For Patrick “Monkey” Chirico, life would be mundane without expression through mixed-media art.
That passion and drive paved his path to a successful career in New York City for the last 20 years as a designer. But now, he’s returned to Watertown — his hometown — bringing with him an energy and design eye where he started North Country Creative, a forward-thinking creative design studio.
For north country residents looking to incorporate custom designs into their homes, businesses and beyond, this is great news. Upon arriving home, Mr. Chirico knew he wanted to tap into the design and interior design market locally. So he started a collective of artists and designers named The North Country Creative.
“The North Country Creative is an agency that represents the creativity of Northern New York. We are a group of creative and progressive problem-solvers,” Mr. Chirico explained. “We turn rooms into experiences, mixing design with handcrafted and curated art, while infusing collections and photos into rooms all in a new way.”
Mr. Chirico continued to explain it’s important people understand that “they don’t have to have generic when they can have original.”
He said part of the process is meeting with the client, learning who they are and what they are trying to achieve. From children’s rooms inspired by their favorite outdoor play places to business waiting areas with local historical prints made into wallpaper, there’s no limit to what the North Country Creative can produce, Mr. Chirico said.
“We will work with anyone on the budget that they have,” he said. “I like to know what my clients are interested in spending so that I can produce exactly what meets their needs. We’re committed to making sure our clients fall in love with our work. Whether you’re starting with a vague idea or a fully fleshed out concept, North Country Creative can bring your vision to life.”
Mr. Chirico grew up in Watertown, attended Watertown High School and took fashion design classes at the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES. It was in the north country that he realized his talent and passion for design. It launched him into the fashion world at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where he received his degree in fashion design, specializing in tailoring.
“I went to New York City knowing no one, having no friends and moved to 27th Street,” he said. “It was amazing — the energy — and I have not stopped since.”
Mr. Chirico has worked with Sony, Hard Rock, WEA, Bravado, MTV, HBO and Third Man Records — to name a few. He has worked to create unique vinyl-inspired accessories. He earned respect, reputation, accolades and press from MoMA to Vogue, as well as film and television. He has produced work for the Grammy’s and even produced private work for music artists such as Jack White.
“I was also a part of the MoMA’s Destination NYC exhibit, which we won for our record bracelet, and my products have been in movies and TV shows like Glee, as well as books, including Red, a design forecasting publication,” Mr. Chirico said. As his career thrived and his creative inspiration grew while starting a family, Mr. Chirico started to shift gears to interior design.
“My interior designs have been featured in W Hotels and Hard Rock Hotels. I designed platinum certified LEED Mini Store for Wholefoods and Teen Vogue used my designs for their Teen Room Makeovers,” said Mr. Chirico, reflecting on his career. “I was even a top seller in interiors for Uncommon Goods, Uncommon Goods, LLC is a Brooklyn-based, privately held, American online and catalog retailer .”
While his career remains on a steady path in New York City, but when the global COVID-19 pandemic struck, he and his family made the decision to leave the city. He, his wife, Brittany, made the decision to leave their Brooklyn apartment with their two young children and move to Watertown to ensure the family’s safety during the public health crisis.
The North Country Creative is located in Watertown in Murrock Circle. Mr. Chirico and his team of artists and designers can be reached by visiting www.thenorthcountrycreative.com.