Featured Member – February 2012
Featured Member – February 2012
SPDG: What got you started in Surface Pattern Design?
PF: I’ve loved pattern and design as long as I can remember. As a tiny kid I had a little pair of flip flops with a black and white floral pattern on the foot of the bed. I remember being fascinated by the associations that simple design evoked, in much the same way that scent might. I’ve delighted in pattern design ever since, so designing feels like it’s always been a happy inevitability for me!
SPDG: Do you have a particular style or are you a jack/jill-of-all-trades?
PF: I love to look at other designers' work, and see how it came together. How is color used? What role does line play? I welcome the opportunity to explore new design looks. I suppose I do have a style, but finding new ways to work is a good part of the reason I love what I do.
SPDG: What markets do you prefer to design for the most? (e.g. home dec, apparel, paper, tech)
PF: I believe that good design can work across different markets. A Christmas wrapping paper design might also work on cozy seasonally themed flannel sheets. A paisley in a lovely classic palette might work as well on a woman’s blouse, as on Fathers’ Day gift wrap. Take the same paisley in a more vibrant, but still classic colorway, and it could be just the touch to complete a boho-chic salon. I’m also very enthusiastic about the new opportunities to put design on our tech gadgets, such as IPhone cases and the like. It brings a touch of warmth and whimsy to these little boxes that have become so ubiquitous in our lives.
SPDG: Do you design on the computer or by hand, or both?
PF: I design both on the computer, and by hand in traditional media. The computer is fantastic for making quick changes, putting a design into repeat, and creating multiple colorways for a set of coordinates. I’ll design directly in Adobe Illustrator if it seems called for. Traditional techniques, such as gouache and crayon, have a particular look that make a design warmer and more alive. And the computer is no substitute for the tactile pleasure of creating on real media. If I’ve been at the computer too much I’ll turn to my sketchbook, which in turn is often the source of new design ideas! And those new ideas many times make their way into a design made on the computer, and so it all comes full circle!
SPDG: Who are your favorite surface pattern designers?
PF: I’m awfully fond of the work of Josef Frank, Lucienne Day and Stig Lindberg. Josef Frank designed from the mid 1920s on into the 1940s, but his design is so unique and fresh that it’s still very relevant today, often turning up at Anthropologie for example. Lucienne Day and Stig Lindberg were both very influential in mid-century textile design. All three of them made designs which are playful, bold, and even a little eccentric,
and I just love that! My favorite modern designers tend to have that same quality of playfulness, like Nama Rococo wallpapers, which I adore.
SPDG: Do you have any advice for those who are interested in a surface pattern design career?
PF: Nourish your sense of delight. Go out and explore, and let that inform your design. Bring confidence and boldness to your professional comportment, and to your art as well.