Have you ever wanted to go behind-the-scenes to find out how something that starts as an idea comes to life as a product? Today, we're giving you the inside scoop on how one of our designers, Patrick Hulse, came up with the idea for our NEW Trading Card Kit, designed it, and then took the finished product and made it his own.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into illustration and product design?
Hi there! My name is Patrick and I am one of the designers on the Todd Oldham Studio team. I have loved art since I was a kid and studied Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. My love of making things and playing with different materials led me to Kid Made Modern!
Walk us through a typical day at Kid Made Modern. What inspires you at work?
There’s no such thing as a typical day! We have so many different projects that I often bounce from gluing pom poms to editing photos to painting wood pieces. The studio is highly collaborative and the unique perspectives that each of the designers bring to the table is wonderfully inspiring!
Tell us about the Trading Card Kit you designed. What was the process like?
As a kid, I always loved any opportunity to make something that felt like the “real thing”. My memories of that experience are what led to the Trading Card Kit! With it, you get everything you need to make real-life trading cards: silver packs and all!
I worked with the rest of our design team to explore what the important parts of a trading card kit would be and talked with friends who are avid trading card collectors to find out what make cards special to them.
What’s your favorite part of designing products for kids?
When you give a kid art supplies, you are presenting them with an opportunity to explore their identity as well as process the world around them. To have the responsibility of designing the tools that kids use to engage in that exploration is the highest honor and one that I take very seriously.
On top of designing the Trading Card Kit, you also took the finished product and created your own kit. Walk us through your creative process.
When we finally get the finished kits is my favorite part because that’s when we get to make stuff with them! I knew I wanted my cards to be silly, so I tried to think of places or creatures that made me laugh a little or had a funny side to them. I thought about each character or place’s story before I began to draw and finished by adding a description at the bottom of each card.
Which trading card that you designed is your favorite? Why?
My favorite is “Secret Box”. It’s fun to think about how each person who uses the card can change what they want the box to be holding. It’s what’s on the inside that counts!
If a young artist asked you how to approach designing and using their own Trading Card Kit, what would you say to them?
There is no wrong way to design a trading card! Think about a character, object, or place you think would be fun to draw. If your card is for a character, maybe it’s somebody real like a friend or maybe it’s a crazy creature that you’ve imagined in your head.
What will their name be? Do they have a special power or a favorite color? What is your favorite thing about them? Asking yourself questions about your characters can help you make choices and get started if you feel stuck!
What advice do you have for parents who are trying to foster a love of art in their kids?
Validate your child’s choices and don’t be afraid to make a mess. If your kid wants to paint the sky a crazy color, let them know that you think it’s a great idea. Sharing your genuine excitement for making, regardless of the outcome, can help them to see the value in art.
The things kids make are expressions of who they are and that expression deserves to be celebrated! Too many kids get discouraged by art because they think they’re “not doing it right” or they don’t know where to start. The beauty and fun of making stuff is the exploration that comes from experimenting and trying new things.
And a few quick questions...
Hometown? Fairfax Station, Virginia
Fave color? Red!
Fave Kid Made Modern product? Our new On-The-Go Vacation Journal!