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    News — collection

    The Pixeled Apart Collection

    The Pixeled Apart Collection

    My Loves. This week we released the Pixeled Apart collection, which is made up of a pocket design T in black AND white, a skater dress and skater skirt. I hope you've embraced them as much as I loved designing the items. We were also able to do an incredibly fun photo shoot to launch the collection. I couldn't be more happy with how the images came out and how much they really elevate the line. 

    Before we get into the shoot, let's talk about the conception of the collection. Admittedly, I wanted to do some pieces around Valentines Day and I wanted to get them out into the world well before the actual holiday so everyone had a chance to get their hands on them to HAVE them that day if they wanted. I've actually had the design in mind for awhile. One of those ones that popped into my head and I banked it away for the right time. Valentine's Day season is an obvious choice, it's a pixel heart after all. Of course if you're not into the holiday as a whole or if it's already passed, these babies work all year round. 

     

    I started the design on my iPad Pro in the Affinity Designer App, which I'm loving both the device and the app but that's a post for another time. The concept was simple. We've seen pixelated art before, and definitely pixel hearts, but I wanted to explore the pixels breaking apart. Call it a broken heart for the digital age. I've always been fascinated by hearts in design. In my more emo days I did a lot of mutilated heart designs, a heart cut by a razor blade, a heart electrocuted. I'm not quite as angsty at the moment but they still conjure strong visuals. The fact that the symbol that we've all come to understand represents a heart looks almost nothing like the real anatomy of a heart is a trip. The power of strong design influence. I felt like a lot of people could gravitate to a pixelated style design with the digital influence on pop culture and because dammit it looks cool. I also had a haunch that heartache is something that resinates with... most everyone. The colors I chose are close to my heart, purple being my favorite color. I like to use red as more of an accent color in my designs. Love comes in all colors. But I really paid attention to the values, creating a complementary coral like red instead of a brighter, true primary.

    I was originally planning to shoot these products in a light hearted and obvious way on a couple playing up the love and Valentine's day aspect. In coordinating the production logistics, the shoot took on a different turn and I reimagined the concept. I had the idea to turn the shoot and the whole collection into a more empowered message. Probably because I've been listening to a lot of self help podcasts but also because I think that's what we all need right now. Having a significant other is cool and all but we should all start thinking of our own damn selves as the love of our life. Think about it. You're in control of you. You never have to worry about breaking up with yourself and you can just stay in love, having your own back for all time. With a lot of my designs and this one especially I want people to kind of take their own interpretation. If you do resonate with the heartache at this point in time, I encourage you to look it as a symbol of strength through change. It's hard. I know that heartache. But it's important to acknowledge it, learn from it, own it and maybe make some art out it. Just don't let it keep you down forever, love yoself no matter who else decides to or not to. 

    Another perspective you can take away with this design is imagining those little falling pieces spreading out into the world to those that need it, those that don't but you still want to give it. If you've got a lot of love to give it's a cool thing to spread it around. Without expectation of getting it back. It feels good man and we can't seem to get enough in this world. Did I mention I'm on that self help podcast game? 

    These concepts felt really right and it influenced the mood of the accompanying photo shoot. My wonderful friend Alissa agreed to model the pieces for me. She's obviously beautiful and for those who know her personally know that's an understatement in reference to her entire being. Inside and out. She was a perfect fit and really embodied the strength and empowerment I envisioned for the line. In comes the smoke. I've been wanting to do a shoot with smoke grenades for so long. To be honest, its seemed like a big undertaking and any time you introduce uncontrolled elements to a shoot it can be challenging to say the least. I did a bunch of research on the technical aspects of shooting and I think I was pretty prepared. Ultimately you have to go with the flow of the smoke, prepare your talent and shoot FAST. 

    The pigment of the smoke was a lot more vibrant than I expected and I was LOVING it. My only regret is not having twice the amount of grenades. I bought a pack of 6 which was totally necessary to see how the smoke would behave and do some trial runs. 

    I happened to have the pink puppy bubble gun from a previous shoot. I just wanted it for the bubble action, the gun was never in the shots before. But when I went searching through my trunk of props, I realized the pup was perfectly in theme and primed for it's prop debut. 

    This whole launch has worked out really well from logistics to inspiration and really affirmed why I do what I do. I myself am feeling very empowered to do more and more big concept designs/shoots. Hope you're all loving the love, I'd be grateful to hear you thoughts on everything. How do you interpret the Pixeled Apart line?

    From my 8bit heart to yours,
    Jess 

    Fall to the Beat

    Fall to the Beat


    Now that all of the items from the Fall to the Beat collection have been released I wanted to take a minute to tell you all about what inspired these pieces. Music and all things musical. You might be aware that for the past year I’ve been taking music lessons, specifically vocal and piano. I have dreamt of playing an instrument my entire life and had never truly stuck with anything to become even decent at it. I’ve always looked at singers as the just about the coolest people in any room. After a slough of failed attempts at instruments that included guitar, bass, ukulele, drums and harmonica I’ve finally committed to voice/piano. Not to say I won’t revisit those ghosts from my musical past some day, but I’ve gotta stay focused to make some progress here.


    I have always intended for Sugar Bunch to be an outlet for my creative expression and to encourage the expression of others. It seemed to make sense to combine the two. Really it was the only way I could keep my head from spinning off when trying to pursue this much artistic output. In that first year when the new learning seemed particularly challenging I was able to channel it into something familiar like design.


    The Be Sharp pencil skirt was the first design that was created with the collection in mind. It’s of course inspired by the instrument I’ve picked up. Like most of my designs, some vintage/retro elements influence the aesthetic. Piano keys lend perfectly to a geometric art deco style. The piano feels like a classy instrument and with the pencil skirt you can dress it up with a blouse or get really casual with it.


    This collection was released a bit differently than the summer line in that each piece launched separately over the season. I did this in part to just try a different approach but primarily because it was really important to me to shoot these items on actual musicians. People in my life that inspire me to want to grow in music. That meant working around their schedule and sometimes their gigs. Sapphire Sandalo is a singer, plays piano, and writes and composes music for her video. She was the perfect model for Be Sharp.


    Don’t Play is the only design that has a little bit of color. I actually created it before Fall to the Beat was even a thought. As part of my first Design a Day challenge, I was able to adapt it for the collection. Going forward as I added more items to the line I focused on black and white. I wanted to musical influences be the color. My good friend Emmy (also a musician) was able to shoot her daughter Riley in this top. The attitude of the design felt a little more youthful which was fitting for Riley, a super star singer and musician in the making.


    Tone Death has quickly become a new personal favorite. I’ve really enjoyed the reaction I’ve seen to this design and I think it’s attracted a more diverse audience. Maybe because it’s less feminine in nature? You tell me. Originally I had sketched the bare skull as a logo option for a friend. They ultimately went in a different direction, but I was able to reimagine the idea with headphones. I enlisted Bruce Greene, a singer, karaoke crusher and drummer to rock the dead in the Tone Death pullover.


    I was very lucky to be able to shoot Alanah Pearce in the Space Needle shirt at one of her actual DJ gigs. The idea for the design is one that I had in the back of mind for a long time and finally had strategy that made sense to bring it to life. One that I doodled in countless notebooks trying to get the right angle that would combine the planet and a record player to both come across.


    Of course in any of my collections, my little mews seems to saunter her way in. The Meow Mix design is literally Bella (my cat) laying on a boombox and the name couldn’t have been more fitting. It took awhile for me to get the right perspective of how I wanted her to drape over it but I think we got there. She wasn’t the most cooperative sitting model. I’ve typically modeled my products myself in the past out of necessity. While that was true this time as well, I wanted to inject myself into this collection to solidify my efforts in music over the last year.

    This was overall a very personal project. It was a chance to share my full experience. I will always remember Fall to the Beat as the visualization of the time I took control and started to make my dreams a reality. I’m still working at it so maybe you’ll see more musically inspired designs in the future. And if you have any requests or ideas send them my way! Thanks for looking/listening.

    Chained to your rhythm,
    Jess