Katrina is an artist, small business owner, and blogger living in Nottingham, UK. She sell originals, illustrated greeting cards and art prints on her site katrinasophia.com. She also does commissions and freelance work. Katrina is a member of my year of creative habits course that began on January 1st. She made the commitment to paint or draw every day in 2016 and is also working on 100 days of hand lettering.
Crystal: Hey Katrina! I’m so happy to have you here in the new year of creative habits space! Let's start with your childhood, what kind of kid were you?
Katrina: I come from a very creative family. My sister and I were always encouraged to do fun, creative projects. If you look through my late father's photographs of me, there is always a paintbrush or pencil in my hand! My mum has always told me that although I cried a lot, I was a happy, creative kid!
Crystal: Tell us about your path to becoming an artist/illustrator.
Katrina: When I was in my teens, I never knew that I could be a proper artist so I was never sure what I wanted to do but being a creative person, I did study Art, Photography, Graphic Design and Design Technology for A-levels. I then studied two art related degrees but they didn't work out due to barriers I faced as a sign language user. So I took control and became a full time artist four years ago!
Crystal: Congrats! I love, LOVE the simplicity, the negative space, and the line quality in your work. Who or what influences you?
Katrina: Thank you, it pleases me to know my art is loved! I was influenced by Alex Katz and Tamara De Lempicka when I was painting lots of portraits a few years ago but nowadays, I think Beatrix Potter and the natural world influences me - I love painting birds and plant life. I think the simplicity in my work comes from myself. I like keeping things simple and I prefer making my subject stand out with a mostly blank background. I love to pay attention to small details too.
Crystal: You draw and/or paint every day. I know you are very busy, how do you make that happen?
Katrina: I always do it very first thing in the morning so I can work on my paid projects and do the business side of things for the rest of the day. I have begun to realise that I paint so much better and even faster when I am tired! I think it has a lot to do with overthinking.
Crystal: Interesting! What’s most challenging about your creative work right now?
Katrina: At the moment, it is coming up with subject ideas! It became often that I would wake up and couldn't start painting due to lack of inspiration and ideas. I'd end up wasting a few hours getting frustrated. But I am starting to learn a way not to be stuck. I make a little time to brainstorm subject ideas and plan them in advance so when I wake up I know what I am going to paint. If I am not inspired to paint a certain subject, I either look at my 'to-paint' list again or look around me to find a new idea.
Crystal: What are you really excited about right now?
Katrina: I am really excited about potentially building a new range of products for my shop! It is in need of something new.
Crystal: ooh, I'm excited about that too!