"Patricia Shea is a surface pattern designer who creates amazing designs using the old-school technique of watercolour paper blocks.In our latest interview, we caught up with Patricia to discuss her move from fashion to art, how she became interested in print-on-demand services, her love of cooking and much more.
Keep reading for a chance to see what she had to say and for a chance to see her wall stickers.Hi Patricia, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Can you start by introducing yourself and telling us a little bit about yourself?
""Hello - my name is Patricia Shea and I am a surface pattern designer living in Manchester, UK. I lived for many years in the US and have worked for companies large and small there, both in-house and freelance, designing patterns and creating illustrations for everything from bodywear to book illustrations and many things in between......
How and when did you first develop an interest in art?
As soon as I could hold a pencil I started drawing and have never
stopped - my childhood fascination with Paint by Numbers and Spirograph
can still be seen as influences in my work today!
You previously worked in fashion - how was the move from fashion design to art?
It isn’t really any different as I still consider myself a designer more than an artist - my processes are all the same, just the platforms and focus have changed.
How did you get into print-on-demand art?A dear friend told me about the first platform doing print-on-demand quite a number of years ago and as soon as I realised what a perfect business model it afforded me - I was hooked. I can't imagine anything better for the way I like to work as my own art director, merchandiser and social media exec. I like having complete control of the whole design process and then hand what I consider the hard work over to the manufacturer.
How’s lockdown life treating you? Are you managing to stay productive or has it affected your motivation?Life has been very, very quiet as I work from home anyway but also living alone has posed challenges of feeling very isolated. For the first few months, I wasn't inspired to create at all.
Luckily I have hundreds of designs out there already - then something clicked recently and I got back in the saddle and have been enjoying creating new work again.
That’s good to hear - what’s a typical day like in the life of Patricia Shea?
There is no typical day - I have no schedule at all. I do my design
work mostly in the evenings and late at night. In the day, I love to
take walks and do my social media and admin kind of work - hopefully,
soon I’ll also get back to networking in real life which was a big part
of my social interaction on moving back to Manchester.
Can you tell us about your creative process from coming up with your initial idea through to the finished piece?
That’s very hard to put into words and it's such a rote process I’m not really aware of how I actually do it until I sit down and start. I usually create a colour pencil drawing on tracing paper to work out the look of the design. That then gets transferred to my watercolour block and painted up before being scanned and digitized ready for upload to my online shops.
What inspires your work?Nature, walking, folkloric design, William Morris and historical designs.
I saw that you used to do recipes on a blog - I take it you’re passionate about cooking and baking? Do you still get time to do it?
I did the recipes quite a while ago and don't do them for the blog any longer but I do love baking and desserts. I create and eat them as often as I get the urge.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?Create what you want to see - do something new and don't follow trends. That would have been my advice to my younger self.
If you weren’t an artist, what career would you have pursued?
A patisserie chef maybe - something to do with pastries, cakes or confectionery.
What’s the future looking like for you? Anything big on the horizon?
Rather hard to say at the moment as for all of us but I have a few irons in the fire that would be great if they work out!""