Kristine Go is the founder of Pattern Curator and someone who’s mission in life is to share beautiful creations with the world. To accomplish this mission she collages magnificent trend boards to inspire creatives, sharing them on Pinterest, Instagram, her website, and through several publications as the director of Pattern Curator. Pattern Curator offers a subscription service for clients looking for market research, color direction, and print and pattern trends. Kristine also shares beauty through the art world, she and her partner Michael own a contemporary art gallery in New Jersey called MK Apothecary, which sells various styles of art and delivers a diverse artistic experience for patrons. Kristine is a member of the Association of Women Art Dealers and is a board member for Art Fair14C, a non profit that activates under-recognized art areas and expands public access to fine art. Can you believe there is more?!? She is also working on publishing a Pattern Curator book with Hokai books, practices yoga and tai chi frequently, and recently completed a year long vision + goals training as a Lightyear Coach with Susanne Conrad! Wow we are so honored to have such an accomplished woman sit down for a Pattern Observer interview AND give a live presentation to the Textile Design Lab all about how she makes her amazing trend boards which will be June 24th at 1pm EST.
Congratulations on your recent 8 year anniversary of Pattern Curator, your first blog post was May 23, 2014. Why did you decide to make this first trend board about wood carved stamps?
I started PatternCurator as a space for myself to organize my thoughts in a visual way. I didn’t think anyone would find it or even be interested to be honest. When I made the first board on wood carved stamps, it was my thought process on the woodblock trends that were showing up at the time and I wanted to highlight what actual wood blocking was without getting too technical and still be open to interpretation. I’m fascinated by the tactile, hands-on approach to designing textiles that it was important for me to “curate” and highlight the actual way to stamp patterns on fabric as a source of inspiration.
How much time do you spend creating a trend board and what design program do you like to use to create them? Where do you find the content and research?
I’m a bit obsessed with all things color, print & pattern related. I would say it’s an on-going thing, I don’t really sit down & time it out per se, it’s a bit organic in how it all comes about. I tend to have multiple boards happening at once since I see a lot. From that is where I curate or distill macro trends into separate mood boards. I also hunt & gather images from different time periods & store them as a reminder for me to go back to. I use Photoshop, InDesign, Miro & Pinterest to design my boards. I have external drives where I store all my research pics by places & themes, I do have a system – it feels organized to me & also looks like pure madness! I find content & research everywhere. I know that might sound cliche, but literally everything & everywhere there’s a pattern or a beautiful color story to discover. This has been a life long process – I haven’t really stopped learning or being curious about textile design, concepting & color theory since school. That’s where the yoga tai chi & meditation come in for me – it’s the only way I can give myself a pause!
Tell us about your involvement in the art world as a curator, how does this differ and compare from curating design trends?
I love all the ways art & design intersect and can be so different at the same time. For my involvement with art curation, my partner Michael is a contemporary oil painter. We have had this life long dream to one day have a space where artists can show their work and create opportunities for their work to be seen and collected by as many people as possible. In 2019, we opened MK Apothecary which is based in Collingswood, NJ & we are opening a satellite space in Jersey City, NJ at Mana Contemporary. Curating art is very similar to curating designs & concepts, at the end of the day, it’s putting visuals together in a way that will inspire and evoke a human emotion that is unique to each person viewing the work. Curating MK Apothecary is different from PatternCurator in that the art world isn’t as quick to need what’s next. I also see curating designs as finding solutions to a “problem” or solving a puzzle, whereas curating art is creating a visual experience for the sake of it.
What actions or decisions have made the biggest impact on your design business over the years? Was there any advice you received in your career that has stayed with you or influenced you?
I would say the biggest decision was to actually start the business. I do a lot of research & planning – knowing that nothing goes to plan! I stay curious all the time. Question everything. I continuously assess what’s working & do more of it rather than stressing about what’s not working – both creatively & analytically. I also take all feedback into consideration- even if I don’t agree at first, I will still assess what actions to take. Being open to what others have to say has pushed PatternCurator to evolve to what it is & on a path for future growth. Career advice I have received that has influenced me … trust your creative intuition. Whether it’s designing the next print or making a major decision – you already know what needs to happen, just need to listen to your instincts.
You sell copyright-free repeating patterns on your website for a reasonable price, is this service popular with clients? Is this something you would recommend designers attempt? Are you still designing repeating patterns these days or do you spend all your time with curation?
Based on my answer from the previous question, it was obvious for me to eventually create something like the PC Print Library. I’ve been thinking about this & trying to figure out how to do this for years. The ethos of PatternCurator is and has been to offer color, print & pattern inspiration that is easy to access as a supplemental trend resource. Setting up the PC Print Library is a way to offer designs that can be used as reference, inspiration or actually be downloaded for use. Because designers create the files for the library, the fee for each file is for each designer’s time, not for the copyrights of the work. It’s a different approach & I would encourage all designers to think of ways that will fulfill a future dream they have. We just launched in May & it’s been doing well so far! I do still design, not as often as I used to- but I love to create work. I’ll take on special projects here & there. My passion is in the story telling of curation though, for now. We’ll see what happens next!
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