Kate is a Bristol based artist who focuses on portrait and figure work, often inspired by her work with women. Kates work predominantly starts from life drawing, quick sketches and line work and then building layers and ideas from there.
Her work uses a mixture of medias such as charcoal, pastel and different inks or paints. She explores the use of colour, space, the representations of light and dark and the stories this tells.
What excites you?
People, the stories behind them, different voices & perspectives to mine, the use of space, colour & small details. I’m very attracted to light and dark and how to represent it. Photography and poetry are very exciting and influential for me. The possibility to take opportunities to change the narrative, show different sides of people and the lives they have.
How do you overcome creative lulls?
I think previously I have become stuck in these for a long time, and I would say potentially my solution is perhaps my fickleness! I still think I’m finding my style and path, so I will change tasks - from a drawing, to painting or to writing poems in the hope I am just currently attempting the wrong thing for that moment! If not, then looking at other peoples creativity and going to galleries I always find inspiring and can spark a new energy or idea.
What was your first proper job and what path have you taken since?
My first job was as a teenager - waitressing and childminding. But I think the first ‘proper’ one was at a women’s homeless hostel in my early twenties, which started my career in supporting women, girls and survivors of abuse and now I manage projects in that area. Art has always been a passion and a couple of years ago I started to pursue it more seriously, after doing some life drawing courses at the Royal London Drawing School I realised I wanted Art to become a bigger part of my life and hopefully a dual career. Not long after I relocated to Bristol the pandemic arrived so I spent most of lockdown drawing people, figures, experimenting with colour, line work and then have continued from there. I still feel like I am at the beginning of my part with my artwork!
What inspired you to be an artist?
Its the thing I’ve loved all my life and I can’t say exactly where that comes from but I don’t remember a time I wasn’t trying to draw and make things! I think I just find it a really exciting and interesting way of exploring people and humanity. I am really enjoying creating things as in my other work its more fixing things.
Who inspires you?
Everyone. Friends, family, strangers, other amazing artists, writers, musicians. Inspiration is everywhere - to be absorbed hopefully.
What's your proudest career achievement?
I suppose this has two paths for me. In my charity work the wonderful things people you’ve supported have achieved is always incredible and special. Then for me in art, I think starting to sell my work, being invited to be involved in collaborations & that the creativity keeps coming to make art and poems. It’s early days for me, so fingers crossed for more lovely things to happen.
What other artwork projects have you recently been working on?
So I am currently working on a new series of paintings that are inspired by old fashioned marbling techniques and also another collaboration with a friend that makes beautiful handmade ethical items which I’m excited about.
What are you listening to/watching?
I’m a bit changeable with what I listen to - right now it’s quite often Little Simz, Maggie Rogers & lots of Neo-Soul. Watching things; I’m a sucker for a thriller or a murder mystery.
What are you passionate about?
Equity, equality and survivors of abuse - particularly women and girls. It’s why so much of my work focuses of women, I want to try and show some of that hardship, but also our joy, strength & beauty without the objectification and shame.
What’s it been like collaborating with Jorelle?
Really lovely, I’ve really enjoyed getting to have discussions with Fran and Fleur about what they liked and what my ideas were. I liked it to feel collaborative and then they also allowed me pretty much complete freedom and a very kind, relaxed approach in how they want to work. I love they want to work with and support small or emerging artists.
How have you found working with a different medium?
I actually really enjoyed it. I thought the curved shape might be a challenge but it was ok and I loved the feeling of it being something physical I could hold in my hands that has a function. I want to do more!
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
Make art my part time job, get better at writing poetry, work on some huge more complex paintings & create sculptures.