You can call me Kathy! I am a published illustrator, designer and exhibiting artist located on the beautiful Mid North Coast of NSW.
I was born in the Blue Mountains, NSW, a place full of magnificent beauty, flora and fauna. Growing up in such a magical place has impacted on who I am today and on the artwork that I create.
I have always been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. When I was twelve my parents moved to the UK for a two year posting. It was there that my late brother (also an artist) first gave me a set of Winsor and Newton watercolours and some fabulous brushes, one of which I still have and use today. I am lucky to have a family that has supported me and encouraged my talent, and my brother was integral to my artistic career.
Although I initially started a career in teaching, in 2013 I was awarded a Bachelor of Creative Arts with Distinction from the University of Southern Queensland (Visual Arts/Marketing). After graduating, I was thrilled to be awarded the 2013 Golden Key International Honour Society award for Visual and Performing Arts (Painting). I then completed a Certificate IV in Graphic Design and I worked for a few years in Marketing and Design before becoming a full-time freelance illustrator and designer.
I have illustrated 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), My Nanna Nelly's Australia Adventure (Sean Williams, Little Steps Publishing, 2019) and I’m currently working on Where I Love To Be (Chelsea Davis, Endeavour Resources, 2019).
Check out my artist's CV here.
DID YOU STUDY ART?
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!
SO YOU WEREN'T ALWAYS AN ILLUSTRATOR?
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).
DO I NEED TO HAVE A DEGREE?
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!
DO YOU TAKE COMMISSIONS?
Thank you for your interest in my work! I am not currently accepting private commissions; but if this changes, it will be announced here.
CAN YOU ILLUSTRATE MY BOOK?
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.