Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tell ALL Tuesdays :: Katie Green

Hello lovely readers...so this is my second time attempting this post...I have been having CRAZY happenings with Blogger this morning...and as I was editing my Katie Green post...it vanished! YUP...a little frustrated I am...I admit, I don't usually get annoyed at computers,but this was the icing!...so bare with me if things are a little out of place...I will correct them later...

Anway...we're here to celebrate another amazing artist and the illustrations of Katie Green.
She's an English Lass...I hope you enjoy her interview with us today...
Please welcome Katie Green::

Tell us a little about the Town you live in... and have you always lived there?

I've lived in Bristol now for 8 years, and I do think of it as my hometown.  I moved here for university and ended up staying because my friends stayed, I found work, and because I liked it!  Its a very creative city, and its also a very green city.  There are always art exhibitions and events on to visit (or take part in!), and plenty of organic, vegan friendly shops and places to eat.  What more could a girl want?!  Its very different from where I grew up, which was a village that has been swallowed by the suburbs of London.  I love London to visit, but 100 miles is a safe distance.  I'm glad not to live there anymore.

If you could move anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?

Much as I love Bristol, I do dream of living in the English countryside. If the opportunity arose tomorrow I would move to Dartmoor or the Yorkshire Dales without hesitation, so long as I could take my work and my boyfriend with me. And I could have the internet.

 How structured is your day usually?
I try to make my working-from-home days as structured as possible to help me work efficiently, and rest efficiently.  I suffer from an inability to rest rather than inability to motivate myself when I work from home, and having structure is really important to make sure that I don't work too hard, and that I eat and sleep on a regular basis!

What did you do today?
Today I rolled out of bed at 6.30am.  I'm getting later now as autumn draws in.  I try to get up with the sun, but sometimes I fail miserably!  I'm definitely more productive in the mornings, so I try to get a headstart on the rest of the world.  I had my breakfast (home-made granola) and did my 'walk to work', which today was to collect a parcel from the local sorting office, and walking home again.  Then I brewed a cup of redbush tea with soya milk, and sat down to work on my graphic novel.  I try to work for 90mins-2hours max before taking a short break, usually to check email and brew more tea.  I stop for an hour and a half at lunch, and that usually involves a trip to the post office to send off some etsy orders.  I work in the afternoon until around 5, and today I followed it up with a 90 minute nap!  I then faffed about online for a while, made some dinner (which I'm eating as I write) and this evening I'll spend a couple of hours sketching out pages for the next issue of my zine, The Green Bean.

How old were you when you knew you were on the right path in your Life?
This response carries an essay warning....
When I was 7 years old, I stood up in front of the class and told them that when I grew up I wanted to make picture books.  In fact, I already made picture books - I think I can only have been about 6 when I wrote and illustrated my first (no, that one is not for sale in my etsy shop!).  But then I forgot about that dream, or started to think of it as just that: a dream.  Too many people told me that it was too difficult to make a living as an artist, one notable teacher told me that my work didnt really have any potential, others that an 'intelligent girl like me' shoudln't waste herself pursuing the arts.  When it came to choosing university courses, I didn't even have the school qualifications to study art, so I picked Biology.
After I'd graduated, I had a breakdown.  I was struggling with my eating again and was suffering post-traumatic stress after having been molested.  I was very depressed, and became suicidal.  But it was hitting rock bottom that gave me the courage to get myself back on the right path.  I truly had nothing left to lose by trying, so I enrolled for an Art Foundation diploma and followed it with a degree in Sequential Illustration.  It was the best decision I ever made.  I've known its the right path because my health and state of mind have only improved since I've been doing what I want to do with my life.  There's no better medicine than that :)
I'm currently working on a graphic novel, Lighter Than My Shadow, which tells a much fuller and more eloquent version of that story!

Who /what drove and inspired your love to create?

I think my creativity is genetic, and it comes from my Grandma, who is also my role model.  She is an immensely gifted and resourceful lady, of whom my earliest memory is her helping me to sew new clothes for my toy rabbit.  She is 90 years old now, and has survived 3 heart attacks and a stroke that has left her almost completely blind.  Still she remains a positive force to be reckoned with, and last month she sewed new covers for all the cushions in her house!
But equally I am inspired by just being alive.  I feel immense gratitude that I am still here, and healthy, and I think my creativity is my way of expressing that.  I find inspiration in the daftest places and the tiniest things - usually observing the tiny details of my surroundings and the day-to-day.  Of course I'm also inspired by other artists too.  So inspired that it makes me feel like I'm going to explode.  I have to be a bit careful about how much inspiration I allow myself to take in in one go...

 Tell us something not too many people know about you.

Whoops, I seem to have spilled all my big secrets in my answers already.  So I'll tell you something else.  I'm half South African.

Are you a breakfast, lunch or dinner girl?
All of the above!  It probably surprises people who know about my history with eating disorders that I'm such a foodie, but anyone who shares that history will surely understand.  I am food obsessed, and I love to cook (and draw food too).  I don't have a favourite meal because they all have equal importance and I love them all!  I never quite surface on a day when I've failed to have a proper breakfast, and I feel equally disoriented if I miss lunch or don't have a proper hot dinner.  Its also a bit of a Green family trait to get really grouchy when we're hungry....  This is why my work routine is so important: if I wasn't strict I'd carry on working and forget to eat, with terrible consequences!

If you had 6 friends over for Dinner what would you make for them?

Ooooh I love dinner parties!  What I'd cook would vary quite a lot because I cook very seasonally.  I shop in an organic farm shop so each week's meals tend to get inspired by what's in season and looking yummy.  So right about now I reckon there would be squash involved in a dinner party, probably in a curry or tagine.  Or a good old roast dinner.  Dessert is usually the focal point of my dinner parties as I have quite a reputation as a vegan baker.  I'm experimenting a lot with new recipes lately, but for a dinner party I'd probably bake an old favourite: you can never go wrong with Chocolate Death Cake or Chocolate Brownies.  Yum yum!

Shoe choice::flats or heels?

Two years ago, my answer would have been flats, without hesitation.  But (and I just counted) in recent years I've accumulated 5 pairs of heels - not high ones - but they're among my favourite shoes.  Sure, I still can't walk in them and sure, they still make me taller than my boyfriend and all my friends (I'm 5'9" before I get them on!), but I think I just don't care any more...

What was the last book you read?

)  As always, I have a few books on the go.  I'm just finishing Jewels by Victoria Finlay, which is a fascinating travel-writing type book about the origins and stories behind various precious stones (she wrote one called Colour about pigments too, which was equally brilliant).  I've also read a lot of great picture books recently:  Eric by Shaun Tan, The Sad Book by Michael Rosen and Quentin Blake and Monkey and Spoon by Simone Lia, to name just a few.  Before that, I'm ashamed to admit that I read Twilight on holiday.  And even more ashamed to admit that I enjoyed it.

Are you a cat or dog person?

I am completely 100% without a doubt a dog person!  I'm very allergic to cats anyway, but I've always thought that dogs make better pets and companions.  I'll never forget how much our family's dog, George, comforted me when I was sick.  I miss him - he still lives in London with my parents.  I can't wait until I'm settled enough in life to have a dog, or several, of my own.

What advice would you give others just starting out?

The best advice that I can give is the advice I never received: if you want to do it, DO IT.  Don't listen to the naysayers.  Its true that its a hard life, but if you love what you do, you won't care, or even really notice.   Also I'd say never stop challenging yourself, whether that means trying new materials, tackling new subject matter or abandoning friends who don't believe in what you do.  I believe that if you work hard enough, the passion behind your works shines through and, ultimately, that's what sells it. And just so you know, 'hard enough' is pretty damn hard!

Name 5 blogs you love visiting, and tell us why.

Apart from We Blog Artists, here are 5 other blogs I recommend:
 - http://www.pikaland.com/  because it comtinues to provide inspiration and an opening for artists.  It was where I first became aware of the online illustration community and I still read it daily with my breakfast.
- http://www.squid-bits.blogspot.com/  is the delightful blog of my dear dear friend Jess, coauthor with me on www.doodletreehouse.blogspot.com - She is a great buddy, a support and an inspiration and her work is guaranteed to cheer you up on a blue day!
- Did you know that 81 year old Eric Carle, creator of The Hungry Caterpillar, blogs?  No?!  http://www.ericcarleblog.blogspot.com/
- I love http://www.dessertgirl.blogspot.com/  for the wonderful combinations of art and food....need I say more?
- http://www.bibliodyssey.blogspot.com/  is a treasure trove for the incurable bibliophile like me.  Has been known to cause major cases of the wantsies.
THANK YOU...THANK YOU... Katie as you know I am a HUGE fan and look forward to receiving my Green Bean subscription every month...
You can find LOTS of Katie HERE
AND  you can SHOP HERE for Katie's products...
AND go HERE to see what she's up to today on her Blog!

Ok...Now I have to go as I am running late...have a great day!


**We BLOG ARTISTS** said...

Sorry...blogger is acting up!
I will come back later and fix all the little and large text crazies!!!

PoetessWug said...

What a great interview!!! It may have been problems for you, but it was great!!! I have things in common with her and love how her creativity helped her. It did me too!! :-) I REALLY love the illustration of her then...and now!


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