Patricia van den Akker is the Director and driving force behind The Design Trust. Having graduated in Graphic Design in Belgium and Arts Management in the Netherlands, Patricia came to London in the mid 1990s. Ever since then she has worked in business development, training, advice and marketing. She has worked at the Crafts Council, Design Nation/New Designers in Business, product design Studio Levien, Cultural Industries Development Agency (CIDA) in East London, and creative investment and high growth development consultancy Pembridge Partners.
In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?
I love seeing people thrive, gain confidence, 'learn to fly' so to speak. It is so fantastic if you can turn your passion and skills into a job and business that works for you. Being able to help creative people achieve that, is the best thing in the world!
Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?
Hummm my favourite designers are still Jasper Morrison and Jens Quistgaard. I just love simple, functional and elegant design, originated from a true understanding of materials and craft skills.
What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?
It is all going to be ok!
If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?
For me it is more a case of having too many ideas then hitting a 'creative block'. It's more of a gut feeling then a stumbling block, and as I trust my gut I just dig a bit deeper what is stopping me and what my intuition is trying to tell me. I have got two young children, so I need to work around them. If I am struggling with some ideas in my head, and I have been working really hard on something, I often find that they resolve themselves when I walk to school to pick them up or when I play with them. This process of working intensively and then having to relax and concentrate on them, seems to solve most of my blocks!
And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?
A practical shoe with a bit of added fun and creativity, that likes to get into action! So probably a spotty & colourful wellington boots :-)