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Participating in Design Competitions: Met150, BlickArt and Pebeo

Over the past few months I’ve applied to several online design competitions.  For me, participating in these competitions is not about winning - but rather, it gives me a chance to explore my own creative abilities, design ideas and experiment with new products, tools, techniques.

Here’s a peek at some of my work-in-progress moments along with the finished work that I submitted.

Met150 Design Contest

In April, the Metropolitan Museum of Art launched The Met 150 contest.  The requirements for this contest was to create an original design (in any medium) inspired by one of the Open Access artwork in the Met Collection. Voting is currently open until August 12 - the 10 designs with the most votes will go onto the next round.  The final winners will be selected by a panel of judges which include well known individuals such as Anna Wintour (editor and chief of American Vogue) and Zac Posen (leading designer), to name a few.

You can vote for my entry here: Met150 Starburst Lace Flowers

Met150 Contest - hand painted fabric design | DivineNY

For my design, I was inspired by this original piece from 18-19th century Japan, made with silk metallic thread.

Inspiration used from Open Access Met150 Design Contest |

My Process:

My design process started with a few sketches (1) that I then developed into a pattern on paper (2). I then transferred the pattern to fabric using a water soluble fabric marker (3). Next, I outlined the design on fabric with gold and silver metallic fabric paint, using a paintbrush (4). Finally, I filled in the design with fabric paint (5).

My Design process - from sketch to pattern |

What I loved most about this contest, is that it inspired me to define my own personal design process that I intend to follow, in my future design work as I continue to build my collection of pattern and prints.  For me, having proper processes in place is critical for any type of work - it helps me stay organized and on track for achieving my creative and business goals!

BlickArt - 2nd Annual Mini Masterpiece Challenge

The 2nd contest I entered this summer was the 2nd Annual Mini Masterpiece challenge by BlickArt which called for submissions of small format art pieces.  For this contest, I experimented with Prismacolor Botanical Garden Set colored pencils and fineliners (by Marabou Graphix) and submitted this quick sketch that I first drew with pencil, followed by outlining with fineliner and then filling in color with Prismacolor pencils.  

Prismacolor Sketch - 2nd Annual BlickArt Mini Masterpiece Challenge

What I loved about this contest is that I got a chance to experiment with colored pencils and fineliners, both of which are new mediums for me. I loved working with both and intend to continue my design practice using them.  

You can see the selected winners here.

BlickArt - Watercolor Challenge

Did you know that July is World Watercolor month? Watercolor and gouache is one of my favorite paint mediums to work with (it ranks up there along with fabric paints!).  

See my entry for the BlickArt Watercolor Challenge here

Winners will be announced July 29!

World Watercolor Month - My Entry for the BlickArt Challenge |

Pebeo Mixed Media

The last contest I entered this summer is the Pebeo Mixed Media challenge.  I’m a big fan of Pebeo products. I love painting glass jars, candle holders and wine bottles using Pebeo Vitrail.  

What I loved about this contest is that it pushed me to think beyond the usual of painting glass jars and candle holders and I decided to paint clear glass plates!  

Winners will be announced after July 31.

My Glass Painted Design for the Pebeo Mixed Media Challenge |

My process:  I first sketched my design on paper (1), taped the design onto the back of the glass plate (2) and then applied the gold metallic relief outliner to the design (3) followed by filling in the design with Pebeo Vitrail paints (4).  I decided to limit my color palette to 4 colors. I’m now inspired to create a collection of 4 glass painted plates that I can use in my own home!

My design process for glass painting on a glass plate |

Final Thoughts

Next time you see a design competition posted - I encourage you to apply! Remember it isn’t about winning but rather it is an opportunity to define your own creative process and expression.  Enjoy the journey!


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