Inside an Artist’s Mind: Patricia Van Essche

I am so, so proud to feature an interview with this remarkable woman, Patricia of PVE design & the PVE design blog. She is as talented as she is fabulous! I’m very new to her work, yet I was immediately blown away… just adorable! Read on & check out her work & I’m sure you’ll agree.

1. You have always been involved in something creative or about design, was there a specific time in your childhood that was pivotal for you to pursue this path? 

Indeed – I am such a visual person.  I was a wee tot when President Kennedy was shot, and I remember everyone being so sad.  My Grandmother died around the same time and again – there was sadness around me.  I think that I drew, I painted pretty pictures just to want to make people happy.  I have always loved color and beauty.  I remember in kindergarten, we were given “clay” which was rock hard, and by the time it was soft, it was time to put it away, so I also think that gave me impetus to work with something for “immediate gratification”- so it was Crayolas that gave me my start!  I sold pictures in the neighborhood for a penny – door to door.  My Mom was very supportive of all seven of us finding our passion and for never being idle.  We were always doing. “Live what you love”. My parents pushed us out of the nest and we had to fly!!!

2. If you weren’t an illustrator, a fashion designer, or any other  career that involves design, what other career would you have chosen?

Good question, now that I will be celebrating a big birthday, I think if I were to choose a different path it would be an interior designer.  I have always loved homes – inside and out.
I guess that is why I love to illustrate homes.  I love fabric, material, and getting my hands dirty.  I think teaching would be another career.  I did begin in Art Education and then switched to Fashion after I met such fun people in that area – it involved an interview and a transfer at the same University.  I teach students privately art, drawing, painting and art history.  I love it.

3. I adore your logo, tell us more about it. Is there a meaning behind the two birds facing each other?

I am so delighted that you asked.  My sister is married to a very talented graphic designer -David Hartman.  David has always been a mentor to me.  I asked him to design the logo.  When I was a young girl, I had long bird legs and many called me bird, and being from Kentucky, the cardinal is the state bird – he had designed one, then I felt it needed a friend because all of my work involves putting my head to head of the client to really understand what they want.

Green has always been my favorite color.  I was born on St. Patrick’s day and the female cardinal has “green” – the male is red.  I love my logo. It is also symbolic that I left the Kentucky nest and flew to NY!  I love my letterpress paper.

*** She also made the following images for these famous blogs:

4. I read that you used to be a designer for famous fashion houses like Ralph Lauren & Liz Claiborne {which is so amazing by the way}, how was that experience?

It was incredible.  Ralph, Calvin, Liz Claiborne were are amazing to work with.  I met Halston and attended one of his shows with “birds” flying about.  It was a decadent time in NY. I loved it.  I met so many wonderfully talented individuals.  I traveled, worked really hard, long hours and being in NY City – it was an absolutely great life.  My twin sons were born and I continued to work full time til they turned five and then made the choice to pursue Motherhood full time but always had my hand in fashion – free-lance.  I worked nights or when they were in school, juggling, and still do. I have 3 children.

5. You have also traveled the world, which destination has been the most memorable to you & why?

Oh, my most memorable destination would have to be Venice at age 18.  I traveled to Europe and loved it. I traveled to the Far East, Hong Kong, Japan, Kyoto and worked really hard for many fashion companies putting lines in production.  I love the people there, they are so hard working.  I would still say out of all the places in the world, New York is the tops.  It has such an energy and draws the top people in so many fields.  I wanted to come to NY as a young gal and did during college on a work study program.

6. In the past two years, you drastically changed your “daily grind” from full-time career woman to full-time Mom, what advice would you give other women who are possibly contemplating to do the
same thing?

Having children is such a gift and having a career is another gift so the challenge is finding how to balance one’s lifestyle.  I think that children want happy parents so I would advise those to find happiness in both.  We do not have to choose one over the other, but I feel fortunate to be able to work from home and to juggle.  The advise that I would give to other women is to do what makes you happy.  Some women need to get out, to go to an office and some are perfectly fine to work from home – I do miss the office perks and being able to bounce ideas off of a co-worker – but I have a wonderful group of friends.  We meet weekly to knit, to have lunch and to socialize.  I rarely go out to lunch.  I work from early morning before the kids are up, prepare the lunches or have things for the kids, walk the dog, exercise and work til they come home. 
Another bit of advice is to be honest with oneself and to find out what makes you tick, to not be your kids best friend, to get to know them, to teach them right from wrong, to set up a routine that is healthy and to create time to give back to you.  A structure, a routine really helps to achieve goals.  Tell yourself “YOU CAN!”

I could not be in this position without the support of my husband and father of our children.
He works so hard to provide an honest living and has built a wonderful reputation at work and in our community.  I love him dearly for supporting me and my work and my job with the children. 

I adore storefront drawings like this!

7. All creative people are stylish in everything, from what they wear to how they decorate their homes. Tell us about your fashion style? Home style?

Oh dear, I think for so long, I would say my tastes are fairly classic but with a modern edge.
I love clean lines, simplicity, artisanal touches, nice quality is key.  My home will be getting a face lift, a new kitchen, my own art studio and a master bed/bath so it is all so exciting to select for my new space, but also incredibly nerve-wracking to budget.  I am loving white, copper, clear glass, woods, porcelain, and clean lines.  I like things ordered and easy to find. I love a mix of hi-low.  I think my style is more relaxed and less formal but I do love a mix of both.  I love candles.  I respect antiques mixed with modern lines.

Fashion wise, I love good quality… Kate Spade, Burberry, and then I love Italian – Bottega Venetta.

8. How would you describe your work? 

My work makes me happy and I know it makes others happy too.  I think it has a sense of whimsy and there is a bit of intrigue with lifestyle.

9. Your kids are probably as creative as you are, what advice do you give them on where to get inspiration?

Kids are amazingly spongelike and they absorb so much more today than I did.  The internet, you tube, the music and the culture seems so much more worldly.  I think inspiration comes in many forms, but education is key.  There are so many classes that cater to arts, athletics and academia.  Exposure and encouragement is key,  I see many parents giving in and letting kids drop things.  Persistence is key.

10. Where do you feel your art is going?

I really hope and want my work to take a more modern approach.  Once I have my :killer: mod studio, I plan to produce larger works and paint more in oil.  I love oil.  I really want to have shows from my home studio and paint more for me and take on less commissions, but that is where most of my money is coming from now.  I cannot wait – my studio will be life changing.  I have a corner area in my lower level which is great, but it becomes my kids domain after school.A dedicated space will add legitimacy to my work.

I would also love to form some sort of a “creative” support group for other women who need guidance during raising a family and working.  There is nothing out there that addresses the two.  There are gyms but this would be more of a creative gym for the mind, the heart and the soul. My mission is after all to design, create and inspire an artful life and I know so many women want to know “how” to do this too.  My blog has certainly shown me that this can and is possible.


Thank you Patricia for doing this interview with me. I am an absolute fan! Patricia is also so generous for giving us this wonderful giveaway. A set of boxed note cards of the fabulous Bethesda fountain.

To participate, all you have to do is leave a comment about this post. We will announce the winner next week. Good luck & make sure you visit her site & blog!

Oh & don’t forget to stop by again {um…everyday this month} for more giveaways!

Have you read our decorating tip of the week? Visit our site at

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About Maureen

Details are my passion. From curating vignettes to designing spaces. I thrive in finding the finds and just discovered the art of collecting...all while sipping on a cafe au lait & a french macaroon in hand.

15 thoughts on “Inside an Artist’s Mind: Patricia Van Essche

  1. Wow, incredible weblog structure! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website
    is wonderful, as well as the content material!

  2. Maureen,
    I am so glad we could “trade” talents – I really love your on-line shop and that you have a daughter too.
    My girl is 10 and loves fashion, music and the stage.
    Wishing you a magnificent March full of madness!

  3. Stopping by to read the wonderful interview. Patricia is not only a fab artist, but an angel to many. She also has done my blog banner. Every day when I sign on it makes me smile to her art right on top. I have been bless to own a couple of pieces of Patricia’s art, so I hope the lucky winner will be just as happy. xo

  4. I love PVE’s blog. She brings her
    heart and artistry to all she does.
    You did a great interview, it is great learning more about her. We never met but maybe one day.

    Looking forward to reading your blog.

    The Bethesda Fountain is one of the great spots in NYC.

    Best wishes,

  5. Love PVE! Thank you for digging a little deeper into Patricia’s inspiration and background. It’s always fascinating to learn more about what is going on in a creative person’s mind.

    p.s. I hope your dream of having a “creativity courtyard” in your store comes true:)

  6. Maureen, what a wonderful interview! This woman is AMAZING and I loved the peek inside her world. I, along with so many others, am a HUGE fan of her work! Please DO count me in for the give-away!

  7. Maureen-
    Thank-you! What an honor to be apart of your world and March Madness here at Inglenook decor. I love your on-line shop and that you have such a fresh approach to french country with an urban flair.
    You know I will be shopping once the renovation is complete. I love so many of the items you carry.
    Love your decor tips too!

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