Featured Designer: Mimi Chao

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Looking to end your week on an inspiring note? This week’s featured designer post is for you:

Mimi Chao started her career as a corporate attorney, but bravely took several leaps of faith to eventually pursue her dream, freelance illustration. “I didn’t even know about the whole world of surface pattern design until I started helping my friend and his wife design patterns for their new shop, Wolf & Irving (they sell table settings made from this amazing fabric that looks like linen and is wrinkle and stain free; another thing I did not know existed). I realized I have always thought about surface design anyway, without realizing it is practice. I spent a lot of time developing the skill, and am looking forward to keep learning new things. I’m working on infusing my illustration style in my designs, since illustration is my main focus. It has been a great experience.”

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“I like to design in sets to tell a story with patterns. I also like soothing but inspirational imagery as I believe in the therapeutic potential of surface patterns. For example, with the five Bird Cage related patterns, they are part of a set where I wanted to tell a story of a caged bird escaping its confines. There’s subtle details like the first pattern in the series has closed lotus flowers and the last has blooming lotuses. Of course, each still stands on its own as a nice pattern too.”

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When reviewing Mimi’s work I was really drawn to the calming nature of her patterns. The color palettes and illustration style are so comforting and a welcome escape from this hectic world we are living in today. When we asked Mimi if she had any advice to share she said, “My take on a cliche: Life is short, get good at something you love. I often think about how lucky we are to live in a time where we can teach ourselves all sorts of skills. I’m constantly learning and truly grateful for that. ”

Amen to that. To see more of Mimi Chao’s work visit her website: http://ehra.squarespace.com/

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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.