Meet Kate - freelance letterer and illustrator whose work is designed to inspire and lift spirits and spark conversation and personal reflection. 

Get to know Kate and her hopes for tomorrow:

Tell us how you got to where you are?
Oooft, what an opening question! Haha well, I suppose it was a combination of: graphic design degree, an inexplicable pull toward being creative, the privilege of having support whilst trying to get my freelance career off the ground, an impressive stubborn streak, and a brain that rarely shuts off. This mixture has resulted in me freelancing (in various capacities) for the last 10 years and while I’ve worked really hard, I’ve also been incredibly lucky with some really wonderful opportunities. This job can be so challenging at times, but I am also very grateful that I’ve been able to make a living doing something I genuinely and wholeheartedly love.

What are your main sources of inspiration behind your designs?
I love colour, typography, pop culture, fashion, music, nature, and animals. I also really love hearing people’s stories. I love books and history, movies and biographies. I can get lost in podcasts and audiobooks, fascinated by how someone got to where they are today, and how past decisions or events impact us in the present. I think all of this then feeds into my work, whether it might be a phrase that really resonated, or trying to recreate an emotion I felt watching or listening to something. It’s then even more exciting when you realise others have had similar experiences and you share it in together.

Explain the meaning of the elements in your design?
The word ‘balance’ immediately lends itself to some beautiful imagery. Before I even started drawing I wrote a list of all the things I associate with balance - words like order and symmetry were in there, but also things like calm, flow, and waves. And so I began to imagine an ocean, and ways in which I could create a sense of equilibrium by dividing the canvas into two halves. The result is a colourful seascape, with letters bobbing on the surface and colourful fish gliding through coral. Additional phrases explaining more about what balance means to me appear throughout, like the white trails of foam that follow movement through the water. Finally, I felt it was important not to create a perfectly symmetrical piece, but instead mess with the natural order of things slightly. ‘Cause, let’s face it, no matter how much we might want it to, life rarely follows the script!

What advice would you give for someone wanting to become an artist?
The great thing about this industry is that there is no one path to follow. Also, the hardest thing about this industry is that there is no one path to follow ha! I know it can be so daunting not knowing where to begin, but I think you just have to take that first step and put pen to paper (or brush to canvas, whatever your medium might be). Try and shut out the noise (ie mute social media) and focus on what comes out of you when you’re not really trying. And don’t be discouraged that, when the first few times you try this, not much comes out at all. I think that’s entirely normal, ‘cause being creative takes guts! Just keep going, you got this.




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