Meet a Maker: Kate Rosanne Johnson 04 Aug

Alongside being the General Manager for our Leeds store, Kate is also an illustrator and maker. She has very kindly contributed a canvas for our Leeds canvas project, so we asked her to tell us a bit more about her work.

IMG_0606Tell us about what you have created for our canvas project?

I’ve written ‘Fred’s’ in happy sprinkled donut lettering!

Which materials did you use and why?

I used Acrylic paint and Posca pens because both are super vibrant and work well together. They also dry really quickly, which is great for me because I can be a little impatient.

Where do you make most of your work?

I usually draw most of the poster commissions and illustration work I do whilst i’m sat on my sofa watching something on Netflix!

What are your favourite creative tools?

A Palomino pencil, Uni-pin fineliner, Bristol board, scanner and photoshop on my laptop… That’s all I usually need for my illustration work!

Who are your biggest creative influences?

I have a huge fondness for artists who use zines as a creative outlet, and as such I am in awe of friends like Emma Thacker and Will Tapply. I also love the work of other local illustrators Louisa Foley, Orlaith Conlon and Kristyna Baczynski. More broadly speaking, in the art world I am obsessed with Grayson Perry and the low-brow artist Rockin’ Jellybean.

IMG_0607If you could only use one material in your work, what would it be and why?

Probably fineliners, because you can create tone and texture in so many ways with fine dots and strokes.
What was the best exhibition or art event you went to last year?

I recently visited the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam and saw a series of works of art based around Virtual Reality and that was really interesting! I also went to see the British Art Show 8 exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery and instantly fell in love with the work of Rachel Maclean. Her film ‘Feed Me’ is a terrifying, sugar coated, mind warp, and really has you thinking about a whole host of social and political issues!

If you had a tip for artists starting out, what would it be?

Make the art you feel compelled to make. Don’t agree to do things you know you won’t enjoy, or that won’t match well with your work. I used to try to make very over-complicated poster designs, when really people were commissioning me because they liked my original style. If you start on something and you’re not enjoying it, scrap it and work on something you DO enjoy!

You can see more of Kate’s illustration work on her Instagram here

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