Pattern is an Indianapolis organization and magazine focused on igniting the city’s creative and inventive infrastructure. On a recent summer morning, Pattern’s studios in the downtown Stutz building were abuzz with a fashion shoot underway. Model Sydney Tomlinson was gloriously recumbent before a monochrome backdrop as photographer Mikaela Helane snapped pictures and periodically checked a computer screen where the illuminated images appeared.
Both Tomlinson and Helane are new to the game of such content creation. In the Pattern non-profit, culture and arts organization, they’ve found a mentoring body to guide and nurture them.
“We’re really, really vested in developing emerging talent in the areas of content creation and design,” said Polina Osherov, Pattern’s executive director and the editor-in-chief of Pattern Magazine. “We do that through photo shoots and our publication and events. The whole idea is to bring more vibrancy, laughter, joy, and beauty to Indianapolis and the surrounding region.”
For her part, up-and-coming photographer Helane finds the creative environment at Pattern invigorating. “It’s like a dream to work with other creatives who are just as passionate about the project you are,” she said with her camera still hanging from her neck. “Just to see everything come to life and come together, it just is really great!”
At Pattern, the word “creative” is used as a noun. Contributors refer to themselves and their colleagues as “creatives.” Those creatives are a forward-thinking lot. Sydney Tomlinson, though bound for the competitive modeling landscape of Los Angeles, is looking well beyond her next fashion shoot.
“I’m a student at Michigan State University,” she said confidently. “I’m going to be a sophomore and I’m double majoring in supply chain management and apparel and textile design, on the pre-law track.”
India Hall, who is responsible for Sydney’s glamorous makeup, is already an established makeup artist in Indianapolis. She takes on projects at Pattern to build her portfolio and escape some of the usual constructs of commercial work.
“I love just getting my groove out there,” she said with a smile after powdering Tomlinson’s forehead. “I’m just always about some fun shoots where I can play in glitter and do like a bold, red lip!”
To a great extent, the Pattern workforce is made up of interns and fellows. During the fashion shoot, social media intern Micah Horne could be seen taking pictures and video clips of the action with her iPhone.
“My job is to sort of capture Pattern in its glory,” Horne said while taking a brief break. In the next moment, though, Horne was again scurrying around the studio looking for the perfect angle from which to capture the action.
Since Pattern is a non-profit, 5O1c3 charity, paying the bills requires its own special kind of creativity. Fellow Alexa Carr is focused on the financing of the non-profit organization.
“We have some amazing supporters,” she said, referring to Pattern’s generous donors. “Some individuals, some corporations. We do a lot of grant writing, a lot of applying for different grants and we have some awesome partners in that space.”
The founders of this creative public charity believe Indianapolis lags behind comparably-sized cities in the strength of its creative output. They are also keenly aware that the Circle City has some catching up to do in the inclusion of creatives of color. That’s why Pattern is focused on improving our region’s creative landscape to allow all creatives to thrive.
If you would like to support Pattern’s mission, you can make a donation to the non-profit here: http://patternindy.com/donate/