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really enjoyed “The Shape of Water”. We all know the best versions of “Beauty and the Beast” are the ones where there isn’t any transformation. I’ve always thought there’s no need of it. But this doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy Disney cartoon, like all of us I think.
Guilliermo Del Toro created a fairy tale delicate and rough at the same time, as every real fairy tale should be. It inspired me to create a new pattern. An aquatic pattern.
I studied carefully the original movie poster, an illustration representing Eliza and the Creature hugging underwater surrounded by floating seaweed. Seaweed had to be the main element of my composition. I sketched some of it taking inspiration from the poster. However I colored it black and white.
Use of colors is a main element of the movie. Most of it it’s green. Everything is green, it’s the color of normality, in every way. But then red pops out. Gradually, as romance between Eliza and the Creature grows.
So I knew I needed a red flower. I wanted flowers with a floating shape, something which could remind me a kind of aquatic vegetation. The chosen ones were two Iceland poppies I spotted recently in my Milan. Then came the difficult part. I didn’t want anything green in my pattern, but being this and red the main colors of the movie I couldn’t choose. In the end I opted for white cause always in my Milan I spotted some beautiful magnolias which reminded me sea anemones.
After I had finished my composition, I also worked on a black and white pattern only with the seaweed. I really enjoy how it floats, don’t you?
I usually don’t watch vampires movies (sorry but they’ve been pretty used and abused), however I was drawn by Ana Lily Amirpour’s first feature, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”, dated back 2014. It didn’t disappoint. A vampire girl hunting on men who abuse women? In a decaying small Iranian town? I’m interested.
I started my project creating a pattern. I drew four tulips of two different colors, two light blue and two red (we’re talking about vampires, after all). I matched them with a huge white beauty I had already sketched and used for another pattern (don’t know how this flower is called). Then, to add the final touch, I used my beloved black and white leaves, but only in the background, to let my flowers steal the spotlight, as they always do.
Then I worked on the illustration inspired by the movie. Of course I sketched the girl, the main character of the movie. I mean, she’s such a powerful presence: sliding in the night (when she’s not skating), dressed in her black chador which incredibly reminds a cape (she’s a vampire, after all), under which she wears a striped t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. In the end I used my pattern as background for my illustration.
And remember. If you see a skating girl dressed in a black chador in the dead of night, beware.
One day I took a decision. My pattern had always been beautiful but extremely simple, being usually composed by one flower. I realized it wasn’t enough. I needed to go on and try myself creating something more complex. So this pattern was born, the first of a long series I hope. Poppies, carnations and bellflowers in the same pattern. I’m not completely satisfied by it, but it was the first and I can improve. Indeed I think it’s more beautiful in the close-ups, don’t you think so?
Being a movie geek, I asked myself why don’t use movies as inspiration for my patterns? So here we are. “Annhilation”, Alex Garland’s latest flick, came out on Netflix earlier this year. I fell in love with his previous feature, “Ex Machina”, so I was excited to see what he’d have delivered next. I didn’t love “Annhilation” as much as “Ex Machina”, but it struck me with its complexity and unusual takes on themes like self-destruction, mutations and doppelgängers. Inspired by the mutant plants seen in the movie, I decided to create a botanical pattern. I like seeing it as a rare example of plant which grows without interruption and eats all the available space with its branches covered with lichens and its multiple and colorful flowers.
In the movie you can spot more than once walls covered with lichens in many different colours, so I drew a couple of tree branches covered with it. While I kept them green, for the wood I opted for black and white. Then I started thinking about the flowers. One of the main themes of the movie is that everything is always mutating, so I chose very different flowers but originating from the same plant.
I searched for inspiration in my library and then found the perfect two among the pictures I took in London last summer. First a lily in a very light shade of pink, with its buds in a darker one. I left the stems black and white. Then a small group of orange flowers (don’t know the name) to which I added some thin leaves, almost grass-like, always black and white. To finish I added my favourite light blue wildflower you certainly spotted in many other patterns of mine!
My pattern was completed, but I wasn’t done with the movie. Its creatures struck me as well. I had to draw this deer half plant, with all those flowers covering its antlers. I think it’s incredibly dreamy and elegant, don’t you?
I love yellow. And there’s nothing like a yellow flower. They’re always able to put a smile on my face. I always enjoy drawing and coloring them with my pencils. One day I started sketching some yellow open tulips and then decided to make a pattern with them. I added some green leaves to give some contrast, but in the end I decided to make another pattern also with other flowers. While for the tulips I had to search on internet (I’ve only close tulips in my library), I was able to find the others in my library. So I drew some blue wildflowers I spotted while in London and then a white beauty I saw while in Athens. Don’t know how this white flower is called, but it enchanted me with its star-like shape.
And of course all this yellow can’t help to put a smile on my face every time I take a glance at it.
For Fashion Revolution Week, I’ve been featured on Biomaterra as one of the young emerging designers trying to make fashion in a sustainable and responsible way. They interviewed me and also took some pictures of me and my works. It was incredible, we had an amazing time and a lot of fun! Thank you again for this honor!
Check out their Instagram stories to see my full interview (Italian version only) https://www.instagram.com/biomaterra/?hl=it
Also read their post on Facebook (Italian version only) https://it-it.facebook.com/biomaterra/posts/506135696448435
You can buy my blue butterflies kimono at https://shopvida.com/collections/cecilia-battaini
Photo credit: Paola Parotti
Spring came late this year. This made me so unhappy. I’ve already told you many times, there’s nothing like spring to me. The world suddenly becomes warm and colourful. Well, this year here in Milan we had to wait. Early spring flowers bloomed a month later than usual. I love the first spring flowers. They stand alone seen that the others aren’t so brave to bloom when the temperatures aren’t already warm enough. I decided to celebrate these survivors with a pattern so I drew an iris (spotted in Milan last year) and some magnolia buds on their branches (spotted in London last summer). To finish I add some yellow wildflowers and green leaves I had already drawn before.
Does it give spring vibes, doesn’t it?