Kat and Fox is the baby of mumpreneur and design educator Katharine Rattray who has a passion for everything colourful, bright and unique, and creates magical wondrous worlds through visual storytelling to escape to. We sit down with Katharine.
What exactly is Kat & Fox?
Kat & Fox is a brand dedicated to my whimsical illustration products and services. It’s a brand that brings a smile to all through colour and line.
How did you get into this?
Well I have always loved to draw.. ever since I was a wee pommi tacker. One day I woke up and realised that I was teaching everyone else to draw and be colour-tastic but I had not done a drawing myself for years. It took my father to be diagnosed with terminal cancer back in 2010 to bring me back to the drawn line. I went to the chemo centre with him and he grabbed a pen and pad and turned to me and said draw.. please…draw for me again. From that moment I have not stopped. Through losing him, through the birth of my last child, through illness, I have not stopped. That’s how I fell into illustration.
Talk us through your creative process.
For me, the creative process starts from the first conversation I have with the client. I gather all the bits and pieces together… the jigsaw pieces and then start to put the puzzle together a piece at a time. So when I do creative illustrations for children’s books I start with the text, create small thumbnails of the pages… at this stage I even physically act out the scenes to work out the format. Next when the client is happy, I create more detailed pencil sketches, eventuating in the refined finals. The whole process involves the client. I work with, not for.
How can people go about ordering products off you, and what does this entail?
The products I offer are fully customised characters by Kat and Names Arts by Kats, so personalised artworks. I create them for gifts and for business owners. I also offer a book illustration service for self-publishing authors. I love working with well-crafted words adding the visuals to make the message or story come to life… adding the sparkle. All of these services and products can be ordered through the website.
Where is your go-to place to find inspiration?
I am lucky living so close to the beach in Torquay… I head to the beach to ground myself. People watch for inspiration. I also love working in cafe’s there; it is rich in character inspiration. Small children in tutu’s and fun boots, cranky old men with bald heads and walking sticks… you name it, I draw it! If I had a person that inspires me it would be Quinton Blake and his quirky drawings.
What’s next for you?
I am now at a stage where I am needing to step from freelance to be able to grow Kat & Fox. With the help of a business coach, I am looking at using my teaching experience to offer online courses. I am looking at working with larger publishers. I am also putting down the foundations of creating an agency a stable of other illustrators and their styles under the Kat & Fox brand. I am looking to bring smiles to everyone through my vibrant colours and whimsical line work!!