Face Mask Design Contest

Congratulations to Lily Chapman who has won the Southend YMCA facemask design contest. The competition was part of Southend YMCA’s ‘Find Your Voice’ initiative, which brings together a team of young people and professionals to assist young people in having a voice about issues that concern them. Her design is very innovative and has considerable benefits to the community. It has a clear plastic panel over the area of the mouth to help people with hearing difficulties understand more easily what people are saying.

Lily Chapman was the YMCA facemask competition winner 2020. Here she is wearing her winning facemask design
Lily Chapman was the YMCA facemask competition winner 2020. Here she is wearing her winning facemask design

She also created the cool artwork for the printed cotton. It’s an excellent geometric design in fresh pastel colours. There are triangles split into strips, overlapping circles, ‘L’ shapes with striped shadows and lots more dynamic angular shapes. Lots of people say it reminds them of the sweets called Liquorice Allsorts, which is an interesting comparison.

Southend YMCA winning facemask entry artwork by Lily Chapman
Southend YMCA winning facemask entry artwork by Lily Chapman

Congratulations also to the runners-up in the competition. They were Gabriella McCanlis and Nizle Biju. They both entered excellent designs and you can see the designs on the special Southend YMCA website page for the facemask contest. The judge of the competition was Amber Butchart, who is a presenter of the BBC series A Stitch in Time. She is also a fashion historian, so she has lots of experience in choosing the ideal winners of a face mask design competition.

I redrew Lily’s artwork and made it into a repeat pattern in Photoshop so that yards of fabric could be printed to make 100 face masks with it, which will raise funds for the YMCA. Here is a video of me redrawing Lily’s artwork.

Textile designer Patrick Moriarty adapting Lily’s winning artwork for the YMCA facemask design contest 2020

Many thanks to Lydia Kovacs for inviting me to work on the project. Lydia is a costume designer & stylist. She has worked on TV commercials starring the world champion Olympian sprinter Usain Bolt. She has also worked on music videos for Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Roger Waters, Sigur Ros, Little Mix and Cheryl Cole. She has a very exciting job! Here is a photo of Lydia wearing a Paisley Prince Songbook face mask that I designed earlier in 2020. Lydia orginally wanted to use the same shape for the winning YMCA face mask but it was not possible to adapt this style to incorporate a clear plastic mouth section.

Lydia Kovacs, who conceived the YMCA face mask competition, wearing a Paisley Prince Songbook face mask

Althought Lydia was managing the project, Syrie Cox was important in advising and financing the project in her role as CEO of Southend YMCA. Syrie has a big interest in design, which dates back to her time as a very successful fashion designer in the 1980’s. Her fashion designs made a big splash at British Fashion Week and the garments were often seen on TV. Some of her work is in the Victoria and Albert Museum archive.

It’s great that Lily’s design received coverage in the Echo newspaper and the Yellow Advertiser and that there is now a campaign to encourage the manufacturer of facemasks with clear panels incorporated in them. I was very pleased that my name and my brand (Paisley Power) were mentioned in the newspaper articles too. Here is a photo of the printed fabric with Lily’s design. I had the fabric printed in Berlin Germany by Spoonflower printers. The quality of the printing is excellent and the prices are very reasonable.

Patrick Moriarty adapted the artwork of Lily Chapman to create stylish printed fabric
Patrick Moriarty adapted the artwork of Lily Chapman to create stylish printed fabric

When I became involved in the project, Syrie and Lydia asked to make a statement about why I offered my services to the project. I wrote: “I’m thrilled to be invited to contribute to the competition. It’s great that the young people of Essex will be inspired to transform the essential face covering into an exciting artistic statement. My experience as a professional textile designer will enable the winning design to be manufactured as a stylish face covering, so everyone can look great and stay safe.”

There has been a great reaction to viewers of Lily’s winning facemask on social media. Ashley Dalton, who lives and works in Southend wrote: “This is fantastic. You can lip read, and see a smile. Really brilliant. Well done Lily.” Susie Mac wrote: “What a brilliant idea. Hopefully the facemask window won’t steam up. I would definitely buy these.”

The face mask competition project was also a success for Syrie Cox, Lydia Kovacs, Amber Butchart and myself (Patrick Moriarty). Syrie Cox thanked me for providing my design services to the contest. She wrote: “A huge thank you to local textile designer Patrick Moriarty for his involvement in our Find Your Voice competition. He has been busy recreating Lily’s winning face-covering design into a bespoke printed fabric”. Lydia also thanked me for my input into the project. She wrote: “Thank you for your contribution, it’s been a lovely project”.

I very much enjoyed contributing to the design contest. It was great to work with such an experienced team. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of people wearing Lily’s innovative face masks in the future. I hope that her idea of incorporating a clear plastic panel into facemasks will be adopted by face mask manufacturers and self-employed face mask makers. This new design, with its ‘mouth window’ will help many people with hearing difficulties to communicate and interact more successfuly during the lockdown period of the Coronavirus pandemic. The benefits will be most appreciated where it is compulsory to wear face masks in many situations such as when traveling on public transport, shopping in supermarkets and using post offices.

Lily's winning artwork printed on cotton with the FYI (find your voice) logo incorporated in the design afterwards.
Lily’s winning artwork printed on cotton with the FYV (Find Your Voice) logo incorporated in the design afterwards.

Lily’s winning facemask is a wonderful example of combining excellent functional design with stylish artistic form.

Published by Paisley Power

I am a textile print designer and create unique designs for fashion, accessories and home furnishing. I played Keyboards in bands until i was 35, then I retrained as a textile designer. I design fashion prints every day for major international retailers. In 2014 I formed the brand Paisley Power to enable me to promote my designs to a wider worldwide audience. I enjoy introducing new designs to my collection and receiving ideas, feedback and suggestions from my friends and customers. My products have been on display at the Beecroft Art Gallery, Southend-on-Sea since January 2017. Visitors to the gallery buy the products as gifts. The sale of the Paisley Power products contributes to the running costs of the gallery. The best part of being a designer is being inspired every day by all cultures and environments and to interpret them into your own unique creations. In 2018 I developed a unique method of teaching printed textile design. It enables students to create a repeat pattern in less than 3 hours. I began teaching the course at METAL Art School, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK in September 2018. It was a big success with lots of students, who had no previous experience of textile design, producing professional printed fabrics. In 2019 I increased the number of classes to cater for extra demand for tuition. In January 2019 for 20 weeks (one morning per week) I teach my design methods to a group of adults with learning difficulties. I also taught my techniques at a workshop organized by the Guild of Silk Painters, for their members in July 2019. In January 2019 I launched a new design called Paisley Prince Songbook. I originally created the design by drawing it on paper in 2018. It has been extremely popular as printed fabric with customers all over the world. The Prince-theme scarves, cushions, bags, totes and greeting cards have all been selling extremely well. Sales have exceeded 1000 items. The design has been very popular among Prince admirers and followers. The design has unique motifs symbolizing the songs of Prince Rogers Nelson, including purple rain, crying doves, paisley symbols, peace signs, guitars and tambourines. In December 2020, "Paisley Power" and "paisleypower" became registered trademarks with the UK Intellectual Property Office.

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