Pattern Pulp

The Business of Creativity

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Last week, I had the good fortune of speaking with Gwen Moran of Fast Company on the business of creativity and the art of finding inspiration from your surroundings. Moran asked how observing the world and sketching patterns can help you become a better problem solver.

In my experience, creating patterns has always been a balance of art and science – where I’ve been forced to use both the left and right sides of my brain to solve a problem. Where one side is whimsical and exploratory, the other is technical and mathematic. When you give yourself space to focus on particular details beyond your regular routine, solutions often present themselves in unexpected forms. It’s all an overlapping web of connectivity.

I’m really proud to be a part of the piece – give it a go if you have a moment!

Start Creating Patterns: Your First Exercise

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Pattern Studio is divided into sections – experimental mark making, workbook prompts and an artist resource library. The section pictured above is all about rolling your sleeves up, getting off of your phone, and exploring your surroundings with a new set of eyes and a mark-making tool in hand.

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Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some prompts on Pattern Pulp’s design feed. Today we’ll kick off with this early morning exercise:

Every time you take a shower, new condensation patterns appear in the form of drips and droplets on the bathroom tiles and door. Once you’ve dried off, grab your camera and snap a shot before it fogs up and evaporates. Copy the intricate pattern onto a piece of paper – or into your Pattern Studio book.

Once you’re done, we’d love to see it! Take a picture and share it with us on instagram via #mypatternstudio!

 

Being a Mother and a Creative Professional

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Summer feels like a distance memory with the seasons shifting and the temperatures dropping…but I do recall a particularly hot and humid day in late July when the incredible team from The Grace Tales came by for a visit. Grace Alyssa Kyo took a series of stunning photos of my son Max and I while the talented Meagan Camp helped organize and style our home.
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We discussed everything from my grandparents raising me and their advice and influence, to growing up in Rhode Island and later moving to D.C. then New York. I also talked about my career path and how a job in fashion eventually evolved into a freelance career in trendspotting, design and creative strategy.

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A main focal point of the interview was of course this new chapter called motherhood and how life has ebbed and flowed since Maximilian was born.

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Check it out on Grace Tales, if you’re interested!

 

Do It: Sketching while Traveling

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Next time you’re a passenger in a car, on the train, in an plane, or simply walking about, take a sketchbook and a fat black marker along with you. Carve out some time to focus on something spectacularly ordinary – a broken brick, an awkward divot in the sidewalk, a beautiful asymmetrical flower, the window grid of the office building across the street…the clouds in the sky.

Draw it. Draw it again. One more time.

Keep at it, until you’ve filled the page and have a few angles that look interesting. Before you know it, you’ll have enough material to weave a themed pattern together from your sketch.

When you’re done, we’d love to see it…share on #mypatternstudio. Also…for more prompt ideas, please do visit My Pattern Studio where you can pick up a book and challenge yourself to 49 more exercises!

 

Meet Bonnie and Neil

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Bonnie and Neil’s geometric prints are recognizable from all pockets of the globe. Bold, graphic and handmade, the brand has evolved to become one of Australia’s most popular independent textile companies. One part Bonnie Ashley and one part Neil Downie, the duo merges backgrounds in floristry, fine art, textiles and furniture making.

When we reached out to include them in our reel of incredible talent for the book, we learned more about the organic process by which each piece is made…

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Everything coming out of the studio is hand screen printed on natural materials in Melbourne.  To learn more and and see additional work, check out their line as well as their feature in Pattern Studio!

 

How to Find Inspiration as a Designer

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Every morning I wake up and delete a lot of email. We all do. I always read the Fashion Redef newsletter though. It’s inspiring, succinct and a daily digest that keeps me abreast of what’s happening in the fashion industry. They analyze the sexy and the obscure in a clever and refreshing way. Yesterday, HK Mindy Meissen, the curator, called out this quote from Nike CEO, Mike Parker. It’s everything – and essentially the whole backbone of Pattern Studio.

 

Tracking Repetitive + Awesome.
On Instagram.