We are pleased to introduce to you one of our many talented Art Wow artists… STONEFOXES! Kate, the designer behind the brand, creates bold designs which are wonderfully playful and full of puns and cheekiness. Whether it be vibrant text-based designs, to illustrations of food and nature, Stonefoxes has a uniquely childlike-playfulness to her designs which instantly spark joy and happiness. We cannot wait to see what else this amazing designer has to offer in the future, but for now, continue reading this blog for a Q+A with Stonesfoxes…
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your name? Where are you based? What does a typical day look like to you?
Hi there! My name’s Kate – aka Stonefoxes. I’m a marketing manager based in York. Outside my day job, I’m an illustrator and printmaker. My days are busy, juggling my job, freelancing as a copywriter and illustrator, and coming up with new creative ideas. I always have post-it notes stuck everywhere with many, many to do lists!
How would you describe your style of work?
Colourful, pun-derful and a bit cheeky. I love patterns and I particularly love drawing food. If all I could do was illustrate recipes all day, I think I’d be right at home.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in life?
When I used to struggle with inspiration and it just wouldn’t come, I came across the quote ‘inspiration will come, but it must find you working’ by Picaso. It basically, to me, means get off your bum and draw, sketch, doodle. Do SOMETHING to get your ideas flowing. They won’t come if you don’t try at all. I think we can put too much pressure on ourselves sometimes to ‘produce’ and forget to actually have fun with it!
What inspires you?
I love scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest to have a nosey at what people are working on, to see their process, style and perspectives. I also find it helps sometimes to just get out and away from the screen into nature. Have a long walk and get some distance from a project. Then come back with a fresh mind.
Is there a piece of artwork on Art Wow that you are most proud of? Why?
I really like my A-Z prints. I have two at the moment – A-Z of cult films and A-Z of toys and games. I love creating all the little individual illustrations and the challenge of trying to find something for each letter. I definitely want to create lots more like this in a big series.
If your artwork were music, what would it sound like?
Ha, that’s a really tough question! I don’t know, but I think it would definitely be upbeat with a positive vibe!
What artist, past or present has inspired you?
I really like all sorts. I’m drawn to all sorts of styles from surrealism to pop art and art nouveau – none of which comes through in what I do. Well, perhaps the pop art. I think what inspires me most at the moment is the online creative community and how incredibly supportive it can be.
Who are your biggest influences?
There are so many but I’d have to say the people I work with in my day job. They’re such a talented bunch with a really diverse range of passions and interests that they pursue outside the 9-5. One is mad about sewing and has been making incredible clothes during lockdown. Another is an incredible drag performer. We have musicians, writers, painters and more and I just love seeing what they’re working on.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
I bought a colleague a copy of a really obscure book I had an inkling she might like. If she didn’t it could have been quiet awkward but thankfully, I judged her sense of humour well!
How did you get started as an illustrator?
I’ve always drawn, since I was tiny. I loved to create elaborate maps, create pictures to go with my stories. Even at school, in science class, I’d have more fun drawing the equipment than doing the experiments.
I took art A level at school and my teacher told me I wasn’t really cut out for being creative. But I stuck at it and have maintained my freelance illustration business alongside my career for over a decade now.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
A cat – because they can sleep, demand food, be grumpy and (mostly) everyone still loves them!
How did you develop your distinct style? Was it an experimental process?
It’s always evolving. I don’t think you ever stop learning and adapting, particularly with so much technology available now to help you hone your digital illustration skills. There aren’t enough hours in the day to learn all the tools and tricks!
Something I used to do, and definitely need to get back into, was life drawing. No matter your style, I think it’s so fundamentally useful!
What have been your biggest creative challenges to date?
I remember working on a project years ago that included some fairly complicated packaging design. I was SO out of my depth. I didn’t know how to use the software for something like that and it was a really steep learning curve.
In one word, describe how art makes you feel.