Creative Touch helps customers realize design dreams

Written by Marge Woodfin, Pilot staff writer April 18, 2009 06:00 am

Patrick Chew, after working the past six years as head of Zia Design Services, has opened his own business, Creative Touch Design, to help businesses and individuals fulfill their building dreams.

Patrick Chew displays designs for new Chetco Pelican Players’ theater.
Patrick Chew displays designs for new Chetco Pelican Players’ theater. Photo by Majorie Woodfin
“On the commercial side, I can a help the business owner see what he has to offer, and for ordinary citizens in a remodel setting, I can do the same thing. I can help them see structure and form, and see the potential,” Chew explained. “It isn’t easy to see and imagine one’s own potential.”

Chew said that he has been doing that for the last six years working for builder John Zia.

“I can listen. I know what questions to ask to put outrageous thought into reality,” he added. “I blend potential and dream. I look at clients kind of like a play script, as a creative process, using environment, energy and experience.”

Chew certainly should know about the creative process in producing a play, with his extensive experience in the theater, beginning with his work with the Pacific Conservatory Summer Repertory Theater in Santa Maria where he met his wife, Nancy Pattison. “I was the actor/artist in residence and she was the master carpenter.” They met at the theater in 1979 and were married in 1983. “She kept following me,” he said.

Nancy faithfully followed him as he pursued an eclectic career that included several jobs managing, designing, and modernizing businesses for manufacturing companies, a bit of following in his father’s footsteps.

He said, “As a child I went to 11 different schools. My father was a corporation gypsy who came in to modernize and restore businesses. He fired everyone, got rid of material and fixtures, to rebuild the business and move on.”

He said it was tough being a new kid at a school, the son of the person everyone hated because he had fired everyone. “I was ostracized,” Chew said.

As he spent time designing, upgrading, and improving manufacturing processes for several businesses, he always went back to the theater, including community theater in Livermore, and the Great American Melodrama in Pismo.

Before their move to Brookings six years ago, they were in Ashland for 10 years. “I was a professor at Southern Oregon University (SOU) and worked at the Shakespeare Festival as master carpenter and building scenery,” he said.

Nancy’s parents lived in Brookings and they came to visit often. Chew said, when Nancy was offered a teaching position in Brookings, “I decided it was time for me to follow my wife. She followed me for 10 years with three kids when I was teaching at SOU.”

He wasn’t sure just what he would do in Brookings but almost immediately he saw an ad in the paper for the job with John Zia.

At the next juncture in Chew’s career, another Brookings friend helped him decide what path to take. “Buzz Hansen was a great help to me. I learned a lot working with him. When I was laid off by John (Zia), I asked Buzz, ‘What shall I do? Should I go back to school for additional training?’ He said no, that I already knew more than they could teach that I had learned from experience. He gave me great encouragement and helped me see what I could do for others. He did so much for the community.”

Chew’s connection with theater continues. Plans and drawing on the walls and work space in his design studio are exciting designs for the new Chetco Pelican Players’ theater to be constructed in the old skating rink building across the street from the U.S. Post Office parking lot.

Chew appears to be truly enjoying his work, designing to help others see dreams become reality. “We in the design community help create jobs for other people,” Chew explained.

For more information about what Chew’s Creative Touch Design can do, call (541) 661-4774 or (866) 502-8879 or check out www.designcreativetouch.com.