Inspiration comes knocking when you're ready for it. It takes some time to get comfy enough to draw too! But once that's set, Katie Wilson is ready to spill all those beautiful ideas onto paper. With a nice warm palette and some very meaningful messages (or some cuddly ones), take a peek at what she usually does before drawing in our interview:
AWW: Where do you like to draw?
Katie Wilson: I find I need to be comfortable when I draw. I have a bit of a ritual that I go through - I need to be warm and cosy, in comfortable clothes, usually wearing a scarf. I usually need to have a hot cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate beside me. I often draw at our kitchen table as it is beside the fire. But I also have my large table in my studio where I can make more of a mess and have papers and art supplies spread around. I do want to draw outside more, and take my sketchbook to places to draw and combine my love of long walks and sketching.
AWW: Do you still remember your first piece of work? What made you start drawing?
Katie: I think I’ve always drawn and painted. One early piece of work I remember is of some skiers going down a hill and maybe a snowman. I remember it as I worked out that if I made the skiers smaller they appeared further away! My mum was always making things so I’m sure it was her influence that made me start drawing.
AWW: How do you come up with the style of illustrating animals?
Katie: I’ve always loved animals and have always either had dogs or cats or horses or chickens in my life so through spending time with animals I find I can imagine their personalities. I try to simplify the shapes and textures of the animal whilst still keeping it recognisable. I also try to show its personality through facial features and gestures.
AWW: Could you kindly explain your message behind your work?
Katie: I focus on the simple, sweet and cosy things. Flowers, pets, and home. There is an underlying environmental message to my work - I want people to see the beauty of the things we share this planet with - the animals, the plants and insects and through this hopefully care for them more.
AWW: What’s your beloved project/product/book/tv show/movie with an animal theme?
Katie: I still have many of my illustrated childhood books by author/illustrators such as Beatrix Potter, Jill Barklem and Richard Scarry that I keep around. I love to look at them and be transported back in time. One of my favourites is Peter Rabbit, and I love how I and my brother have drawn all over the cover!