Designer Spotlight: Cathrin Gressieker

Hello, please introduce yourself:

Hello, I am Cathrin Gressieker, a painter and pattern designer living in Northern Germany right now with a love for everything “south”, warm, floral and tropical. I create bold, feminine and trend-inspired patterns for women’s apparel, activewear and home décor. And I am also a yoga teacher.

If you could give your 10 years younger self one key piece of advice or an insight, what would it be?

You just couldn’t imagine what an exciting and adventurous decade is in front of you! You will leave your TV job, get married, have your first child, become a yoga teacher, travel around the world and will be more and more drawn to your creative dreams again. First with knitting and sewing and having your second child. And then painting and discovering the wonderful world of surface pattern and textile design, which you didn’t know even was a job! So my key piece of advice would be: Always pay intention to these creative whispers.

When you feel stuck or in a design rut, how do you get yourself out of it and back on track?

Relax, travel, go for a walk, cook a new recipe, go to a yoga class, get a good night’s sleep, learn a new technique, meet with friends, take an e-course, take an afternoon nap (very good one), play with the kids, read a book, watch a movie, clean up my studio, avoid cleaning the rest of the house, decide to never to make art again come (always makes me rushing to my studio with even more passion), be gentle to yourself knowing this will pass. And then come back to your work fresh eyes and my absolute favourite one – just start.

What are your favourite design tools?

Copic markers and watercolour.

How would you describe your design process? Favourite apps and programs

I like experimenting with a lot of different techniques. My designs usually start by hand with drawings, painting, collage, mark making and textures. Or with photos from my extensive library of basically every flower I ever stopped for on my travels or biking around town. Often I start with an idea, moodboard or trend in mind, but sometimes the best work comes through happy accidents or artmaking just for the love of it, that will spark cool ideas later on. I then usually scan my work or import my photos into the computer and start playing around in Photoshop and Illustrator. I love both stages, the hand-made and the digital.

Favourite apps and programs are Photoshop, Pixlr app on iPhone for basic photo editing, Waterlogue app for giving photos a watercolour effect.

What are some of your favourite design projects to date? 

This year I did a 100-day-project where I painted my Daily Mood in watercolour. I especially loved doing these on our summer vacation travelling through Montenegro. This is now my 365-day-project and is one of the examples where I just do it for fun and when I come back to these paintings later on and realize that some of them could become a pattern or a texture. Furthermore, I found a textile agency to represent me this year and was very happy to have sold a couple of my designs to European companies.

Who are your dream clients or what is your dream project? 

I would love to see my designs on the runways in Paris, New York, Milan and Berlin and on activewear like Nike and adidas. IKEA, Anthropologie and Marimekko sound pretty dreamlike too.

There has been an art supply sanction imposed and designers are only allowed to possess 3 items/tools, what do you choose?

iPhone, Photoshop, watercolour

Where do you find inspiration?

Literally everywhere. Nature is probably the biggest one, travel, textile trade shows, and the internet, of course. Sometimes I rather feel inspiration overload as my mind works and processes information all the time and there is no line between life, work and travel. Which is good and a nice problem to have though.

Who would you say the greatest designer is?

I couldn’t name only one. I am very much fascinated by the work and life of midcentury woman designers like Lucienne Day, Maija Isola and Vera Neumann. An era when all the designs and repeats were still made by hand and these women found their voice and market in societies that started to change with more women’s rights.

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me as fun, inspirational person and having lived a truly amazing artists life

Where you can find me: