Interview: Kate Costigan
Kate Costigan is an illustrator and graphic designer. I was lucky enough to interview Kate about her work and career plans.
Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
Hi! No problem at all, thanks for getting in touch! I’m fine, just working away at home in my PJs.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2012 and a year later made the big move to London to work with an agency called Hemingway Design, doing mostly graphic design. I did a little illustration on the side during that time, and since August I’ve become freelance! Scary!
What are your career plans?
The dream one day is to have my own range of illustrated products and perhaps even a bricks and mortar shop, with a studio attached and a studio dog!
Have you always been into illustrations and design?
Yes. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be an artist of some kind, I was always drawing and my grannies were always asking for new artwork to stick up on the fridge.
I adore your work. What inspired you to start doing illustrations?
After art school I was experiencing a bit of burn out, as it had been full on illustration every day for four years, but now that I’ve had a break (working in graphic design) I can’t get enough of drawing again!
What equipment do you use for your work?
I start off drawing everything in pencil, then use a brush and ink over the top. Then I scan it in and make the magic happen in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
What tools or materials could you not live without?
Most of the above!
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
It’s free, it’s easy to use and get feedback on what drawings are more popular than others, and provides me with a healthy dose of ego-boost if I’m feeling insecure about my work (as most artists do).
Why do you use Instagram for your work?
I keep Facebook private but since I started posting drawings every day on Instagram I have gained quite a lot of new followers and people (like yourself) are contacting me with commissions and projects!
Do you have any favourite pieces of design work or illustrations that you adore at the moment?
I’m constantly drooling over Ryan Heshka’s mean girl artwork. He’s amazing. And Tuesday Bassen is a big inspiration for me, in terms of her artwork and running her own business #girlboss!
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your work?
As I’m just sort of starting my illustration career I’m going to be posting more and more online and pushing myself to learn, get better and develop a recognisable style. You’ll get bored of seeing me post so much, haha!
What projects are you currently working on?
At the moment I’m working on a ‘Haunted Hollywood’ commission for a website called Culture Trip, who post city guides and tourism tips, and a few small projects like wedding invitations and band artwork for friends.
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to start drawing or creating illustrations?
Draw what inspires you and keep drawing. I’ve already noticed a recent improvement in my own illustrations from drawing every day.
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
I totally believe in the power of taking breaks. Often, ideas won’t come if you are thinking too much. Most of my ideas for illustrations come from when I’m listening to music/watching films/about to fall asleep and not at my desk.