Blog Hop!

Hi All!

I was nominated A LONG TIME AGO by my lovely friend Janene of Oobop to participate in this little challenge whereby one answers some questions and then passes on the torch, so to speak.

Well I am REALLY behind in my blog reading apparently and so I’m very late to the party but I am no less determined to make up for it so here we go! ^__^

Q1. What are you currently working on?

Pants!! Lots of them!! I haven’t blogged any of them yet but it’s on my to-do list. I have so far made a pair of Burda trousers, a BHL Holly jumpsuit (blogged here) and a subsequent pair of Holly trousers (not blogged yet) as well as a pair of Named Jamie jeans – hurrah! Making pants is ENORMOUSLY satisfying. Even though I’m still nailing down the finishing details, I’ve been getting a pretty darn good fit on all accounts and as my mum says “the rest will come with practice”. Love that – it’s so true! I have been trying not to get caught up in the minutiae, and instead of beating myself up trying to get the details perfect, to just let myself learn naturally 🙂 It’s MUCH more fun that way!!

Q2. How does your work differ from others in its genre?

Work as in sewing? Or work as in work? LOL.

My sewing differs maybe in that while I used to follow sewalongs and pattern trends in the beginning (which really helped me learn), now that I feel more comfortable learning independently as well as confident in the skills I have learned, my focus has shifted more to creating wardrobe items that actually suit my taste and lifestyle. Much more satisfying, although it’s sometimes tough not to let myself be led astray with the latest patterns or trends – that said, I’ve made enough wadders following other people’s styles that it’s getting easier to remember that 😉

And as for my work, well as Janene mentioned, like her, I am a graphic designer and illustrator. I guess where I differ is that much of my work has been focused on packaging design and print, whereas many designers these days are heading to the more digital realm; websites and the like. I have done that, but my true love is ink on paper (or paint on canvas, as it were LOL) 🙂

Portrait of H.R.Giger and Li – watercolour and ink on illustration board

Package design for Western Family product line of teas. Illustration and packaging design for this and many other Western Family product lines by Amanda Russell, through 612 Creative.

Q3. Why do you write/create what you do?

I started this blog as an online journal of sorts – a place to record my creative endeavours. Over time it became rather sewing heavy, so I assume it is perceived as a sewing blog but I don’t hesitate to blog other creative projects if I get a mind to 🙂 I create what I do as a release from projects which are client-driven to projects which are ME-driven.

People often think that having a creative job must be a creative person’s dream come true, and it can be sometimes, but not in the way you might think. Success in graphic design is much more than being visually adept. You also have to be an amazing negotiator, communicator, and compromiser, and at the end of the day, because it is such a collaborative process, success can be measured only in part by (your own opinion of) the visual outcome. The result is that, as an artist, I am often left with a desire to create something that is 100% MY vision. On the other hand, there is often not much remaining of one’s creative energy at the end of the day for one’s own projects. So sewing kind of works for me in that it activates my analytical brain a bit more and tricks me into being creative even when I don’t feel like I have much creativity to give ^__^ (and knitting is just downright therapeutic)

Sedum-progress1

Q4. How does your writing/creative process work?

I take notes for myself along the way so I have something to refer to should I ever choose to revisit a process or pattern. Sometimes (usually with sewing projects) about halfway through, I begin drafting the blog post and then I refine it when I do the final draft. The worst part for me is taking photos – it’s really time consuming and tedious, but of course it is also the best part of READING a blog at the same time – nothing is more fun than seeing pretty pics breaking up those walls of text! LOL. This is where I feel my blog could use the most improvement. It is ironic, really, as I of course possess the skills to design, style and shoot professionally but I fall short when it comes to my own blog, partly due to limitations in my environment, but mainly due to lack of motivation because I actually really dislike being the subject in photos ^__^

IMG_2750

me and my man at a Vancouver Canucks hockey game – because hockey is what we do, and this is how I feel about having my picture taken LOL

 

 

I do not photoshop or enhance my images (even though I could, quite believably LOL). I do correct colour, contrast, cropping, etc, however I make a point to do that as little as possible. If I were a fashion blogger or I was marketing a product, the artistry of the photo would be more important, but for documenting a process like sewing, I believe it’s more important to show it simply.

My process for writing on other topics is different. I will usually get inspiration to write about something, with no warning, and I will just go for it. Generally these types of posts start off being written on my iPhone, edited and posted while I’m on the go.

As for nominations well, I’m not sure if these ladies have been stung by the blog hop bee yet but I’ll take a chance because each of them has inspired me through their blogs and their personalities:

Annabelle because she is one of the most generous and genuinely lovely people I know, and is inspiring both as a person and in what she makes 🙂

Andrea because she is incredibly inspiring and courageous in her creative endeavours and in life 🙂

Sallie because absolutely everything she makes looks like it leapt off the pages of a fashion magazine, and so does she… and her photos are gorgeous 🙂

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About symondezyn

graphic designer, illustrator, and artist of many skills... always striving towards new challenges and goals, and always with more projects than time to do them in!! View all posts by symondezyn

10 responses to “Blog Hop!

  • Annabelle

    Oh, I can’t wait to see your pants posts! I really want to start making pants because it’s hard to find the perfect RTW pair, so making them myself is the perfect solution. I think it scares me to make them though.

    Thank you for the nomination and sweet words. I will find some time soon to prepare my post.

    • symondezyn

      Oh definitely just go for it!! 🙂 I assure you, my pants are not perfect but they are getting worn to death – with even basic fit adjustments, you will find your own pants still blow RTW out of the water 🙂 I highly recommend Simplicity Perfect Fit patterns to walk you through your first try. Also (for me at least), the fit on Burda patterns have been quite good, although their instructions are notoriously sparse lol 🙂

  • ooobop!

    I think you summed up the life of a creative person/master juggler perfectly! I love the way you write. I love what you make and so wish there wasn’t so much water in between us!!!! x

  • Vicki Kate

    You’re art work is amazing! I am in awe of your pant-skills too, they’re on the list of things I want to master, but I haven’t progressed further than PJs yet and lets be honest, the fit of those really doesn’t matter!! I’ve loved this insight into your world 🙂

    • symondezyn

      PJ’s are such a perfect place to start though because pants are so weird, right? and half the battle is wrapping your head around the construction lol 🙂 You could totally do it!! 🙂 Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

  • Tia Dia

    Oh, this is so wonderful to get to know you a bit more! I’m so looking forward to your pants posts, and I agree with you about anything me-made over RTW. I will NEVER go back to RTW jeans again – they are not much more intimidating (!) than pants, and they fit so much better. I love your style, and your whole way of writing on this blog. So nice to see some of your 9-5 work. 🙂 And your hockey pic is hilarious.

    • symondezyn

      Thank you so much Tia – you are so sweet 🙂 I agree, will never go back to RTW pants either – once you experience a good fit, you realize RTW just isn’t worth the convenience 🙂

  • misscrayolacreepy

    You are so talented in so many different areas, Amanda! Looking forward to seeing all your pants!

Thank you for taking the time to comment - I truly appreciate each and every one! :)

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