One of my favourite people to follow on Twitter and Facebook is Kat Cardy Art! Her work is so vibrant and often uplifting. This week I had a chat with her about animals, colour and the environment.
1. Your drawings often focus on animals, what’s your favourite creature to draw?
That depends very much, generally it’s whatever creature I’m drawing at the time! But there are a few staples that I love to come back to. Chiefly big predators (like lions and tigers) and also Wolves, foxes and birds 🙂
2. What advice do you have for budding freelance illustrators?
Do what you love, as well as what other people want to pay you for. It’s too easy to sacrifice your own creative vision/passion in favour of what’s popular or what a client wants, and that’s fine for your commercial work, but the best work you will produce is that which comes from your heart, so make time to also create the kind of art YOU want to make… you never know, it could be your next greatest hit! 🙂
3. Your work is so colourful and vibrant! What do you consider when choosing a colour palette?
Colours are very important to me, I feel I have a deep relationship with each one… each colour has a feeling, a mood or an attitude for me, and you can totally change the tone and feeling of a painting just by switching up the colours a bit. I’ve studied a lot of colour theory over the years but these days I really go more off gut-feelings than any kind of formula. If I want something to be warm and welcoming I’ll be more likely to pick browns /yellows/ oranges.. if I want an image to be more mysterious or suggesting of wisdom I’m more likely to use blues/greens… there’s obviously infinite permeations available within those choices too and sometimes picking totally contradictory colours can work nicely too.
I’m also an avid celebrator of colour. I don’t shy away from using combinations that others may call “garish” or using bright colourful rainbow imagery in my works. Bright colours just bring me so much joy and happiness that sometimes I just have to let them loose!
4. Often you post on social media about environmental causes. How do you bring this passion for the natural world into your work?
Environmental and animal welfare issues move me deeply, and I’ve always felt that these are themes I should be exploring in my work. However, it’s only been relatively recently that I’ve started to really get brave enough to start doing so… While my passion for animals has always been prevalent in my work I have previously shied away from making statements or commentary for fear that people might not like it. However lately I feel like this is really the direction I need to follow now for my personal work to develop.
Recently I’ve started to explore concepts such as man-driven extinction (for example my “Genocide Thylacine”) piece, and also future views of what the world could look like if we were no longer
here (for example my currently digital “AfterMan” sketches, which show nature reclaiming areas where man once dominated). I have only been able to start making time to explore these ideas with the support from my amazing patrons, who enable me to spend more time on my personal work. 🙂
5. Where do you want your work to be in a years time, and how will you get there?
I would dearly love to be in a situation where I’m on my way towards sustaining myself from my personal work so that I can spend more time painting animal/environmental pieces, and less time on commercial work. This is tricky as I will need to brush up my own marketing and salesperson skills in order to turn my personal works into an income source, but I’m hopeful that with some time, thought and determination I’ll at least be able to split my income sources 50/50 so I can spend half my time on client work, and half painting.In order to get to this
In order to get to this place, I’ll be focusing on improving my presence on Etsy to sell more prints and originals. I’ll be building my Patreon campaign to hopefully get more monthly support for this work, and generally improving my presence and reach online to maximise my reach. I’m also in talks with a few people locally about exhibiting and selling works in the “real world” too. I know it’s a very ambitious goal but this work means too much to me to not give it my best shot! 🙂
Kat is really great at putting work online for you to see, so make sure you follow her and have a look! There are also all sorts of goodies available on her Patreon.
Do you know someone, or are you an artist who would like to be interviewed? Drop me am email at firstname.lastname@example.org