Kate Fitzpatrick

Artist, Writer, Illustrator

What inspires you as a writer? As an illustrator? 

As a writer, I get inspired by funny little ideas I come across. I mean small one liners. The fantasy/adventure script I just finished came out of one idea that occurred to me a while back: what if I could see something that nobody else could- like a tree, a flower, or in the case of my story, a star? The whole script grew from that.

As an illustrator I am inspired by color and line. If I see something that has beautiful, vivid colors and great organic lines, I feel compelled to draw it.

What made you start writing stories?

Compulsion. I had to. I still have to.

What school did you go to?

I started college at Ball State University in Indiana, then finished it later at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

Why did you decide to go to college?

I almost didn't go to college, and when I eventually did end up going to Ball State, I left after two years with no intention of ever going back. Not because the school was bad, but because college just didn't suit me. I didn't like sitting in lectures, being talked at for hours every day. 

I took a few years off, traveled, then eventually got bored of being transient and decided to give college another try. I applied to SCAD because they were doing a month where they waived the application fees so it was free to apply (true story) but when I got in, I found I was really excited.

And it ended up being far better than I could have imagined.

I should have been in art school all along- it was what was missing from my first try at college. The majority of classes were hands on, engaging, super creative. It was great.

Why did you choose to live in Hollywood to pursue the arts?

It felt right. I was ready.

If you could meet any person living or dead who would it be? JK Rowling.

Do you have any advice for fellow writers? 

The best writing decision I've ever made was to stop editing my own work until I was finished with the story, script, book, or whatever I was writing. If I try to edit while I work, it becomes an existential crisis and I'm all like,

'Oh noooo, it needs so much work, this is crap, what am I thinking, writing?'

and other equally tedious thoughts which are all geared towards me never ever finishing what I've started. So now I just power through, write until the piece is done, then go back and start editing. Works beautifully.

What’s your favorite items to illustrate?

I illustrate animals almost exclusively, and I think I gravitate towards them because of their unique colors, features, lines and curves. I illustrate a lot of whales.

What’s your favorite medium to use?

I work in art markers, specifically Prismacolors.

What kind of writing do you like to write?

I love writing magical realism and comedy.

What’s one script that you can think of that inspired you in some way?

The pilot script for Modern Family is amazing. It's hilarious, concise, to the point....oh man. It's so good.

Do you have any advice on how to pitch your story to someone?

I don't have my own yet, since I haven't pitched enough to give advice that I can stand by, but one piece of advice I've heard that seems legit is that you need to keep your pitches memorable and give them something that hooks people because usually the person you're pitching to isn't the one who is buying your script. That person will have to go and re-pitch your idea to their boss, who will have to pitch it to their boss....and on and on. It's like telephone, and we all know how easily that game falls apart if your initial message isn't clear.

Fun questions:

Top choices in movies you would watch on a saturday night? 

Right now you can't pay me to stop watching Friday Night Lights. The TV show, thought, not the film version, but still. I can't get enough of it. 

chocolate or peanut butter? 

Both, preferably together.

35mm printed films or digital?

Digital

Would you rather be a space astronaut or be a gardener for a beautiful castle?

Castle gardener. I get nervous enough in airplanes, I don't think I'd handle outer space that well. Plus castles are awesome.