Design District Ambassador
Author Patricia Engel answers some questions
When we asked Patricia Engel for personal mottos she shared the one above, instantly it was all cemented — keen observer, wordsmith, author, professor, wise soul.
Engel calls Miami home, Key Biscayne to be exact. Her first book, Vida was a triumph and now as we await her second book we thought now would be a good time to check in with the Design District ambassador.
What's the first piece of art you fell in love with?
Keith Haring's "Crack is Wack" mural on the Harlem River Drive in New York. I was 9 or 10 when I first saw it, shortly after it was painted, and it made a huge impression on me. I love Haring's work, and am a huge fan of graffiti art.
Who are your favorite designers?
Corto Moltedo, for his highly original and exquisitely crafted handbags, and Torn by Ronny Kobo for her perfect, sexy, easy pieces that take you from day to night, and from city to city.
What is the best piece of style advice you've ever heard?
I think the point of inherent style is to reject advice and rules but I always liked the saying, "Dress with love, do with love."
Who are your favorite writers?
Albert Camus, Marguerite Duras, James Baldwin, Edwidge Danticat, and Sherman Alexie, just to name a few.
What is inspiring you these days?
I'm very easily inspired, eyes and heart wide open, but I'm always extra invigorated by any interaction with nature, particularly the ocean, or by simply observing an expression of human kindness.
I've got a few: Do unto others as you'd have them do to you, Vouloir c'est pouvoir, and The impossible just takes a little longer.
What is your favorite indulgence?
Travel. I love to get away, disconnecting completely from my life back home, though it's harder to do these days with the mixed menace and blessing of technology. Another favorite and easier indulgence to come by here in Miami is just a day on the beach, under the sun.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Making my parents proud.
What career other than your own would you like to attempt?
I'm very happy with the career I have but if I weren't a writer, I would dedicate my life to wildlife conservation.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I could get by with less hours of sleep.
You have a new book coming out soon, can you please tell us a bit about it?
It's a love story set in Paris at the turn of the millennium, featuring a Latin girl and the son of a notorious right-wing French politician. It's title is It's Not Love, It's Just Paris, and it comes out in August.
Photos by Justin Namon
For more about the Design District's Ambassadors visit www.miamidesigndistrict.net.