Today we’re talking to illustrator and designer Catherine Kay, founder of the illustration studio Katnipp.
After moving her business to a new studio space last year, she’s slowly made it into the creative haven of her dreams.
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Tell us about yourself. What do you make?
I make a range of cute merchandise and illustrations featuring our characters who live in the Wonderful World of Katnipp!
Tell us about your workshop
We have recently upgraded our studio, and are slowly building a small themed ‘Katnipp Town’ with a small area called the Katnipp cafe.
I do most of my work in my small tiny katnipp cafe. We documented the move over on our YouTube channel, but moved into this office around 5 months ago!
What is your favorite tool to work with?
I love Procreate. I’ve always been a big fan of digital illustration, but used to work in sketchbooks then Photoshop.
With the iPad and Procreate, I have a digital sketchbook and a drawing device in the palm of my hands anywhere I go. It’s amazing! Digital illustration has come a long way.
How long have you been illustrating? Who taught you or where did you learn?
I’ve been digitally illustrating since around the age of 11.
I got my first graphics tablet at 12/13, I then learnt over the years, and went to university to study graphic design.
What is the most challenging aspect of your business?
Oh my gosh it is the worst, hahah.
I think most creatives might agree with me on this one. Juggling the finances, taxes, and all the behind the scenes work that you don’t think about when starting an art business is a struggle.
Any advice for beginners to your craft?
Always be experimenting.
Also, I don’t think you should avoid anything! Apart from comparing yourself to others (that never gets you anywhere), stay in your lane, stay focused, and experiment try out new things, products, styles, and techniques.
Who/what inspires you? Any shoutouts to fellow makers?
I have always been a huge fan of pop culture, anime, gaming, films and art.
I love visiting galleries and seeing how artists and illustrators have changed over the ages.
Two of my ultimate inspirations are Walt Disney and Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. The way they created a whole universe, and in the processes inspired others and made people happy, while producing beautiful work and running a business.