I was lucky enough to meet Emma in Melbourne a little while back at the Kids In Style tradeshow and fell inlove with everything she was about. From her bubbly personality to her incredible eye for design and motivation to make a business out of something she was truly passionate about, toy design. Now here we are, after chasing her down (yes, she’s an extremely busy lady!) so she could share with you a little insight into the life of a toy designer, ’cause I know it’s something we’ve all, at some point, fantasised about!
A CHAT WITH TOY DESIGNER, EMMA PATTERSON….
Tell us about the journey, has it been more or less of a battle than you expected it to be?
It has been a wonderful journey so far! Having only launched about 9 months ago, I am blown away by the response! I was hoping some people might like my stuff but it turns out lots of people do which means it hasn’t been much of a battle at all. The main part of the battle is learning how to balance my time between orders, new product design and marketing etc.
Can you share with us a bit about your creative process?
Having spent many years designing for clients, I wasn’t sure initially what my own brand or product range would look like. So I started a blog in 2012, which was kind of like a public journal of my developing style for Homely Creatures. I then had a couple of trial craft markets and learned some valuable lessons before refining my core range for launch at the beginning of this year. Since then I’ve just been trying to keep my eye on the latest trends in the industry (which isn’t hard with Instagram) but also trying to come up with completely unique product ideas I think my customers will love. Designing is the fun and easy part! I do sketches and illustrations until I have the ‘look’ just right. The hardest part of the process is getting the product made to the standard I would like it to be and at the right price point. If all these three things line up (the design, the quality and the price) then we have ourselves a new product!
What’s the best thing about being a toy designer?
All the possibilities. OH the possibilities!! Designing for kids is the best.
What’s the worst?!
All the possibilities!! Ha ha. There are so many possibilities it’s impossible to decide what to go with!! I have so many ideas it’s really hard to limit them to one single range.
When you were a kid what did you have fantasies about one day becoming?
I always loved animals so dreamed about being a vet or working with animals that weren’t sick. I was creative from a young age but wasn’t really aware of ‘designers’ until high school. But as soon as I knew about this profession, I knew it was what I wanted to do. Now I’m ‘designing’ my own animal creatures
One word to describe your next range?
Biggest hope and dream for homely creatures?
In the near future I hope to move from working from home into an inspiring warehouse space in Brunswick East that I can share with like minded people. They might be there to get on with their own craft or be working for Homely Creatures.. but I dream of being part of a little creative community where work and play go hand in hand. I hope that will happen early next year (get in touch if you’re interested!) but for the distant future, I just hope that through Homely Creatures I am able to continue designing products that inspire people all around the world to be creative while decorating their homes.
Where do you do most of your creating?
I work in my living room!
PHOTOGRAPHY: 1. Kate Hansen from The Room Illuminated 7. Inside Out mag
HOMELY CREATURES | Website
INTERVIEW | Sophie Gidoomal