this week we are so lucky to have katie vernon of katie vernon illustration on the blog! i adore katie's warm and colorful illustrations, it was so wonderful to hear more about her journey - which you can learn more about below!
what is your background?
i definitely grew up in an artistic family - my mom painted needlepoint canvases and sold different crafts at shows (before it was cool!), her dad was an architect and a very good watercolor painter, and i had full reign to a basement filled with random junk that i could turn into craft projects. i majored in illustration for my undergrad and then decided i didn't want to be an illustrator. i then got a masters degree in art education and decided i didn't want to be a teacher. illustration came back around about 9 years ago and it's been a slow and steady process of it becoming more and more of my life/work.
how did you get started designing & selling?
i had a few very random prints that i started selling on etsy when i began dabbling in illustration again. then i created some floral animal pieces for a local show, made them available as prints, was featured on Design*Sponge, and from there i really started amping up my etsy shop and my time spent making art. i still sell those prints in a separate etsy shop (ChipmunkCheeks), but have since opened up another shop under my own name where i'm making and selling a larger variety of work that i believe appeals to a wider audience.
what are your influences?
i was a florist for a few years and that has definitely been a large influence. i've also always had one foot in the hippie zone - lived/travelled in a school bus with my husband right after getting married, worked on an alpaca farm for a few weeks, hiked/climbed all over the US, was reiki certified - so these things sometimes creep into my artwork. some artists who I've always found inspiring: Paul Klee, Josef Frank, Cy Twombly, Helen Frankenthaler (and too many more to list). i've also become slightly addicted to instagram and especially love seeing other artist's work and processes.
what is your favorite item in your shop?
i really love my series of Healing Wreaths. i researched herbal remedies for specific ailments/healing properties and intertwined them into wreaths. i think they give off some really good energy (there's my hippie side). i've also been surprised at how many people like the "Symbolic Teeth" print - i love it too - but it's kinda weird. :)
what do you love the most about your job?
i get to create beautiful (and sometimes weird) artwork that makes me happy and makes others happy as well! i am able to work from home and watch my amazing 2.5 year old daughter change and grow and i have the flexibility to do my work from basically anywhere that has internet (this will be important when we have a tiny house in the mountains...someday).
what advice would you give to makers who are just getting started?
keep making work that you love. don't stress out too much over having a specific "style" - it will come naturally as you make more and more work. allow yourself to be inspired by other's work - but in the end be yourself! there is always room in the world for more beauty.