Artist Interview: Meet Katrina Young of Kat Art Illustrations!

Today’s artist is one I’ve been following for around ten years: Katrina Young of Kat Art Illustrations. Back on my first DeviantArt account (circa 2007ish) she was the first person I started following, and it has been such a pleasure to watch her artwork grow and evolve through the years. I hope you enjoy her gorgeous artwork, and getting to know her a bit more as an artist!

Candy Crown_Kat Young

  1. How old were you when you knew that art would be a permanent part of your life?
    I know this sounds corny, but I don’t actually remember a time when I ever thought it wouldn’t be a part of my life. That was never an option. I was always going to create art, no matter what.
  1. Do you consider art your career, or more of a hobby?
    Both. As I work fulltime as a Freelance Artist I HAVE to consider it my career, but it’s still as fun as any hobby! I tend to separate in my mind Career-Work (commissions) and Hobby-Work (my own stuff/things I doodle in my sketchbook) which makes it a little easier and less like I am constantly working.

Deer Me_Kat Young

  1. Did you attend college or university for art? Do you think that has a big weight on how successful an artist can be?
    Yes I did. I have a Bachelor in Fine Arts: Drawing, and a Diploma in Illustration, but they were unnecessary, to an extent.
    Let me explain- I was already a working freelancer at 16, but society says you have to go to University, right? So I did.
    My 3 years of Fine Arts was a complete waste of time. The only thing I gained from it was a tough skin – from things like teachers telling me my work wasn’t art, it was illustration (said with disdain)…because I used purple (??)…… true story.
    Illustration school was more useful, but not specifically for learning art. I made many many useful contacts and friends there, many of whom have helped me to this day. This is also where I learned more about running my own business and how to promote myself.
    So I guess what I’m saying is I could’ve not done either of them and continued freelancing straight out of school and I probably would’ve been fine. But there are life lessons and networking/connections I had that might’ve taken longer to learn outside that environment.
    I promise you that no one will ask you for your academic record when deciding if they are going to hire you to paint their portrait – they will look at your folio. But it might be worth looking into a small business course if you plan on making your art a business.

Teddy Bear Picnic_Kat Young

  1. What is your favorite medium to work with, and what supplies do you prefer?
    It really depends on what I’m painting. I find depending on the subject I feel different mediums suit. Here are some of the main things I use:

– WACOM Cintiq 13HD
– WACOM Cintiq Companion 1.0

– Photoshop CS5.1 Extended
– Corel Painter 12
-0.7 2B Graphite mechanical pencils
-General’s Pure Powered Graphite

– Matisse / Jo Sonja / Atelier / Reeves Acrylic
– Winsor & Newton / Cotman Watercolours
– Sennelier / Dr Ph.Martin’s Coloured Ink
– Winson & Newton Indian (black) Ink

For Erebor_Kat Young

  1. Do you listen to music while you create? If so, what?
    Not often. If I do, I listen to either the Lindsey Sterling or David Bowie channels on Pandora. Usually I have either an Audiobook, a Let’s Play on YouTube, or a TV Show in the background.
  1. What is your favorite subject for your art (for example, human, animal, abstract, etc)?
    Girls, animals, and patterns. 🙂

Into The Woods_Kat Young

  1. What advice do you have for overcoming a creative block or rut?
    I’m actually just on the tail end of one now!
    It depends why you’re having it. If you’ve been working too hard – just take a break, read a book, play a game, relax. Don’t think about drawing for a day or so and come back later and see how you feel.
    If you’re just not feeling the inspiration, just draw- draw ANYTHING. Don’t think about what you’re drawing, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, it doesn’t matter if it ends up just being scribbles. Eventually inspiration will hit!
  1. What is something you wish you knew when starting out with art?
    Art is for you, not for others. If you’re making art for yourself and you enjoy what you’re doing, then you will be fine. If you’re making art for others – things you think other want to see – specifically for praise, you will likely crash and burn.  

Terminal Velocity_Kat Young

  1. What is your biggest piece of advice for another artist?
    I cannot stress enough how important networking and promoting yourself is. There are many many amazing artists out there, it’s unlikely that your work get ‘discovered’ sitting in a sketchbook in your cupboard. It’s either through people you know, or places you’ve put your work out there, that you will get amazing opportunities. You may feel like a bit of an idiot talking up your work (most of us think our work isn’t that great – I know I don’t) but just be realistic. Can I do portraits? Yes, I can… Do I think there’s better work out there? Yes, but it doesn’t matter.   
  1. Will you share a few artists you admire?
    Sure! These are just a few of the many many artists that I look up to and strive to be as good as one day!
    Fuco Ueda
    Soey Milk
    Chiara Bautista –
    Redd Walizki –
    Miho Hirano –
    Kari-Lise Alexander –
    Charlie Bowater –
    NEN –
    Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Thomas Sharpe_Kat Young

Thank you so much, Kat, for the interview! Be sure to check out Kat’s shop, and find her on the following social medias:

She’s on YouTube as well (the time lapse of her Crimson Peak piece is so lovely) so be sure to check out her channel. I just love Kat’s portraiture. It’s such a lovely blend of realism and illustration and with each new piece I love it more!

  • B.

    Her work is amazing! Thank you for sharing. I think the networking aspect she spoke about is really important. Sometimes it really is about who you know!

    • Kay

      Such a true story. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • I love the Portal piece she did!

  • Beautiful!

    • Kay

      I agree! 🙂

  • How cool that she was the first person you followed on DeviantArt!! I think it’s great that you’ve been a fan of her work for so long. Gorgeous artwork, and I love that she broke down what supplies she uses.

    • Kay

      Me too! I love the specifics. Glad you enjoyed her art!

  • Wow that is awesome she was the first person you followed on DeviantArt. Serisously amazing work there1

    • Kay

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!


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