Being the son of an architect influenced every aspect of the colorful and varied career path of Patrick Long, illustrator, designer, and occasional stylist for Herman Miller. “It really informed the way I look at things,” he says. “He pointed out the minutia. He helped me see the doorknobs, the door handles, the chandeliers in the volume in a room. He was a great teacher.” An architect father also ensured that paper and pencil were always around while Patrick was growing up. “I was encouraged to draw. And no one told me I couldn’t — that gave me the freedom to continue,” he says.
Today, Patrick splits his time between illustrating for clients like The New Yorker and Nike, and running his own venture, Chester Wallace, in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Named after his two grandfathers, the company creates bag designs that find inspiration in Portland’s bicycle culture and a need to easily cart things from Point A to Point B. The versatile totes and carryalls, popular since their introduction, are locally hand-cut and -sewn — an important factor to Patrick. “That way, you are immediately able to change things and pay attention to details and to relationships,” he says. “You get the sense that you are forming a community out of it. You become a little team, and you do your utmost to make sure everybody wins. That’s really satisfying.”
Patrick’s unique way of seeing the world (not to mention his impeccable taste) drew the attention of the Herman Miller team, who asked him to help style the Herman Miller Pop-Up Shop in New York City in 2012. “The space was really fun to fill out. We wanted it to be like the ‘home’ of Herman Miller, with rooms containing the furniture and the things that that person, that spirit, would live with,” he says. “We sourced a lot of ceramics and art. And since designers Charles and Ray Eames were interested in collecting things, we also included lots of collections.”
Since being part of the Pop-Up shop team, Patrick has continued to share his eye and his talent with Herman Miller, including styling for the healthcare division as well as additional retail projects. “I am so impressed with the creative bunch of people at Herman Miller,” he says. “I feel really fortunate to have crossed paths with them.” And we feel fortunate, too. In fact, today’s clue in our “Everywhere in Your Day” contest is inspired by the artist. Check out the Herman Miller Store now for your chance to spy Patrick’s creation — and for your chance to win the grand prize: an Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Good luck!