Oops. Third post in a row featuring sugar skulls! I just couldn’t resist though. Not long after I finished my sugar skull designs, Spoonflower announced one of their upcoming competition themes as Calaveras and, as I have a real love for the iconic imagery of sugar skulls, I decided to develop my fabric designs further.
It’s been quite a journey to get something I’m happy with. As a crude summary, the day of the Dead is all about honouring and remembering the dead – it’s done in a celebratory and sometimes humorous fashion, as people recount stories and memories. I wanted to try and capture some of this carnival like spirit in my design and (loosely) convey the colourful, chaotic and sometimes explosive nature of life. After lots of versions and discarded doodles, I ended up with this:
But – I don’t think it’s going to be my competition entry. I’m happy with the finished design yet at the same time didn’t quite feel it was ‘me’. As luck would have it, I came across a folder full of drawings I’d done while in China and one was a fairly intricate depiction of a sugar skull. Instead of using more traditional Mexican imagery such as flowers, I’d utilised some of my favourite symbols – lightning bolts and stars. I’d actually drawn the sugar skull for my boyfriend – so thought the natural extension would be to add a ‘she’ skull (I like to call them Zig and Zag, kind of like a skull version of yin & yang). I’ve used a pretty intense abstract background on this one which I’ve also done as a separate coordinate fabric for the ‘creepy’ collection. Much like my other design, I’ve used the intricate patterns to convey the chaos of life but kept it toned down through the use of a mainly monochromatic colour scheme.
A little warning… there is going to be at least one more post featuring sugar skulls in the near future. As mentioned a while ago, I had planned on using some of my fabric swatches to add a little Halloween pizazz to one of my dresses. The dress is suitably pizazzed (that’s a word, right?) I just haven’t got round to the photography part. So I started the post with an oops, and I’ll end with an oops too…