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Artist Talks: Kate Powell

I first saw the work of Kate on thestudentartguide, where her work was featured. I was amazed at her technical ability and skill in showing narratives and emotion. I'm the same age as Kate and I think the way she has built up a following and how she chooses to showcase her work is something to aspire to. Her confidence and willing to change as an artist is something that I think people should respect. Since finishing her foundation she now has a place to study Illustration at Edinburgh, which I am very jealous about! Kate has very kindly answered some questions about her practice as I wanted to learn more about her working method and artist inspiration.

What has going to art school taught you so far about you as an artist?
It taught me that I was wrong about wanting to do fine art and that I'm much more suited to illustration, it's taught me not to take art so seriously, that things don't always have to be perfect and that if everyone's happy with what you're doing then you're not pushing hard enough.

 Where do you go for inspiration?
I get my inspiration from looking through other people's works and seeing how my mind responds to their ideas, how I can take them and make them my own. As Bowie said "The only art I'll ever study is stuff I can steal from". I get most of my ideas from thinking about other people's ideas. I'm inspired by the lyrics and song titles of bands I listen to, along with quotes - I like illustrating tiny phrases and try to think how I can portray a word visually. I'll sometimes be inspired to create work responding to an issue I'm concerned with (although I haven't felt brave enough to produce political work yet) but most of the time I just draw what I listen to, what I see, what I think, what I'm feeling.

What do you find the biggest struggle being a creative individual?
It's sometimes a struggle to just get the work down onto paper, there's a lot of pressure, it's not like you're learning or revising something, you're producing something from scratch from deep within your soul and it can be strangely exhausting

How do you market yourself as an artist online?
I just make sure that when I make a drawing I post it EVERYWHERE (Facebook, twitter, Tumblr, Deviantart, redbubble, society6, Instagram) so as many people can see it as possible, and regularly share and link these pages together to help reach a wider audience, there's nothing wrong with shameless self promotion

What's been your favourite work you've created? Talk us through the piece/project?

This is my favourite drawing so far, it is most representative of what I'm about as it's a self portrait so it feeds my ego and connects me directly to my work, it's expressing a feeling that resonates with me almost every time I try to draw (wanting to make 'deep' emotive pieces but them turning out simply looking pretty) and it's illustrating a pre-existing idea (in this case, a quote) which is, as an illustrator, and example of what my career is going to be like for the upcoming years.

What's been the best exhibition you've been to?

My favourite exhibition so far was The Portrait in Vienna 1900, it included work from Klimt 
and Schiele who I adore - there was an unfinished late painting by Klimt and you could see his penciled sketch before he had time to apply the paint, it was magical and very real.

I want to thank Kate for letting me interview her about her work. All images are from her Tumblr page.


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