Artist of the Month - February

Artist of the Month - February

Calling all art enthusiasts! It's that time again when we shine the spotlight on a talented artist with our February edition of Artist of the Month. From breathtaking painters to skilled illustrators, this special blog is a celebration of all things art. So whether you're an artist yourself or simply appreciate the beauty of art, this blog is for you. Let's take a moment to immerse ourselves in the world of art and be inspired by the incredible works of our featured artists.

This month, we introduce you to North East England print designer Katie Dyer, who creates beautiful hand painted illustrations. We've been in touch with Katie to find out more about her and her craft...

Q. Where have you found inspiration lately?

A. I usually turn to flower growing books for inspiration, I have a few faves that are full of original imagery that can be great to work from. I like to try and interpret them with different mediums to see how the outcomes can differ from an illustration in oil pastels, to gouache to inks.  

However recently, I’ve been going through old drawing sheets and paintings, to gain inspiration from my own older sketches. I think as Artists we think it’s important to always create something new, but I think it’s just as important to look back at paintings and illustrations we’re sitting on (we all have them old sketchbooks and piles of papers). There’s often lots of inspiration in those paintings we sat down and created just for fun, personally I’ve been looking at how different illustrations created in different sittings could then be scanned in and successfully worked with together to create one design.  

Q. Is there a piece of art or a project that you are particularly excited about right now?

A. I’m currently working on a range of repeat print designs using hand painted illustrations and these will be available for sale on my website at the end of the month. The idea is that each design will be available in a variety of colour-ways and each colour-way will only be sold once. This will allow small business owners, makers or whoever buys the design to have an exclusive ownership of the colour option they purchase. They will then receive the high-resolution jpeg and have the freedom to upload and print the design onto a fabric base of their choice, that suits their intended project. 

I’ve been really enjoying creating the 1st range and the freedom to work in my own style rather than work to the brief of others which is what I’ve done in the past. I’ve been able to create designs that please me, that hopefully others will love too!  

Q. What kinds of tools or references do you like to use when creating artwork?

A. I love Pinterest! One of the boards I find most useful is a board I’ve created called ‘Colour combos’, it pretty much does what it says on the tin and is a board made up of exciting colour combinations that have been spotted in many places, this might be a fashion image, a flamboyantly iced cake, a floor tile, a floral arrangement etc. I just find it helpful when needing inspo for palettes to work in and it makes it easier to choose a palette to paint with when I initially sit down down to paint and am faced with every colour of the rainbow. 

Q. What artists or artworks (from your life or art history) do you admire or consider influential to your work & why?

A. Although lots of my designs are for paper products, I’d say illustrative designs commonly associated with textiles, ceramics and story book illustrations are what influence the way in which I draw and paint.   

I’ve always loved vintage fabrics and wallpapers and so have taken a lot of inspiration over the years from Liberty and their ditsy floral, illustrative and conversational fabrics. As a lover of painting florals and fruit, I love William Morris and his fabulous fabric and wallpaper collections. I also love old archive images of fabric cuttings or repeat doodles with little notes about the colours, date they were created etc. There’s something so inspiring about being able to see what previous artists and designers were able to achieve many moons ago, with much less print possibilities to what we have access to now. 

Q. What advice do you have for other new or aspiring artists?

A. Don’t try to please everyone, because you never will. The most important thing is that you love what you create, because there’s nothing more soul destroying than creating something someone else loves that you don’t really care for yourself. 

Q. Professionally, what has been your biggest achievement so far?

A. I’m not sure if this would be considered a professional achievement but I’d say it’s the happiest I’ve been handing a finished project over to someone and that would be a book I illustrated for my Grandad. He wrote lots of poems in his lifetime and many stories about me and my older brother as children. I’m not saying he wrote Toy Story but he did write a book about toys that came to life (way before Pixar did haha). Anyway, before he passed away, I was able to gift him an illustrated version of one of his stories, printed as a hardback book. 

There’s lots I’d change now if I was to illustrate it again, but I worked with the skills I had at the time and his reaction was priceless.  

Q. What is your first memory of creating art?

A. I’d probably say as a child playing with those fuzzy felt boards, creating scenes with felt animals, trees and flowers or painting by number sets. Stationery, craft kits and anything creative were always my fave gifts as a child for sure. 

Q. How do you spend your time when you’re not creating artwork?

A. I love live music and have been lucky enough to attend many festivals over the years both in the UK and abroad. I often come up with exciting ideas when watching live music, I’m not sure about the true psychology behind it but I think it’s something to do with having a clear mind and not trying to think up ideas, that somehow allows them to come to you. 

Q. What work do you most enjoy doing?

A. Although they can come with a little more pressure, personal commissions such as house portraits, paintings for nurseries and wedding stationery can always be fun. This is mainly because you get to see firsthand how much it means to the person you’ve painted it for. I think being able to connect with others through illustrations always feels like a great achievement and definitely a good way to use my painting abilities 

Q. What is your dream project?

A. Last Summer I was commissioned by Middlesbrough Council to paint a large wooden board outside of Middlesbrough Stadium on the night Arctic Monkeys were performing. The brief was very open which gave me free reign to paint whatever I wanted, in whatever colours I felt like. Although the project involved painting outside on a VERY sunny day (don’t worry we made time for ice cream breaks haha), I think the freedom of the brief, combined with the large-scale that we were working on, made the whole project feel like quite a dream. I’d definitely be up for more mural or large-scale painting projects in the future.  

However, I probably also shouldn’t wait around for the next opportunity to present itself and just do some big paintings in my own time. It can be tricky but I need to remember, that just because luckily I now get paid to paint, I still need to make time to paint for myself, just for the fun of it!  


It's always such a joy to discover and connect with fellow creatives like Katie! We feel so inspired by her stunning illustrations and contagious passion for art. If you want to find out more about Katie and shop her amazing art, head on over to her website and Instagram. And don't forget to stay tuned for next month's edition! 

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