Friday, March 30, 2012

Socked Out

The semi-local (Portland) company, Sock-It-To-Me produces fun patterned socks, of which I own, at last count, 8 pairs. Each year they hold two design contests. The first is Portland only. The second is open to the rest of the globe. I got off my duff and entered 4 patterns this year, although I actually sketched up about 14 different ideas! I ran out of time to work up one more for entry so will have to save them for next year.

I have to say, I'm really fond of two of my designs. Sadly, however, the release of the finalists on Facebook today revealed that none of mine were selected. Usually when I enter a contest, I look at the finalists and think mine didn't even come close in quality, execution, or concept. Looking at the positives, at least I can say that I think my skills have improved (and maybe my confidence) enough that this is the first time I feel that my two favorites are at least on par with those selected. In all honesty, I still like my two favorites better than almost all the ones they did select as most of them this year aren't something that would entice me. This wasn't an exercise in futility either as I used this contest as an opportunity to work on my Illustrator skills. I am pleased to say that I learned more about layering and grouping options and finally started understanding clipping paths.

Rules for entry: no more than 5 thread colors, 5 entries max per person  (note, these are quick edits of the pictures I had shared on FB, so I'll try to upload nicer looking images out of Illustrator soon!)

My favorite design: Blaaack Sheep

My second favorite design: O'zapft is!

Design 3: Strawberry Fields
Originally, I wanted this design to feature both solid strawberries and and half strawberry slices. However, due to the nature of sock design, you can't do shade blends and it turns out that bi-color strawberry slices are VERY hard to draw and not have turn out to look like vulvas. I was tempted to put little green stitches/dotted lines as a diagonal pattern but A thought it was better plain so I left well enough alone.

Design 4: Scurvy Warrior
I like the idea of a citrus sock and this went through at least 3 or 4 layouts. I liked the idea of having stripes as well as the citrus slices and this was the best I came up with at the end of the night. I'm still not sold on this design but felt it wouldn't hurt to submit. (And I can't tell thanks to my crummy monitor, but on mine, this sock is composed of lovely, soft and kind of retro-70s feeling colors. On Facebook, they look eye-bleedingly bright.)

And if you're curious which of the finalists I do like, they are: the sloth, the leiderhosen (although I like my Oktoberfest better as it's more a universal sock), the constellation (I will BUY these if they make them, this was one of my ideas but I decided not to execute one as it would be less interesting from a learning Illustrator standpoint), and the alphabet ones. The firebird is pretty but I most likely wouldn't buy it. While the water lily is pretty, so many of their socks are on blue or teal backgrounds and it's just not a color I'm drawn to wearing on my socks a lot.

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