After experimenting with different satanic and occult symbols, I decided to look at goats. Goats were symbols of virility in ancient cultures and after the Christian takeover in the West old Pagan Gods were treated as blasphemous, and now they are thought of as Satanic creatures.
The main reason for my decision to look at goats in particular in this project was that women tend to like animal motifs on products. Woodland animals, such as deer and foxes have been common in surface pattern design in recent years and I felt that goats could work well as the main focus for the imagery in this collection.
I began by visiting Heeley City Farm in Sheffield, to gather some primary research, take some photographs and make some sketches. Heeley is lucky in that it has several varieties of goat, including Bagot, Anglo Nubian, Guernsey and English Goats.
Above: Bagot Goat (Rare breed originally introduced to England in the 1380s)
Above : Guernsey goats
Above: Anglo Nubian
After some quick pencil sketches, I made a detailed fine liner sketch of one of the Bagot goats, as these were the breed I found to be the cutest, with their fluffy coats and long horns.
I then went on to make sketches of other breeds of goats from sources I found online, to practice drawing the different types.
Gradually I began to stylise the drawings, as I thought a stylised design would suit the collection better.
Gradually they became simpler and more naive in style
I also experimented with shape and pattern within the silhoutte of the goat's head. I liked the outcome of this piece, but I thought it would be too complex for a design intended for a small item.
I then edited my Bagot goat sketch on Photoshop to experiment with placing a "satanic" creature against a feminine background. Again I decided that although it worked as a nice image, the design was much too complex for something that was intended for a small item such as a mug or a teapot. I also don't think the image was cutesy or humorous enough for it to create a tongue in cheek/any connection to the metal scene.
Finally I decided that my collection would incorporate a protagonist, partaking in different events related to Satanic or Black Metal culture. I made the decision to continue the naive style I had been developing and create three character designs for my protagonist goat.
Although I enjoyed the crosshatching of the first character, I felt that it would be too difficult to re-create over and over to a high standard, when decorating each set. The middle character I felt looked more like a cat with a goat's head than anything else, but the final goat, which took after the Bagot goat, worked well. The simplicity and graphic design of the character makes it easy to reproduce over and over, but it still looks very much like a goat and its plump body allows it to appeal as a comical and adorable character.