Day 11 follows Brent James and the PENSOLE footwear design students down the final stretch of their class assigned projects. The vibe has shifted and everyone is in laser-like focus wrapping up their footwear designs for the coming day of presentations. Brent gives us the latest look at his IKEA shoe design and finds a little bit of inspiration from a Swedish lake in the process. Continue reading PENSOLE Day 11: The Final Push (By Brent James)…
Walking into the studio today you would definitely see a different scene from the usual. Now that we are approaching the finish line everyone is in attack mode, doing their best to finish all of the requirements. Gripping our no.02 pencils we layout our shoe orthographics with the precision of architects, many doing it for the first time. Lucklily, my background has given me the experience to lay down accurate line work quickly. In this case, practice does make perfect, and the students of Pensole are holding themselves to high standards. We all know D’Wayne Edwards does not ever want to look bad and our work is a reflection of him.
My process involves a few simple steps. First, I finalize my lateral view, a standard in the footwear industry. From there, I create a very loose layout, which tends to come out pretty messy. This is where I figure out the various views of the shoe: lateral, rear, medial, toe down, and outsole. Next, the key is to determine which of the views are the most important to tell the story as well as the details of the design. I then use that sheet as an underlay for my final drawing. Intially, I begin tracing the design using a very light hand. You can always build up the linework, but it is very hard to take away. Then, based on the project, I try to provide linework that matches the essence of the project. If it is a basketball shoe the lines may be a bit more fast and loose. In this case, IKEA graphically tends to be very clean, so the line work matches that aesthetic.
Because I am fortunate enough to finish the orthographics, I can move on to developing and communicating some other aspects of design. I plan on adding an IKEA-like instruction manual for constructing the shoe. I would also like to add some more description of the use and materials of the shoe. We are fortunate enough to have the knowledge of materials and construction from our previous classes and that helps us to describe the project. I also use some time to create a deeper story.
In a previous post I mentioned the IKEA naming system/convention and I choose to name my product accordingly. Since they do not really have a category for footwear, I use their conventions for naming accesories. IKEA uses Scandinavian lakes or rivers when naming these items. Little did I know there are thousands of lakes and rivers in Scandinavia. I do a little searching for names based on root words and have little luck. Then I stumble upon the name Sommen, a lake in IKEA’s native country, Sweden. It is a lake which was “formed” in a legendary story by the foot of a cow, which stomped the ground in anger and that footprint filled with water to become the lake. It is little stories like these that make a story more real because it helps bring the project full circle.
With one more night to go, most heads are down, focused on the paper. We know this is all soon coming to an end, but with this final push we will go out in style.
I would like to give a shout out to a couple fans, Celia and Mrs.D. You should be very proud of your kids.
-Written by Brent James
READ PENSOLE DAY 12: TAKING IT ALL IN
Check out the complete “PENSOLE: By Brent James” series:
> PENSOLE Day 1: Sizing Up The Competition
> PENSOLE Day 2: Are You Ready For Some Footwear?
> PENSOLE Day 3: Get Your Feet Dirty
> PENSOLE Day 4: Time To Get Busy
> PENSOLE Day 5: Road Trip!!!
> PENSOLE Day 6: Design Explosion
> PENSOLE Day 7/8: The Weekend
> PENSOLE: Day 9: Design Is How It Works
> PENSOLE Day 10: Life In Technicolor
> PENSOLE Day 11: The Final Push
> PENSOLE Day 12: Taking It All In
> PENSOLE Day 13: It Doesn’t End Here
Brent James will be exclusively penning for CounterKicks a daily recap of his experience in the PENSOLE Footwear Design School being held June 21-July 2, 2010, at the University of Oregon, instructed by D’Wayne Edwards (Design Director at Jordan Brand) and Matt Rhoades (Former Creative Director at Nike). Follow CK on Twitter and Facebook for breaking sneaker news and exclusive info.