Today I have an interview with Cara Holland otherwise known as Pattern booth. Cara's patterns have a clean and sparse aesthetic, fresh palette and yet remain witty and friendly. It is a balance that I am quite envious of. When she is not creating great modernist patterns Cara can be found compiling a treasure house of patterns on her blog, where she features some tip top designers. On top of this she also runs her own business, so I'm curious to see how she does it....
EC Firstly, for those who may not know your work, how would you describe what you do?
CH I’m a pattern designer and pattern blogger. I love clean geometrics and abstract designs, strong colours and bold lines. I sometimes wander into more sketchy or illustrative territory, which I like too.
EC You have what seems to be a very controlled graphic style. Is this intuitive or do you pare back ideas to create such bold statements?
CH I personally love graphic, geometric and bold work and so that influences my own design style quite heavily. I often find my patterns just don’t feel right until I’ve pared them back a bit, but it’s intuitive rather than something I feel I ‘must’ do. I like a bit of chaos, but that doesn’t come out in my work so much. I think I have a collection of scribbles waiting to get out though!
EC Tell me a bit about your work process and how it has changed since you started creating patterns.
CH If I have an idea I start with my sketchbook. At the end of rough sketching I’ll either have something I’m happy to leave at that, or something that makes me want to work on it further. I then sketch in a slightly more purposeful way and if I still like it I take it onto the computer to see what it finally turns into.
The biggest change for me is that I started making patterns back when no one owned a computer. Now that seems a bit shocking.
EC Personal project or client brief?
CH Personal project definitely. I’ve run my own business for quite a few years and I’m a big fan of freedom. That said a brief can make a good starting point.
EC Is there an era or style that inspires you?
CH Bauhaus has a big appeal to me, I also love a mid century vibe and admire the work of people like Barbara Hepworth and Lucienne Day. I also love David Hockney for his versatility, his desire to keep exploring and his brilliant colour work.
EC What would you most like to see your work on?
CH Wallpaper, stationery, a penguin book cover, fabric…anything I like to buy really.
EC Tell me one thing about you that no one would guess from looking at your work.
CH I make great soup.
EC The Kiosk likes to enjoy the simple things. What is your favourite word, colour, shape, artist and food?
CH Word – delicious
Colour – green, yellow, grey…that’s too hard
Artist – Hockney
Food – All things breakfast
EC The Kiosk loves a to do list. What is next on your agenda?
CH Two things:
Make the pattern booth blog a go to inspiration fix for everyone who likes modern, graphic and bold patterns.
Start producing my own line of homewares and paper goods, starting with wrapping paper.
And I think she is well on the way to achieving these. If you haven't yet seen Cara's blog Patternbooth then have a look now. She features really strong work from big names to new discoveries. If you want to find out more about some leading designers you have to visit the booth. I reckon it's going to be as big as Print & Pattern.
Find out more about Patternbooth and connect with Cara on twitter
All images are copyright © Cara Holland 2012