Kate from ‘KaloolaJay Studio’ answered some questions to give us an insight into her work and how this developed naturally from her main interest and career. By being in a community of inspiring, creative people as well as having to explain project ideas through illustration and drawing, Kate developed her work as it is today: bold and contemporary, allowing her to create without limitations.
How did you start off as a designer?
I’m from a small rural town in Lincolnshire (a farm and fields kind of place) but moved to Sheffield at 19 when I started my undergraduate architecture course at university.
I’ve always loved drawing and painting, but never had lessons, so I’m self-taught. My life as a designer really took off when I started university and threw myself into the creativity of my architecture degree amongst a community of inspiring people. I especially enjoyed creating collages and found this was the best way to express my ideas and I still use this as a tool today. Although my prints are created digitally there is a lot of behind-the-scenes crafting and sketching that goes into them.
Do you have any educational background in the arts? – If so tell us about this and if this helped you develop as a designer
My background is in architecture and for the past eight years I have been studying towards becoming qualified, progressing through my bachelors and master’s degrees at university in Sheffield. Actually, I’ve just sat my final exams, so my fingers and toes are crossed in the hope that I will be able to call myself an architect in the new year! Working as an architectural assistant for the past five years I have had to explain building projects through illustration and drawing so in this sense I have developed my graphic design skills. I’m fascinated by being able to blend architecture and illustration in a bold and contemporary way through my prints.
Currently, my graphic design work is a side line to my full-time job as an architectural assistant. However, I think the two combine really well and when I can’t be as creative as I’d like to be in my job I can be more free and expressive when I’m designing my prints. Being free to create without limitations makes me happy and it’s why I started KaloolaJay Studio
Where would you say you gather your inspiration from and do you constantly collect this inspiration?
I gather inspiration from so many sources and create seasonal mood boards to collate ideas that I want to explore in the upcoming months. Instagram, Pinterest, my own travels and photos are a few places I gather inspiration from. Currently I’m really inspired by the #accidentallywesanderson collection on Instagram. Compiling inspiration is something I do constantly, and this provides me with fresh ideas to keep my prints current and exciting.
How do you use this inspiration?
Often, I will collect a photo of a building I particularly like and from this I will sketch out a composition for a print, so I have a mixture of sketches and photographs in my inspiration collection. The process of sketching from a photo really helps me appreciate the smaller details of a building and the atmosphere I want to create.
Pastel colours are often used in your designs/prints, why is this? Could you see yourself moving away from this type of pallet?
I was drawn to pastel colours over the summer and focused on a bright candy coloured, tropical palette. However, now that it’s Winter I’m moving into deeper/darker colours, with purples, reds and oranges. I love bright and vibrant colours and think that this will always be a feature of my work. I’ve also started to explore adding textures to my prints and like the collage effect that this brings.
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Where next for KaloolaJay Studio?
I’m still in the very early stages of what KaloolaJay Studio might be and anything could be around the corner, but for now the plan is to keep enjoying what I’m doing and create more prints. I’m currently only selling prints online on Etsy but I’d love to get involved in more craft fairs and events next year. Meeting lovely people and sharing experiences and knowledge was always a big part of this for me and I’m hoping to get out and about with my prints soon. The main goal is to keep designing for happy customers.