Once upon a time, I went to Disneyland.
My friends and I spent a day driving from Utah to Southern California, and another day driving back. It was my first visit to a Disneyplace, and while I definitely had fun, I have to say that what impressed me most was...the colors in the desert.
I came back with my head full of muted colors, spare landscape, subtle textures, open sky. I could see the colors in the desert like I'd never seen before. Orange rocks in St. George, muted green sagebrush and Joshua trees of the Mojave, watching the air turn periwinkle blue with the twilight.
My head was still full of desert when I came back to BYU and found out that my first assignment for Spencer Nugent's sketching class was to design a pair of shoes, based on a concept of our choice. Guess what I picked.
Thumbnailing was an absolute blast. I used my favorite Prismacolor colored pencils to explore the characteristics of each type of desert and how they could be incorporated into a shoe, then scanned and compiled the pages and narrowed down my focus on Photoshop.
I wanted to retain some of the looseness of the thumbnails in the presentation page, as well as represent the design inspirations with a contextual background.
It was also fun to create all three colorways of the shoe, each with its own color palette and stitch pattern. Bonneville features the geometric pattern of crystalized salt, Mojave sports a three-fingered filigree inspired by sagebrush leaves, and Moab highlights the swirling motif of long-petrified sand dunes.
Like I said, this project was a good time. At one point, I was feeling extremely optimistic and wanted to make a pair of these desert shoes, but a bit of poking around on the internet told me I don't yet have the knowledge or skill to do a good job at it right now, though I want to give it a try in the future when I get some more time on my hands.
But in the meantime, this concept has morphed into a desert backpack, and with my up-and-coming sewing skills...I think this one will be a reality.
Until next time, Southwest desert. I'll see you soon.