I have been so poor in regularly updating this blog – as a design student you suddenly have new priorities – school work and finding money to support your work, two things that at times can become very hard to balance especially when you are a 21 year old who just wants to sleep in all the time, go out for a bite, partying and so fourth.

A couple of weeks ago I just finished all my hand-ins for the year. I can now say I have survived third year – bring on fourth year! (no wait not  just yet though lol). I thought taking two papers in semester one this year was hard enough but trying to take four papers, have a boyfriend and friends that are turning 21 as well as trying to find a new job for the summer in semester two has certainly shown many sides to myself – many of which not so pleasant. I have definitely learnt a lot about prioritizing, responsibility and stepping up to my game (and my age – I can be so immature sometimes.)

Something I have randomly learnt from this whirl wind of a year – race. Race is not the only thing that defines yourself in this world. Being a New Zealand born half Samoan, I always felt the nature of my culture made me different from every one else. For some reason I had been led to believe that where you are from was the main element in defining yourself. For my digital design paper I had based my theme on a 2010 trend prediction: Migrant birds. This theme revolved around the idea of migration around the world. The colour palette revolved around the idea of natural yet lively colours, tribal patterns, cultural fusion/division/cross over points and so on.

Pic taken from power point presentation on Trend Predictions.

And decided to use this paper to visit my Samoan side and explore it through my past and my perspective of the culture in design today. For the digital design paper we had to create 4 repeat patterns for fashion that were then to be digitally printed on fabric.

Here are a scatter of gathered images, marks and colour bits and so on that I first began with to form a feel for how to follow my mood.

This is of my good friend Arlene – from an old photo shoot I did of her in High school for polynesian club

Found in some cultural book, I liked the turquoise colours – I wanted to go with a real saturated hue pallette to really reflect the vibrant and colourful cultures – also photocopied some portraits of people in their cultural state…

I really like this pic – there are no words to explain why though..

This was another fav I collected from the book – I absolutely love the colours! the contrast between red and green can be tricky but this is one of those combination’s where it works perfectly

So those images above i just really used to suck some colour inspiration from – and then I went into looking at ideas of physical marks to play with and repeat as well as transfer these colour mixes into..

inital raw marks:

In it’s raw state this was just a mix of charcoal smoothing and gesso painted through pulled it through photoshop to see how I could pull the colours in..

sampling sketch reflecting keith haring – liked this idea of tribal-like marks

woodcut block – reflecting the birds symbol repeated

And then just drew up some of my own symbols – I went to http://www.siapo.com to look over the main symbols used for surface decorating siapo – the symbols reflect things form everyday island life – starfish, birds, pandanus etc

At this point I found I was looking at too much traditional stuff – the whole symbol drawing thing – just wasn’t cutting it for me – but yet I somehow wanted to work this block layout in without making the patterns look like an easy block repeat…

Anyways – would go on posting my developments but that would go on forever – so here’s the finals I came up with:

Pacific Pearls


Fa’a tuli

Cross identities


whilst doing this paper I felt I had to be careful how I went about using these symbols. In the end I ditched that barrier and went with how I wanted to translate my perspective in cultural identity. I then realised that – at the end of the day – it’s not your culture/colour of your skin that defines you – but your character.

Like Martin Luther King Jnr. said, “…will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”