cathe huynh-sison, the designer behind feterie, isn’t new to the pages of scoutie girl. but i was dying to know more about what makes her tick as a creator. in addition to designing beautiful stationery, wrapping paper, greeting cards, and other paper lovelies, cathe blogs about her creative journey at papercuts – a real archetype for blogging one’s inspiration & process.
you’re stationery designer, a mom, a wife, a blogger, a traveler… what are you most passionate about right now? what really gets your juices flowing now?
I’m passionate about so many things, but I am most passionate about my family — my son, husband and the baby girl that we are about to welcome into the world in a few months. What always really get my juices flowing is when I do the most mundane thing in my daily life that suddenly sparks an idea (or multiple ideas). It can be taking a walk to the park with my son or trying to organize my schedule for the day, that I find inspiration.
tell me about an obstacle that you overcame in becoming a full-time creator.
As a designer, the business side of things such as sales and marketing is something that has been an constant obstacle. I’ve come to realize that I can design and develop as many products as I can, but if I don’t get out there and do the sales and marketing dance for it no one is going to know about it or want to buy! While I can’t say that I have overcome this obstacle, it is an on-going goal that requires development every single day.
your designs are crisp, clean, and modern: describe your process in designing a new product.
I’m a designer who likes to solve problems. Many times an idea for a product comes to me as a result of trying to figure out how to make something better or provide an alternative to an existing product. Usually, I think of the function first and then the form will follow. It’s a process that I have learned from design school that has really worked well with my process in developing a new product. As for my designs (I’m currently obsessed with creating patterns), I keep a sketchbook where I doodle and make notes about ideas. Many of these ideas can incubate in my brain for quite some time until they are ready. I call this the “doodling and noodling” phase. Once I feel that it is ready, I refine the design with the old school method of more paper and pen/pencil sketches before another further refinement (finally) digitally on the computer. The final steps is always fun for me because it involves mocking up the final product.
what do you struggle with on a daily basis in living out your passion as a designer?
The work/life balance is a big daily struggle for me. Everyday is a different day, in which I wear a different hat at various times throughout the day solving different problems — whether it’s meeting a deadline for a project, setting time out to fill orders/make phone calls, taking my son to preschool or the park, or helping my parents with some sort of medical paperwork that needs translating. I call it my “Daily Circus.” There are at least 3 things that I can be found doing during the day and finding that balance (which I have yet to find) to equally tackle all of them is challenging. Sometimes I focus on one more than the other and the next day, I make an effort to make up for the one that was neglected. It’s not a perfect juggle, but it’s still an juggling act!
if you weren’t designing for a living, what passion would you like to pursue full-time?
Design is in my blood, the air I breathe in, and if I didn’t do it for a living I have no idea what else I would do. Perhaps if money was not an issue, I would travel part of the year because that is when I understand myself better and connect more with world, start an afterschool arts program because that is lacking in our public school system, open a gallery (because I have always wanted to), or even go back to school and be an architect! Whatever it is, it would be in the arts/design field.
scoutie girl is looking to interview you! have a passion for art, craft, or design? let me know and your passion might be the one we find next!