Katherine Appleby is an illustrator, artist and designer inspired by nature and intrigued by the endless possibilities of human imagination. She uses watercolour and digital mediums to create work that is detailed, whimsical and colourful in nature with a just a touch of quirkiness.

In 2013, Katherine was awarded a Bachelor of Creative Arts with Distinction from the University of Southern Queensland (Visual Arts/Marketing). After graduating, she was thrilled to be awarded the 2013 Golden Key International Honour Society award for Visual and Performing Arts (Painting). She then completed a Certificate IV in Graphic Design and worked in Marketing and Design before becoming a full-time freelance illustrator. 

Katherine's work has been published in the Australian Artist’s Palette magazine (issue no. 137) and the books she has illustrated include:

Little Sower Samuel (Robert Costa, Little Steps Publishing, 2016)
Max the Mighty (Josey Hurley, Little Steps Publishing, 2017)
Grandad's Glasses (Howard White, Little Steps Publishing, 2018)
Where I Love to Be (Chelsea Davies, Empowering Resources, 2018) [In Progress]
My Nana Nelly's Australian Adventure (Sean Williams, Little Steps Publishing, 2019)

Katherine's work is best suited to children's books and editorial, and she is keen to licence her illustrations for homewares and other products. See less

View Katherine’s Artist CV here.



I have a Bachelor of Creative Arts with a double major in Visual Arts and in Marketing. But actually, this was my second degree as I used to be a secondary teacher of Religion and Philosophy too! So I also have a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching and a Certificate IV in Graphic Design as well as a Certificate IV in Small Business Management. Phew! That's a lot of study!


I have been creating art and illustrating for as long as I can remember! But this was not always my career. As well as being a secondary teacher in a past life, I have worked in marketing and graphic design for a number of years. It's only since late 2017 that I have been a full-time illustrator (with a broad range of experience and knowledge to draw on).


Whether or not you should study art or design is an individual decision. For me, deciding to leave teaching to study Creative Arts was the best decision I made. I intentionally chose a degree and institution (University of South Queensland) that allowed me to take studies from two different 'schools'. Studying marketing (and business) alongside visual arts meant that I was able to 'round out' my education and skills which, in turn, enhances the work I produce for clients and helps me in running my own arts business. It also meant I was able to work in the design and marketing industry and gain invaluable experience there. In addition, studying Visual Arts meant I was able to engage with a variety of different art forms and network with other artists and arts businesses. I thoroughly enjoyed learning Art History and exploring past artists and movements, their interests, motivations and more, and seeing how this can contribute to my own arts practice. Undertaking studies in Art Philosophy really helped me hone my own motivations for creating art. For me, it was invaluable. For you, perhaps you might start your career early through internships and are awesome at networking. If so, perhaps that's all the education you need? It's different for everyone!



Thank you for your interest in my work! I am keen to hear from those interested in editorial watercolour illustrations, such as wildlife, food and portraits, and those in publishing. Please do get in touch!

From time to time, I also ‘open the books’ for private pet portrait and portrait commissions. Keep an eye on my store to find out more.



I love book illustrations! I tend to work mostly with publishers, but please do get in touch anyway as I may be able to work with you.