When studying illustration at Harrow College of Art, Kathy started taking on commissions in her final term at University, enabling her to hit the ground running from the day she left – and she hasn't stopped.
In the interim years, and alongside her illustrative schedules, she invested in extending her creative realm through acquiring both BA Hons and an MA degree in Fine Art.
Kathy has a spontaneous and playful approach to a brief, choosing to use whatever medium, that best suits the job in hand.
‘One of the joys of working in this way’ she says ‘is focusing in the moment, using a triptych of experience, knowledge and happenstance’.
Much of Kathy’s work relies on water based mediums and mark making, often deploying a striking, graphical use of contrast and composition.
Stating her two favourite illustrative influences as being ‘the fearless graphic brilliance of Rene Grau, alongside the sensuality and movement of Robert Heindel's dancers’ - it’s no surprise then that fashion and portraiture make up two of the strongest streams within her portfolio.
Question: Personal Highlight of 2009? Katharine: Playing percussion in the London Festival Carnival Procession as part of Bloco do Sol Nascente. Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Katharine: I was brought up on a farm on Dartmoor. I used creative play to fill the social void and now I make a living from my favourite past time, how lucky am I!! Question: Do you have any formal design training? Katharine: Diploma in Graphic Design; Torbay College of Art & Design, LSIAD in Illustration; Harrow College of Art / London, BA Hons degree in Fine Art; UWE Bristol - specialising in sculpture. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Katharine: I live in Bristol, I left London when I married my ex husband who worked at the Natural History Unit for BBC Bristol. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Katharine: My studio is in the original stable block belonging to my house. It's 2 stories high and I work in the converted hayloft, sharing the building with 3 other businesses. Question: How do you get your ideas? Katharine: The commission is the inspiration for each job.
Question: Do you collect anything? Katharine: I’ve always collected bones since I lived on Dartmoor, mainly animal skulls, they are very beautiful especially those of birds. I also collect shed skins from reptiles, insects, snakes, spiders etc. That may sound a bit weird but it feeds an interest in growth and transitional states, my own work revolves around this theme. I also collect masks from around the world and percussive instruments that are made from natural objects such as seeds, husks, gourds etc. They are intriguing objects and have unique sounds. Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Katharine: Not as such, but I collect stuff that interests me and I pin it on the wall of my studio for inspiration, so I guess my wall is my scrapbook. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Katharine: Recreationally, I have always danced. This has taken many forms from Salsa to Samba to West Coast Swing and Jazz etc. I also play Surdo and Caixa in 2 samba bands, one of which is also choreographed so this marries my love of percussion with my love of dance quite nicely. (It also keeps me fit, illustration is a very sedentary job). Question: Who is/are your art & illustration hero/es? Katharine: Louise Bourgeois, Cathy de Monchaux, Rebecca Horn, Giacometti, Tamare de Lempicka. Question: If you could travel back in time which period would you visit & why? Katharine: 1920’s. I just love Art Deco and the era in general.