Ask the Artist – 10 Questions with illustrator Kat Archibald

This interview first appeared July 24th 2017 at

The first in a series of artist interviews. We start with Kat Archibald, a freelance illustrator and designer, based in Leeds.  Kat is also a good mate of mine!


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above: Fresh Fruit by Kat Archibald. (All illustrations below also by Kat.)

What do you make or do? I make cards, art prints and a vast array of products ranging from fashion to stationery to homeware. My work is inspired by pop culture; in particular fashion, film, TV and celebrities.

What materials and tools you use?  I use pencil and drawing inks to sketch outlines and then digital collaging to add colour and texture. I have a huge database of fabric that I have sourced online or manually scanned in that I use to layer over sketches.

What do you do with the things you make?  I have an Etsy shop where I sell my cards and prints. I sometimes take part in exhibitions too.

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above: Summer Sandals

Describe your life when you are being creative. Happy chaos! When I’m in the ‘creative flow’ my studio is usually a mess. I  always have a tonne of ideas so I tend to start lots of things at once and  see which ones develop.

Do you have a typical audience/fan/customer? (who are they?) Many of my drawings are inspired by American reality shows in particular the Real Housewives franchise, or TV series from the nineties like My So-Called Life, so my typical customer is usually from the US and appreciates high quality tv 😉


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above: illustration from Kat’s Real Housewives series

When did you first realise you were (or were going to be) an artist/illustrator? From a young age I have always loved art and making things and grew up  wanting to be a fashion designer. In college I switched to graphic design and illustration but fashion will always be a big influence on my work. I made the leap and became self employed last year so I felt like that’s when I could officially call myself a professional illustrator.

Where might we have seen your work before?  Online at  or Instagram @katsillustration If you live in the Leeds area you might have seen my work around as I’ve been involved in various exhibitions over the past couple of years including Love Arts Festival, Sketch That and recently Paper Idols.   

What’s the worst part about being an artist/illustrator? Selling  yourself and getting rejected. As an artist I would rather spend my  time creating art than marketing it so I would say the sales process for  me is the worst part. Also the rejection-  I hate if I apply for an open call that I think my work is perfect for and then get a ‘no’, or worse – no response!  

What inspires you to keep making? My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. It could be a line in a song, a fashion editorial or as basic as a particular shade of colour. I  have some go-to themes that never fail to inspire me, like American  culture. The US is such a huge country with so much diversity I could put a pin in a map and find something small that would inspire a whole collection of sketches. Another example is Vogue magazine. I have boxes of old UK issues that I regularly raid for ideas and I also search online for international publications.

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above: Aquarius from Kat’s current zodiac project

Do you have anything coming up that you want to plug?  I am organising this years Sketch That art group show which is begins on September 4th at Headingley Heart Centre. (Sketch That is a local art group that meet once a month to draw around Leeds). Our exhibition theme this year is Delicious Colour so expect some bright and brilliant art! I am also currently working on a Zodiac fashion illustration series and some surface pattern designs inspired by cult nineties accessories-  think platform trainers, body glitter and stick on earrings!

Thank you, Kat!


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