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Inktober Roundup

In 2009 the rules were simple – make one drawing, in ink, for every day of October. Almost one decade later, what began as an exercise in positive drawing habits for creator and artist Jake Parker, has morphed into a global phenomenon with every-expanding ways to approach and interpret the Inktober challenge.

Prompts are provided each day, some are in a spooky spirit, such as “Spell” or “Drooling”, while others are more irreverent, like “Chicken”. Ultimately, the decision to use the prompts as inspiration is up to the Inktober participant, as is the medium, and how much color is used in the piece.

We’ve rounded up the Brintons Designers’ Inktober pieces and discussed how a daily creative challenge influences their work in the axminster world.

Designer Agnieszka Wojtal created primarily figurative work, utilizing contour lines to create movement within her subject’s luxurious hair. Similar line work can also be found in designer Sam Hoeffer’s Inktober pieces, referencing the line and hatch textures that often add dimension in carpet.

Terrien Hale, designer, did not shy away from color in her work, creating abstract landscapes that might be reworked into a gaming design.

When asked about the Inktober challenge, Kathryn 'Katie' Nehrbauer, designer, stated that drawing on a computer versus paper is always an adjustment, “At first it was a challenge since I've spent so many years drawing on a computer. Things you can easily do on a computer, like erase your work instantly, is not possible when you are drawing on paper with permanent ink. It took a little while for me to get comfortable, but after I few drawings I began to really enjoy it”.

Katie also found some similarities between working in ink and designing for carpet, “I think that with any artistic process, your mind runs on instinct. For me, I had textile design in the back of my mind the entire time. I found myself thinking, ‘Wow, this could be a great rug design’. I also noticed that I approached drawing in a similar way as designing carpet. We design carpet in layers that build upon each other to create a final look. I started each drawing with light marks to outline my basic shapes and then layered different size pens to create the detail and definition that I wanted.” Katie stuck with a black and white color palette, something that rare in carpet design, but found she became more and more comfortable with the limited scheme.

Inktober presents an opportunity for creatives to explore and expand their thinking – Brintons designers can’t wait until next year!

All a Blur

Don’t adjust your glasses. Don’t run to your doctor for a new prescription. It’s not your eyes, these designs from the Brintons archive are just blurry.

We dove into the design library and delighted in the many patterns that had blurriness as a common thread and found, that while “blurry” could be used as a surface level description, the moods that blurriness can conjure in an environment are plentiful.

Blurry can be tranquil and soft, evocative of a foggy morning or a dream-like state.

More literally, a blurry design can distort the barriers between two distinct spaces, creating a setting where people move freely and experience the facets of an area more fully.

Our favorite discovery, perhaps, were the blurry patterns that expressed movement and dynamism. Think of the flash of a taxi rushing by you, or the thrill of a photo-finish. Or even Giacomo Balla’s Dog on a Leash, where his goal was to capture many moments of movement in one frame.

We’ve compiled the highlights of Brintons blurry designs and encourage you to take a look. Browse as slowly as you’d like; no matter what, it will all still be a blur.

The Self-Expression Project Group 5

All in due time: As the year long creative venture comes to a close, the last group of self-expression project designers respond to a more literal representation of time - the sundial. Designers studied the object for two weeks before diving in and translating their thoughts into axminster carpet.

To see the 12 month evolution of the project and a glimpse behind the conceptual scenes, check out Interiors + Sources' article Encouraging Expression here.

"My challenge for this project was to make the sundial into an abstract version of itself. By concentrating on the light striking the shiny gold arcs of the sundial, I was able to abstract the Da Vinci inspired mechanical drawings enough to achieve my final axminster design"

Donna Davis, Senior Designer, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A035680SE

"Natural light, changes in the weather, and even the texture of concrete it laid on guided my color and texture decisions. Studying the angles of the shadows cast throughout the day, I took the literal shapes and twisted them around using different opacities to create layers."

Cherise Porretto, Senior Designer, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A22370ZSE
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"When given the sundial to respond to, I immediately envisioned a casino design with a large and detailed repeat. I wanted to create something that would draw in people’s attention and pique their curiosity."

Solongo Drini, Senior Designer, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A20366ZSE

I was inspired by the sundial’s representation of time. This lead me to think of butterflies and the chaos phenomena 'The Butterfly Theory'. The butterfly wings in my design symbolize alternate theories overlapping each other and the linear angles represent the gnomon of a sundial as they both intersect randomly."

Nandita Gharat-Hurt, Senior Designer, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A034616SE

The Self-Expression Project, Group 4

In group four, three designers observe and respond to an ant farm. Following the project’s overall theme, the ant farm illustrates how landscapes are altered over time. Spatial tension, destruction, movement, and adaptation inspired designers to create three unique axminster patterns.

"The ant farm was something completely different to work with. I was immediately inspired by how the ants acted in ways that seemed both incredibly structured but chaotic at the same time."

Sam Hoeffer, Designer, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A17441ZSE

"Further online investigation led me to learning about the “ant mill” or “ant death spiral” where the ants will follow the leader into a circle going around and around until they die of exhaustion!"

Leah Jack, VP of Design, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A034160SE

"I used this opportunity to express my interest in spatial tension by playing with asymmetrical lines and the layering of organic textures, leading me to create a carpet that makes a bold geometric statement. This truly was an exercise of pure creativity."

Terrien Hale, Senior Designer, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A028844SE

The Self-Expression Project, Group 3

A few months ago the Brintons Americas design team embarked on a journey to prove self-expression is not lost in the commercial flooring world. The team, broken up into focus groups, were asked to respond to a various pieces of inspiration – just respond.

In continuing the experiment, the third group of axminster carpet designers – Rachel Smith, Sara Di Carlo, Susan Draper, Juliana Green, and Kristen Evans – respond to an obscure sixty-two second video.

See the collection here.

Designers pulled inspiration from the disconnected but fluid nature of the film’s cadence, while expressing themselves without any parameters to follow. Each designer seems to be drawn to a different aspect of the video; material contrasts, audible texture, or the overarching theme of time and change.

Interact with the designs on DSO.

“The video inspired me to get away from my desk and design process somewhere completely unrelated to carpet. I needed to step out of the axminster box to create something not just for the sake of flooring but for the sake of invention and beauty.”

Rachel Smith, Senior Designer, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A16725ZSE

“All of the elements in the video experienced some sort of physical change: pieces of paper were burnt or crumpled, surfaces were stained, and objects were moved out of place. I started the process with an image of a worn out piece of cloth and played with movement, color, and depth to achieve my final design.”

Sara Di Carlo, Design Consultant, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A20334ZSE

“I initially went in several directions, seeing the film as both fragmented but rhythmic and displaced but direct. Inspired by the repetition of pathways, I painted with ink and watercolor then drew into it following the flow of edges created by the settled paint.”

Susan Draper, Senior Designer, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A033336SE

“Mixing different organic elements, rhythms and temperatures were the inspiration for this design. I approached this design like a kid making a playful chemical experiment with stuff from his garden.”

Juliana Green, Designer, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A029633SE



"From the beginning, I was drawn toward the idea of combining unexpected elements – the circle shape of the water drain meets lines from the pine straw and the organic volume of the smoke harmonizes with the texture formed from simple tissue paper."

Kristen Evans, Designer, Brintons Americas

Design: Q01/A033094SE

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