Designer interview : Patricia Hooning • Fishuals

Patricia Hooning © FishualsThis is the first, hopefully of many, blog posts in which I interview a designer. I love to give other Dutch designers a platform to tell about themselves and their work. And I hope it will be a great inspiration to other designers and creative persons!
 made by designer Patricia Hooning © FishualsPatricia Hooning (of Fishuals) is the first designer who presents herself, and her work. I got to know Patricia during the 3rd module of the The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course we both followed. She is a surface pattern designer, illustrator and graphic designer. She creates surface pattern designs and illustrations. Her focus lies on home décor and stationery.

Can you tell a bit about yourself?

I am 46 years young now! And really following my own path now. Since last month my work at Delta Lloyd as a graphic designer finished after 19 years. A in-house design team was no longer needed after the reorganization with Nationale Nederlanden. The last couple of years I worked 20 hours and besides my graphic design job I developed myself as a surface pattern designer and illustrator. And I am still learning. I follow courses of Make it in Design, Pattern Observer, a Creative Bizz Boost at Sabine Wisman and I am in a learning project for personal development.

How did you become a surface pattern designer, illustrator and graphic designer?

Two years ago I followed private lessons in Maastricht at Textilice. I was really drawn to making patterns and I wanted to learn quick. My skills as a graphic designer and my love for illustrating were very useful for learning the process of making technical repeating patterns.

How would you describe your style?

I make surface patterns with illustrative elements and I love adding details. I try to tell a little bit of a story in my patterns. But I also love making other patterns like flowers, leaves and fish!

Can you share a bit of your design process, and your main inspiration source(s)?

First of all I start drawing on paper with pencil, or I begin drawing on my Ipad with my Apple pencil in Procreate.  Sometimes I do the colouring in Procreate and sometimes in Illustrator or Photoshop. And sometimes I grab my acrylic or water paint. I have no fixed process for my patterns. I just do what feels right at that moment.
My inspiration? I find it everywhere! In nature, in magazines, in trend reports or just an idea that pops up in my mind! 🙂

What was the best advice you got from a teacher/mentor or other (creative) person to help you with your creative work?

Look through your eyelashes to see if the movement of the pattern is right. Does the movement have a good flow? Big elements, small elements, and for me: not too many small details!

What is your creative dream at the moment?

I am still developing myself and discovering how this markets ‘works’. But I love to have, some day, my own brand in wallpaper designs.

Who are your favourite surface pattern designers/illustrators and why?

Helena Perez Garcia and Bodil Jane. They make amazing illustrations! With lovely details and a great colour palette.
I love the work of Femke Zwaan. She is Dutch. She has a brand ‘Catchii’ and produces her own products. They are really beautiful.

What is your best recommendation for other (emerging) designers?

Draw, make, create, stay inspired and do it almost 24 hours per day! Practise a lot with Photoshop and Illustrator. If you know these programs very well, and if you keep your knowledge up to date, you become faster in making your designs and your technical repeats. Buy the software of Adobe Creative Cloud if you can afford it. They have so many nice tools that make the process faster. I love Adobe!
So practise and practise and practise. Like every other thing in life! Do it and become better, the best!! 🙂

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