People: One Minute with Illustrator Kate Alizadeh
Name: Kate Alizadeh
Twitter : @katealizadeh
Etsy shop: etsy.com/shop/katealizadeh
Creative medium: Illustration
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I love drawing, bicycles and cats and a lot of other things. My favourite colours are red, yellow and blue. I graduated this September from Illustration at Falmouth University. I’ve exchanged the sea for the Normandy countryside for a few months while I intern with Bless, where I draw and scribble a lot and also help make fires and clear out barns.
How did you get into doing illustration?
On my foundation year, I specialised in fine art because I wanted to make installations, paint big pictures and use power tools. I soon realised that everything I did involved some kind of narrative and/or drawing and that propelled me towards investigating and eventually studying illustration instead! I miss power tools but colouring pencils are pretty great too.
Your portfolio includes a lot of children's book illustrations, when working with authors how much of a say do they have in what you produce?
I haven’t worked with that many authors except for when I did Weasel’s got the Sneezles. The author, Davey Spens, is also a creative director, so it was really great to bounce creative ideas back and forth. I prefer trust and openness in creative collaborative relationships rather than micromanagement, so I guess whenever I work with people I like it to be a balanced team effort. Mostly it’s really good to talk and make sure you have the same vision for where the project is going.
Which of your projects are you most proud of?
I did a storybook at the end of uni called Quiet, about the noises you can hear in the house when its quiet and I’m still super happy with the concept behind it. I’ve also got a new side project called sixseasonalsketch.es and I love the idea behind that too. A lot of my favourite bits of work are in my sketchbooks.
What would be your dream project to work on?
That’s hard! Maybe a book or something that encourages kids (and grown ups!) to be super creative, like Marion Deuchar’s Let’s Make Some Great Art series. Or some kind of concept album with a band with illustrations that go with the music. Or even just my first authored and illustrated picture book…
You have an Etsy shop - to what extent has it been a good way of selling your work and getting exposure?
Etsy is a great and manageable way of selling work. If people can have tangible items of your work like prints and cards in their house or studio or wherever, that’s really good for exposure. Personally I think a shop is a slow grower, where you have to keep investing in it and updating it, and patience and perseverance will get you more exposure over time.
What advice would you give to an illustrator wanting to sell their work online?
Update your shop often. Value your customers. Put little touches in like handwritten thank you notes. Don’t be in it for the money; be in it to build relationships. Be generous. Keep at it and make sure you’re selling stuff you’re proud of and happy with.