I studied fashion and textiles at Lincoln College of Art & Design in the mid 1990s, then followed my now husband to London and ended up working for a law firm! I'm still there 14 years later, but I realised a few years ago that I needed an outlet for my creativity. I kickstarted this with a short course at Chelsea College of Art, and I've now taken a number of short courses there in textiles, painting and ceramics.
My real passion is surface pattern design, but I also like to knit and recently took up crochet. I use my paintings and sketches to create pattern designs and translate these into designs for ceramics, cross stitch and all sorts of different things. I've recently opened a shop on Folksy.
How long have you been using sketchbooks?
I produced a huge number of sketchbooks at college, and loved making them, but fell out of the habit after I left. I've started using them again recently following a painting course I attended a couple of years ago.
How often do you sketch?
I sketch whenever I feel the need to get an idea out on my head and onto paper! I can go for quite some time without touching my books and just taking photographs and playing with materials to see what happens, but I always go back to sketching in the end.
How do you feel about the prospect of starting a new sketchbook?
Excited! I love having a brand new book to get started on. I prefer books with small pages for collecting things/creating mini mood boards, and larger books for drawing and making notes (so I'll have one of each on the go at any one time).
From everything and anything. I'm constantly inspired by things I see around me. I particularly like the styles of the 1950s in fashion, textile and print design as well as architecture. Sometimes I'll spot something on the street, or it'll be an exhibition or something in a magazine that gets me started on something new.
How would you describe your creative process?
Chaotic! I used to get very frustrated at college when I had to follow a set process so I rebelled as soon as I had the opportunity! I do generally start with my photographs and make sketches based on them before creating paintings (usually acrylics, occasionally watercolour). I will then turn my painting into a repeat pattern on the computer. My 50s City design was just drawn, photocopied and pieced together (although I still worked from my earlier paintings initially). For other products I tend to just transfer my sketches directly to them.
Have your sketchbooks evolved over the years and if so, how?
Only in that I no longer have to follow a set brief when I create them - I can do whatever I want to. As a result I tend to enjoy working on them more, but they don't necessarily flow as well when you flick through them.
What is your favourite medium to work with?
I like to draw using black pilot pens or pencil. I prefer to paint in acrylics as I like the depth of colour they produce.
I had two, both of which I made at college. The first was a general textile inspiration book - I loved pretty much every page and it was my favourite size (A6) - by the time I finished it, it had to lay open on the table as it was so full! The second book was for my final collection. Both books were submitted for an exhibition at the end of my final year but were lost when they were returned to me. Nowadays, I photograph everything I'm happy with, just in case!
If you had to pick one favourite page which would it be and why?
Many thanks to Kate for taking part in my sketchbook peeks series! It's been fascinating taking a peek into her lovely pages! If you want to find out more about Kate and her work you can check out her blog here and you can check out her Folksy shop here