What’s your name and what do you do in illustration?
My name is Katie Kath and I’m an editorial illustrator
Why did you decide to go into illustration?
It hit me out of high school that I really enjoyed telling stories through drawing, especially children’s stories at the time, and when I got to undergrad and grad school, I realized that, while I still love illustration that simply tells a story, I love it now even more for different reasons. In editorial illustration, you can get the challenge of coming up with an illustration that conveys a more abstract concept or idea.
What’s your experience been like working with clients? Advice?
In my relatively short amount of time working with clients (I’m just finishing school), I’ve discovered a couple things. First, that the client is always right. I don’t care what they may teach you in school, they hold your check, therefore they’re always right. Secondly, dealing with clients has just taught me how to deal with people who really don’t understand your career (which is most of the population.) When you explain things to people regarding what you will be doing, what you are charging and why, etc., you have to make sure they are very comfortable and explain it to them like they have no idea what illustration is, just like a doctor explains things to a patient. Because most people just don’t know.
Tell us about that time you won that poster contest for that christian band, you never heard of.
That was so crazy... I took a class where we all competed against each other for jobs with clients. The catch was, we didn’t get paid, we got credit for the class. Sometimes, however, we would get paid, especially if it was a competition. Our professor heard about a competition for a band called Need To Breathe.
None of us had any idea who the band was, and I’m not much of a band poster person, so I just created something and had fun with it, not expecting much. When we got the results, the people who were picking the finalists had picked others’ posters from the class–I wasn’t surprised, like I said, I wasn’t expecting much–then I got news that when the band saw the finalists, they didn’t care for their posters, and instead chose mine! I got a gift card and met the band!
Where did you get your schooling for education?
BFA from Winthrop University and an MFA from SCAD. Both in Illustration/Visual Communication.
What artists inspire you?
What kind of medium do you like best to use?
Digital. Sometimes I mix traditional with digital also.
What’s some of your favorite pieces you’ve created?
Surprisingly, one of my favorite pieces I’ve done is one that focused on finance. Finance editorial is not really something I get too excited about but this piece just turned out super well. Maybe I’ll do more finance illustration in the future.
Where do you see illustration going in the future?
I mean, it’s kind of a weird field. It’s hard to get steady work as a freelancer; I think more of us will be crossing over into other disciplines. I know illustrators who do lots of motion media or graphic design and advertising, for example.
How long have you been creating work?
Like, out of school kind of work? Or making any art of any kind? If you mean the former, just within the last few years, if you mean the latter, I started getting serious about art in high school.
Do you think print media will ever go away?
Nope. It bothers me, the people who say that all paper will go away. It will dwindle, certainly, but people just like having something in their hands. They like to touch things, they need that. It’s like, if you bring up a baby without any human contact, they may either die or become very messed up individuals.
If you could create an illustration for anyone living or dead ?
I had a ballet teacher who recently passed away and who was like a second grandpa to me and he always encouraged my art (he was a painter before he discovered dance at age 24). I would just like to do a portrait of him, in my style, or do a story celebrating his life because he had such an interesting life. I’m not sure if he would have completely appreciated it–he wasn’t really into my digital stuff, ha!–but I miss him and would just like to have done that for him.
Digital or Hand Drawn?
Do you say movie or film?
If it’s like, an indie or art-film, I say film, if it’s like Captain Jack Sparrow Hobbit Pixar stuff, it’s a movie.
Computer or typewriter?
I used a typewriter till the seventh grade! But I love my laptop. No white-out here!