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FIRST BLOG POST: Personal Costume Design Project

Blog post, yay?
After some encouragement from my art friends, I decided to open up a blog as a part of my website. The main reason for this is that a lot of what I do does not exactly end in a "finished" product or a fancy illustration. So to be able to share more of what I do, having some blog posts with my process seemed like a good idea.
The main project I assume I'll be sharing here for now is my personal costume design project. The project is based around one of my favorite fantasy books called Sabriel by Garth Nix. He has a 3 book series around Sabriel and a few singular books as well - that are most often referred to as The Old Kingdom. For now my project is only focused on Sabriel but with the possibility of expanding further. I just recently got into the realm of costume design - but looking back I have realized that it has always been a strong part of what I draw. Character designs since I was young had the biggest focus on the costume, the outfit and how it portrayed the character best through that. I did even start a degree at becoming a dress maker but soon found out that sewing was not my cup of tea and went into illustration instead. Through the wonderful help of my mentor Jessie Kate Patterson - that I met through the Oatley Academy - I have been fortunate enough to learn a lot about costume design and how to apply it in this past year or so.
Right now I would love to gain more experience in costume design, both in animation, film, theatre and games - and hopefully be able to work within that field in the future. I'll try my luck applying for a master's degree for next year and see where it goes. I started this project last year but then felt very uninspired to continue, but I have found a small spark again and have revisited it now. My first few steps was to re-read Sabriel of course, make some notes and look into the story and how it works and how it can affect the costumes - or more how can you portray the story through the costumes. How can a costume deliver a message, an emotion and support the story in the best possible way?
With the help and long talks with my mentor, I started exploring the themes and styles that felt suitable for the story and gather reference and research (which is in fact one of my favorite things). With small steps I started building up an idea of a wholesome fashion that might fit this world and started exploring with different areas and culture that is mentioned in the books. Here are some of my first studies within the themes I chose; England 1910-1920's - Fantasy - Apocalypse. These were all themes I felt resonated with the book and used them as a guide to start exploring. At first researching what other people had already done, and researching historical costumes I made my first studies. Some of my inspirations came from things like Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, The 100, Firefly and a looot of pinterest reference.

During these explorations I also felt that some more Scandinavian element might be fun to add into it, both because that is where my own culture lies and want to explore more, and also I thought it might be a nice little twist to more "classical" themes.
After some time of research and studies I started bringing these elements together - I made sketches and designs of costumes inspired by more than one of the themes and slowly wove them together. I often liked just putting a splash of watercolour on the page and then finding a form in it for inspiration for the silhouette. After a lot of these sketches you could feel a style emerging inbetween them and I could start choosing drawings from there that I thought fitted into the Old Kingdom.
From there I started to group together further outfits that felt like certain sub-groups, different culture, cities, classes and so on but I'll go further into that next time. Just gonna keep it short for the first blog tryout. Hope something in here might have been of interest :)

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