Hayley Patterson is a New York based artist specializing in all things weird, wacky, and fun! She spends most of her time doodling, and has had illustrations published by Flying Ketchup Press, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, and Sunspot Literary Journal. On Doodle Addicts, you may easily recognize her artwork for its ever changing mashup of characters ranging from pigs to clowns, and everything in between! Although often peculiar in nature, Hayley’s pieces provoke feelings ranging from pure curiosity to humor, and it’s incredibly easy to get lost within the various shapes and faces that make up a lot of her work.
Sometimes when the term 'doodle' is used, it's believed that the outcome is absentminded or without purpose, but Hayley’s work shows that doodles can be so much more than that. Just take one look at any of the artworks that make up her Doodle Series, and you’ll see that her work is not only far more refined than the average doodle, but is also the result of a conscious stream of imagination and talent. It’s true that anyone can doodle (and we believe that everyone should), but not everyone is capable of the level of talent exhibited in Patterson’s doodle work. For instance, when looking at her piece titled, “Too Many Clowns,” what may have started as an undirected drawing has transformed into an incredibly interesting and magnetic piece that has the ability to hold your attention at length.
There’s also an extra dimension to Hayley’s work that comes about through her use of color. A lot of her pieces incorporate a palette that we’ve come to regard as “muted vintage,” and when applied to her doodles, it creates a beautiful retro vibe that we love. If you’d like to know more about the artist behind these doodles and the characters that make them up, keep reading!
Interview with Hayley Patterson
We’re currently loving your doodle series made up of a wide mix of different characters, what inspired this collection of work?
Anyone who has been to art school knows how hard it can be to break out of the mold of realism that many teachers or professors would like to confine you to. You take classes like Drawing 101 or Life Drawing, and you learn the very necessary basics of drawing that every artist needs to know. After a few years, though, you can start to feel a bit stagnant...or at least I did! I started to just sit and doodle and let my mind wander, or listen to music, or watch a movie while I was drawing, and basically just turn off the part of my brain saying, “that’s not anatomically correct!”’ when drawing a face or character. It’s not easy at first, but it eventually became sort of meditative to just sit and doodle. And as it turns out, I had a lot of characters in my head, itching to get out! Now, if I have artist’s block or just feel stuck on a project, I just turn on Netflix and turn off my brain and doodle! That’s what led me to make my doodle series.
The vintage-inspired color palette used in a lot of your work lends itself quite well to your overall style, did this happen naturally or was it something that evolved over time?
I would say it happened naturally. I’ve always been drawn to those vintage or retro-inspired color schemes because they have that lived-in quality that, for me, is very comforting. Those colors also lend themselves very well to being textured, which tends to make a piece that much more interesting! I also just love old cartoons, and probably somewhat subconsciously incorporated that love into my doodles through the color palettes.
Your individual characters tend to be as equally interesting as the entire artwork put together, do you create new characters for each piece or do you have some recurring faces?
Oh, there are definitely some recurring characters from piece to piece! In particular, I have this weird obsession with drawing clowns that I can’t really explain, and there is one clown that has made an appearance in quite a few of my doodles! There’s also a creepy pig and an old man with a beard that have made multiple appearances. Other than those few standouts, I really just draw whatever comes to my head- cats, elephants, mountains, basic smiley faces, even members of my own family!
What other things aside from art, inspire you?
Anything creative, really, whether it’s music, TV, or movies. I love putting different random pop-culture or historical icons into my doodles, from Lyndon B. Johnson to Mickey Mouse! Oftentimes, whatever characters I’m watching on TV while I’m drawing will end up in my doodle. Other than that, I’ve also always been inspired by old photos of my family. For example, I’ll be going through snapshots from a family party or something from, like, 1978, and a particular candid shot of my father or grandmother or someone I don;t even know will stick with me, and I’ll put it into a doodle! It’s a fun little easter egg that only I know about.
What are some of your favorite art tools you use when creating your art? What do you like about them?
Most of the doodles in the series on Doodle Addicts were created traditionally, with pencil and pen on paper, and then scanned into Adobe Photoshop and colored digitally with a cheap Wacom tablet. Recently, I’ve been working almost exclusively digitally in Photoshop, because it allows me to make more mistakes and work a bit cleaner than traditional drawing allows. One of my favorite aspects of working in Photoshop is adding texture to the finished doodle. I use my own textures from photos I’ve taken of anything from broken sidewalks to the grungy floor of my garage. Being able to add this extra element to the doodles makes me that much more satisfied with the final product.
Which artists on Doodle Addicts do you recommend everyone follow?
I’ve been following Chris Fraser from the day I first found Doodle Addicts, I’m pretty sure! I love all the little details in his work, and of course I love all of his little characters! I’m also a fan of Junkyard Sam and his watercolor work, a skill I am insanely jealous of. Bleu Hope is another artist who I am constantly inspired by, with his abstract doodle pages that sometimes look like cool little collages. Finally, thanks to the Artist Spotlight, I recently saw the work of Nora Thompson and instantly loved it. I love an artist who isn’t afraid to be different and embrace weirdness! If you’re somehow not following her (or any of these amazing artists) give them a follow NOW! You won’t regret it!