Colours of 2018

In one of my trips to Helsinki in 2017, I visited Design Museo and in it there was an exhibition of the work of Margrethe Odgaard which investigated colours and patterns. It included a colour diary of various locations where colour combinations found in many places were captured.

The exhibition terminated in a room where the visitor could create their own colour diary in a piece of paper and colour it by hand. Recently I stumbled upon the drafts I created and I decided to transform the drafts I painted that day into a digital memory for myself but of the year 2018. The fact that it is digital and doesn't use tools like pencils, removes the possibility of having a natural pattern creation but netherless I find it visually interesting.

I strongly recommend seeing the original piece of work by Margrethe Odgaard. And thank you for inspiring me to look at the colours of my life.

But this got me thinking about what was the criteria to decide three top colours of each month so I decided to do two things: the top three most used colours of the photo decided by "a computer" and my hand picked choices. This method ended up revealing a couple of things about me.

I don’t like re-inventing the wheel so I looked up if there was any package that was already automatically choose the dominant colours of a photo. I found a package called colour thief.

For simplicity purposes (and because I had no idea what to call it), I will first show the three most dominant colours given by the "color-thief" package which I will call "computer" and my hand picked colours, via a color picker, I will call "my selection". Also the colour names are approximate colour names and not completely accurate. I wanted this to be as accessible as possible but I am not sure if using strange colour names that I don't even know would be helpful at all.

January

My living room with a dinning table, a yellow and grey canvas painting on the wall, a plant in the corner next to grey curtains.

I couldn’t do this from memory so I turned to my phone and opened my phone gallery. I was pretty disappointed at myself. I wanted this to be an exciting task but instead I only found repeated photos of my cat. For example, the whole month of January, on my phone, is 95% photos of my cat. Is that really representative of what my January was like? I decided to pick a photo that I took when I bought a canvas for my living room and a plant. It is a nice photo because it represents the joy I feel when I make my house feel more like a home.

Computer: beige, brown, blue.

My selection: dark mustard yellow, light beige and dark green.

February

Garden table with snow on top of it and cat in the background surrounded by bits of snow.

I love snow. It never snowed where I grew up so I've always been fascinated by it. I know every Londoner hates when it snows but I really don't understand why. I built a little snowmen, drew on the snow, did a snow angel and it was so lovely to see my cat's reaction to the snow!

I picked my colours and compared them to "the computer". I couldn't help but notice that I aimed at the snow and bright colours. It becomes more noticable in the rest of the months that green is also a top pick for me.

Computer: light brown, light beige, dark brown.

My selection: white, green and dark red.

March

Me in Berlin with the TV tower behind me.

In March I did my first visit of the year to Berlin to visit a good friend of mine. I always appreciate that even though I am a nervous flyer, it doesn't stop me from going where I want.

I suppose that on this photo it was hard not to have similar colours to "the computer".

Computer: light blue, dark pink, dark red.

My selection: light blue, dark pink and dark red.

April

Ana holding her black and white cat while wearing a black and white shirt.

April was a long month but it was also one of the month I took the least amount of photos. I have a silly thing: whenever I feel good about my looks I take a photo with my cat. Don't ask me why but I just do it! Also I love that in this photo we are "matchy matchy".

Now looking at the whole page, it is clear that I'm very biased to find the colour green where I can.

Computer: brown, beige, dark beige.

My selection: dark grey, beige and light green.

May

Yellow house in Sweden.

I was torn between this trip or my second visit to Berlin to CSSConfEU. I chose this particular photo because I love the colours of it and how the sky was so blue throughout the whole trip. I love visiting scandinavian countries.

How was yellow not the winner of this photo?

Computer: light grey, dark brown, medium brown.

My selection: caramel yellow, light blue and medium green.

June

Wooden walkway between trees.

Took this photo when I went to Portugal in June. It was an odd month and I needed some time out of London too. I did this walkway with my dad at the time and went to the beach.

I love the many shades of green it has and how me and "the computer" picked different ones.

Computer: dark green, light yellow, medium green.

My selection: light green, medium green and dark green.

July

Ana pointing at a road sign that shows a place called Beer two miles away.

I'm a bit of an idiot sometimes and I usually can't resist to take photos of things that make me laugh (even if I'm the only one laughing!). In July I spent a weekend in Brandscoombe by the beach where I saw many crabs, swam in the English sea for the first time and got a small tan line!

I am not gonna lie. At this point of the challenge I started to be more mindful of my colour selections so I decided not to pick green! I wanted to find other bright colours in it so I chose my flip flops, the road sign and the house.

Computer: dark green, light red, light blue.

My selection: dark blue, yellow and pink.

August

View from Arthur's seat in Edinburgh.

A very special memory for me. Walked all the way via the "hard path" mostly because I didn't know there was an easier one! In August I went to the Fringe for the first time and I loved it! It was a very long and hungover week.

Similar to March, "the computer" and I were on the same page.

Computer: light green, light blue, light yellow.

My selection: light yellow, light blue and light green.

September

Small yellow kitten behind a sign warning visitors not to feed the venue's peacocks.

I love cats and this photo was taken at a wine cellar in Portugal.

I don't remember that month very well (which is weird) but my phone is again 95% photos of my cat.

Computer: medium green, light grey, light yellow.

My selection: light yellow, medium green and light red.

October

Ana being held up in the middle of a crowd in a concert.

This month was so hard to pick a favourite photo! It was my birthday and I spent it in Salzburg. Besides doing amazing walks I also saw one of my favourite bands live!

On that night I discovered that I really like hazelnut schnapps! I had an amazing time singing out loud all of my favourite songs.

Computer: dark brown, light brown, medium brown.

My selection: blue, medium brown and dark brown.

November

Crowd in the O2 holding their phone's flashlights.

I chose this photo because I was mind blown by how beautiful the O2 looked when everyone turned on their phone's flashlights. The photo isn't amazing and it was one of those things that you had to be there but visually it felt so cosmic and magical.

Computer: dark brown, beige, light brown.

My selection: dark grey, beige and light green.

December

Garden table with snow on top of it and cat in the background surrounded by bits of snow

For the second time in my life I didn't spend Christmas with my parents but that didn't stop me from hosting it. We had my sister and her husband come over and I cooked a vegan nut roast from scatch. I was really pleased with myself, especially with how I bought everything in advance and decorated the house! (basically I'm happy that I did normal adulting)

Red is one of my least favourite colours but it was Christmas so I felt like I had to pick it.

Computer: brown, beige, medium brown.

My selection: red, beige and light green.

I enjoyed doing this even though now it looks a bit boring. I'm clearly very biased in the colours I like and the photos I choose but also it made me realise that maybe I don't take as many photos as I should. Maybe I should capture more things that got my attention because the years go by really quickly and we don't even notice and then I will forget tiny things that were nice. I need more colour variety in my life too I see.

I had completely forgotten about the photo I took in November but once I re-opened it I remembered the feeling I had when I was there live. So for that, this was worth it. However, this made me realise that I need to do some learning regarding naming colours. My vocabulary on that is pretty weak and I need to learn more especially in how it plays out in accessibility.

P.S.: I am not reducing the amount of photos I take of my cat.