone!
REPEAT(ed)'s first challenge designs are finally live... yaaaay!!!
My entry is the design above... if you want to learn more about it (and see some more pics) click here, and don't forget to vote for me if you think I deserve this month's Reader's Choice Award :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

contests // Tigerprint :: lovely days

Tigerprint's latest brief is all about love... any kind of love: that's what I wanted to celebrate with my designs. 

Together designed by 2013 © Maria José Bautista V

Together designed by 2013 © Maria José Bautista V

Together designed by 2013 © Maria José Bautista V

Stitched Love by 2013 © Maria José Bautista V

I LOVE U by 2013 © Maria José Bautista V

Saturday, March 9, 2013

news // new guest bloggers at Rachael Taylor Designs blog

read more about the whole team here

Yes, that's right! Rachael Taylor (great British designer and teacher of one of my favorite e-courses, The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design) has chosen me as one of the new 4 guest bloggers that will be joining her team from next week on. Yaaaaay! happy and excited me!!! My official title is Beauty Editor  (wow... so fancy!). You can read all about beautifully packed beauty products every Thursday at 7am GMT. My focus will mainly be on their design (packaging, branding, etc) but since I'm I huuuuuge beauty fan, I'll be throwing you a few beauty secrets too :)   

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

contests // MOYO magazine issue #3 :: brief contest runner up ")

Last week MOYO's latest issue came out, and with it a very happy surprise was revealed: I am one of the runner ups in its architecture design brief contest thanks to my Cartagena Soul mini collection, yaaay! 

this is the original design brief I submitted to (MOYO issue #2, p26-27)
I know a runner up is not a winner, but to me every single achievement (even the littlest one) is a winning and a personal satisfaction. 

If you haven't already, add MOYO to your must-read magazines. It is filled with great inspiration, and useful info and tips from some of the greatest professionals in the design industry.

Friday, March 1, 2013

life // Spring

I have been waiting for this day to arrive... finally 

I've been procrastinating for a bit the past two months, but that's going to stop with the eminent bloom of buds. I will start doing all those things I've been saying myself I have to do, and stop leaving everything for later. This weekend I'll define some things and then let you all know, so that you can keep track of me and my development and even 'yell' at me if I don't deliver (hehehe). 

I've been seeing these A Photo a Day challenges (by Fat Mum Slim) for over a year, wanting to do them but there's always something that just distracts me (as usual). I even try last year's November or December's (don't remember exactly), but just posted like 2 or 3 pics. I really want to start and keep working on different creative outlets so that I can keep challenging my imagination and inspiration, so here I go again... I'll set a daily alarm and hope to actually make it all the way through March's A Photo a Day challenge. 

click on the photo to read all about the challenge, the how-tos, and the what-fors :D

Wanna play you too? Visit its post and read all about it. They even have this cool calendar that you can download and will integrate to your own iPhone/iPad, Android (and more) calendars so you will never forget what the daily prompt is... useful, isn't? 

I'll be posting my pics on my Instagram account with the hashtag #fmsphotoaday, so don't forget to follow me to see them all :) And if you decide to join, let me know on a comment where you'll share them so that I can follow your games too!