'The two great unknowns...'
‘Two Worlds’, by Lyell Watson
The decision to also make the runner up available this year stemmed from the blatant fire that was coming at us from the minute the comp launched.
Not only would the decision of the winning design be so hard to make - but also the legitimate death threats that would come our way if we didn't give the people what they want. You're a damn passionate bunch, I will tell you that much for free and that's why we love you all...
Now let's get in among the runner up design and breakdown why we felt this piece needed to see the light of day.
Two really powerful motifs in concept, but also in the aesthetic application when it comes to producing the piece. We have used similar imagery in some custom designs previously and I know how well they work. There is a great deal of fine depth to the specific designs, without sacrificing that bold design element - to put it in a simpler form; you can recognise those two helmets a mile out.
It's hard when talking through the specifics of a design to reference it being 'less artistically' appealing - as it is in no way a negative. In a way, I love being able to edge these ones through, as it shows that we have not been swooned by the art of a design. This design is the perfect example. It has slightly less refined design imagery, however the components are all there to convey the concept and enough for us to see its true value.
1. THE DEPTH
The piece will be a sculptural design with the design elements on the face, and I think a great feature to this will be the depth behind the helmets - which will allow us to blacken and create that darkness behind the features. This aspect plays into concept of being 'two dark unknowns' that these helmets exist in, as well as just emphasising the design focal point.
2. SIDE DETAIL
Often shrugged off as insignificant padding - the side detail in this design develops the piece into an entire feature, rather than having a nice central element slapped onto a signet.
It's always a hard one to pitch, but if you can't see it now, trust us. It's going to be good, really good.
You'll all see on October 1st, sold for ONE DAY ONLY!
MEET THE DESIGNER;
What do you currently do for a living/study?
I am currently the Marketing and Content Coordinator for Jendamark, in South Africa.
Outside of COVID times, what else do you get up to?
I love to keep busy - so working on the farm, surfing, diving, fishing - if it's in the ocean or workshop - either way I’m happy! I started ByWatson during COVID - being freshly retrenched - it gave me the much needed downtime I needed to focus on something I have been passionate about for a long time. I started off by collecting the recycled & used wooden coffee stirrers from our local cafés and using glue and concept to create recycled wooden rings which people loved! This is what drove me to keep designing!
What was your favourite design (aside from your own, obviously) and who did you think would win?
This is a really tough question because - for me, there were SO many incredible designs. Concepts that were just epic! Choosing one - I would have to say that my favourite was “Bite me” by Emma Ramm – freakin’ loved that design. As for the win - I was stuck between Small world and Half-life as both were solid and well-designed concepts!
Let us know another brand that you follow on IG that our followers should check out...
I am obsessed with Juan Luis Zubizarreta’s work @spanishlordoftherings !! Definitely would recommend people give him a follow!
Tell us why you decided to enter the Crooked Howlet Design Competition, and how you found out about it?
A friend of mine introduced me to CHD some time back and I’ve been obsessed with the work ever since. I would get a notification whenever the page would update, so when the competition came up I decided just to try, not thinking much would come of it - but what a cool platform to design something - especially with no limits. I honestly didn’t even think I would make the Top 50 - let alone become a Runner Up!
Talk to us about your design background, are you self-taught or gone to art school, etc?
I was raised in a family of traditional artists - but I was the only one interested more so in Digital Art & Design. No one taught me how to draw or how to conceptualize art - but I loved it and would often spend hours on Pinterest following pages for inspiration! I started designing tattoos in high school and would often be asked to draw the competition T-Shirt Designs for local surf comps. I’ve always had a love for design and art and during 2017 - an opportunity came up and I was lucky enough to take up a position as the new Graphic Designer for GSM Trading SA (Billabong / Element / Von Zipper etc). I spent a couple of years there before moving to where I am now and haven’t looked back.
What inspired your design? Talk us through the concept and the process from start to finish.
Being very ocean and sea orientated, I'm often down at the beach doing something - be it surfing / diving - whatever. I even have a bell diver tattoo that I based my design off. I have ALWAYS been drawn to Bell Divers but - in the same breath I've also always had a fascination with the stars! So it was a no-brainer for me to take these two concepts and merge them in a kind of a ‘ying and yang’ sense. They are the two biggest unknowns of our world. Essentially two whole entire worlds of their own. They both hold so much beauty and fear, and I think that's really beautiful.
I started with designing each helmet to see if it would work as initially I wasn’t sure if they would - but they seemed to gel so I then just ran with it. It was such a fluid design process from start to finish, the final design submitted was basically the first version I drew up.
What does it mean to you to be Runner Up in this competition?
It honestly means the world, the amount of support from friends and strangers that showed up for my design shows me that I could be on the right track and that I could do it. A big validation for me.
What is next for you?
I would love to keep designing rings and jewellery and hopefully get enough capital and knowledge to grow my own company – it is a massive dream of mine to make quality jewellery that people love.