#QueeringLockdown Interview with Brooklyn-based designer, doodler, mess maker Les Patin

Self-portrait. Courtesy of the artist.

Francesco Ferranti: Hey Les, can you first of all introduce yourself?

Les Patin: I’m Les Patin (He/Him), a designer, doodler, mess maker here in Brooklyn, NY. 

Francesco Ferranti: What does #QueeringLockdown mean to you? 

Les Patin: This is obviously such an unprecedented time, and everyone has to deal with it in their own way; but for me, I have found having a weekly routine helps a lot. I wake up every morning, make coffee, clean the apartment, make breakfast and then sit down at my desk. I break for lunch, then go back for another hour or two. At 3pm, my roommate and I do our daily workout and then I’m usually starting dinner and having a glass of wine by 5:30 pm. That’s also when we go for walks if we need to get outside. I break this pattern on weekends which helps me a lot. 

Another thing I do is M–F, I get fully dressed. I fix my hair, I put on shoes, the whole thing. It makes me feel normal. 

Lastly, I give myself things to look forward to: wine, movie night, a run outside. My roommate and I share cooking responsibilities and that makes meals more meaningful because they’re shared. 

In terms of work, I am a HUGE fan of learning. I would say instead of major projects lately, I have been mostly focused on conquering motion and 3D (separately). 

Francesco Ferranti: What is design for you? Can you take us on a journey through your past projects?

Les Patin: To me, design means simplifying things and solving problems. Here’s an overview of my work:

Les Patin, Poster for Nipples Party, curated by Ricardo Tavares, 2019. Illustration created in Procreate. Courtesy of the artist.

The Nipples poster (2019) was created for Ricardo Tavares, who puts on some great parties here in NYC including Harder. Nipples was a new party he was doing, and he asked if I would be interested in creating a poster for it. It was honestly one of the most fun projects I’ve worked on to date! 

I really wanted to explore the crossover of man and machine and break this down into a more robotic format: as you can see one of the nipples has a nipple rein, and the other is kinda popping out with the wires connected to it.

Les Patin, ‘The Mars Party’, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

‘The Mars Party’ (2019) work was created as part of a Continuing Ed critique style class I took at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). We were challenged to create a brand on Mars, develop the identity and a digital touchpoint. I had just had an incredible summer of events including World Pride, Ladyland Festival, Choke Hold (New Orleans), Pines Party and Red Dress Run (New Orleans); and I wanted to create a visual identity for such an event. So, the Mars Party came naturally. My first idea was to call it the Men are from Mars party, but that seemed a bit long, and I try to be one for brevity. In this project, I basically imagined what a queer party on Mars would look like, and what that identity might look like.

Les Patin, The Mars Party, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
Les Patin, The Mars Party, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

A few elements of the brand’s visual system includes bright colors with tons of texture to mimic Mars and space. In addition, all secondary text should be “coded” with elements that are not necessarily traditional. A lot of the elements for ‘The Mars Party‘ reflect my interest in colour and texture, but because I knew I wanted color and texture to resonate in the background, I thought this stark white iconography with cutout detailing would work best for the brand.

Les Patin, Collage created for @itsnicethat weekly challenge, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

The collage above was made in response to one of my favourite magazine Its Nice That‘s #itsbriefthat weekly challenge: I collected random objects from my apartment with the help of my roomie Sean.

Les Patin, ‘Confetti constellations‘, 2020. Mixed media, digital work created in Photoshop and Procreate. Courtesy of the artist.

Finally, for ‘Confetti constellations’ (2020), I manipulated a simple image of glitter and used it in a figure drawing I recently finished. Talking about mixed media and bright colours, I took a photo of loose confetti that I have in a bowl in my apartment, I manipulated it in Photoshop and Procreate, altered the colours and layered a few filters on it.

Les Patin, ‘Confetti constellations‘, 2020. Mixed media, digital work created in Photoshop and Procreate. Courtesy of the artist.

Francesco Ferranti: Are you working on any projects right now? Can you tell us more about the logo we collaborated on for #QueeringLockdown?

Les Patin: Currently, I am spending a lot of my time in quarantine trying to learn motion and 3D, but I am pretty novice at both. It will take a while before I make something I’m really proud of, but I am sure I will be posting new work again soon. 

#QueeringLockdown Logo: For the title graphic, I explored a lot of different fonts as well as hand-lettered options. I then built out a series of rainbow colors for the project and developed a stroke effect on the letters. It wasn’t until i brought it all together in the graphic that I was able to determine which font choice was going to work best. I also made an active decision to keep one color out of the illustrations so i could use it as the background.

To create the characters for the project, I brainstormed ideas with you to show folks across the entire queer spectrum. We looked at things like age, race, disability, gender expression and religion. I also asked (you!) for a list of quarantine activities and tried to show each character partaking in one of those activities. The characters were drawn over a week and a half using Procreate.

Les Patin, Logo for #QueeringLockdown. Details of the queer characters, 2020. Illustration created in Procreate. Courtesy of the artist.
Les Patin. A gay Jewish man with pink kippah, cooking eggs, 2020. Details from #QueeringLockdown logo. Illustration created in Procreate. Courtesy of the artist.
Les Patin. An older Asian person wearing a light blue ensemble holding their plant, 2020. Details from #QueeringLockdown Logo. Illustration created in Procreate. Courtesy of the artist.
Les Patin, A disabled POC queer womxn with black short hair and golden necklace reading, 2020. Details from #QueeringLockdown Logo. Illustration created in Procreate. Courtesy of the artist.
Les Patin, A non-binary POC child holding a sign saying “protect trans kids” , 2020. Details from #QueeringLockdown Logo. Illustration created in Procreate. Courtesy of the artist.

Francesco Ferranti: Other illustrators and designers to follow and support?

 Adam Chuck

Adam Chuck, Little portrait of my talented sweet friend @jsulsenti1205 from ‘Quarantine Portraits‘ series, 2020 . Repost from Instagram. Courtesy of the artist.

Pablo Olguin 

Pablo Olguin, Chillón, 2020. Repost from Instagram. Courtesy of the artist.

Guelmo Rosa

Guelmo Rosa, Brass Bodies – Female Power – Dominate Pure beauty, pure power, pure inspiration  Based of a photo by @kareemmontes of the beautiful @mistressniko, 2020. Repost from Instagram. Courtesy of the artist.

Francis Rodriguez

Francis Rodriguez, ‘Bowl cut inspired by Michelle Pfeiffer in #scarface on #acid and made from scratch‘. Repost from Instagram. Courtesy of the artist.

Lilly Gorman

Lilly Gorman, ‘A little peak inside my brain‘. Repost from Instagram. Courtesy of the artist.

William Storms

William Storms, objet as found in nature, 2020. Repost from Instagram. Courtesy of the artist.

Kelly Spell

Kelly Spell, ‘Tiny log cabins with a peony for scale‘. Repost from Instagram. Courtesy of the artist.

LGBTQI+ funds to support: First off, I would like to recommend that folks look at their local bars/queer performers on social media because there may be things already set up (i know a lot of our local bars here in bk had things); but I reached out to a friend of mine (Adam Chuck) who forwarded a fund set up to help low-income artists and freelancers here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/nyc-lowincome-artistfreelancer-relief-fund

Follow and Support Les:

Website: https://lesterpatin.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/llpatin/

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