Aesthetically, I've always incorporated my design sense into Space Moderne, but the last month I have been using my skills as a print designer to create a series of illustrated drawings done in Illustrator. Earlier this summer, I came across a few plastic stencils in my mom's things that she had saved. They were silhouettes of simple Hawaiian quilt patterns. My mom, a visiting tourist from Michigan, met my dad on the beach at Waimea Bay back in the 60's and the rest is history. She lived in Hawaii for over 17 years, but ultimately found her self living in Miami, Florida. Although she no longer lived in Hawaii, her heart never left the Islands. As I cleared out her home after she passed, I found a life-time of things collected and many of them were from the days when we all lived on Oahu and Maui.
I have always loved the bold graphic patterns of the traditional Hawaiian quilt. When I looked at her stencils, I figured out that she had plans of painting some patterns on her kitchen tiles. I decided that I would take a crack of drawing some patterns myself, first using pineapple, a symbol both important (I discovered) here in Maryland and in Hawaii. For Hawaii, the representation was obvious to me, but for Maryland, I learned that the pineapple symbol dates backs to colonial America and stands for hospitality.
What a wonderful representation, I thought, and I began to work on a design that incorporated a pineapple. The outcome was delightful and I posted it on Facebook for friends to see. Next to follow was the Breadfruit and Ginger plant, both tropical plants found in Hawaii. I made a couple of different versions of the Ginger plant and ultimately stuck with one type knowing full well that there will always be the opportunity to draw other species. Also in the mix, was a complex Hibiscus flower pattern which I will continue to work on until it is just right. In the meantime, I've drawn a nice single stem to use for now.
I am really looking forward to using the illustrations and incorporating them into different hand crafted items in the studio. I figure the possibilities are endless and I can't wait to see what will be done with them. I also look forward to adding to the collection by drawing more quilt patterns.