Last year I finally took the plunge. I had been building my illustration portfolio for maybe a year, and was getting prepared to start approaching art directors. The first market I was going to try my hand at was editorial. This can be book covers, magazine covers, spot illustrations... the kind of artwork that accompanies text.
So I had been adding artwork to my portfolio that included people and children, in order to show that I could do the work.
I wrote my email pitch and started introducing myself. I tried to keep my hopes realistic. After all, it's not like someone was going to get me to do a cover, but hopefully a couple of spot illustrations would come my way.
The very next day, I got an email from Mindful Parenting Magazine. The artist they had lined up for the next issue was unavailable and would I like to do it? YES! I would!
They send me a fab brief and a contract and I got to work creating some concepts. Once they had chosen their preferred sketch, I created some colour roughs for them before painting the final artwork.
This was such a dream project. I also learned some lessons along the way.
Communication is key and art directors and designers need to see what is in your head as much as possible. This is always difficult with painting, when the only way you can really show what the artwork will look like is by painting it!
For this project I created colour roughs with coloured pencil. I have also created them digitally, but for subsequent projects I'll be creating thumbnail colour roughs using paint. Thumbnails are small sketches with minimal detail and therefore faster to complete, while still communicating colour and feel.
Colour pencil didn't communicate the saturation or texture of watercolour. I have tried digital roughs but then need to mix my paints anyway.
The added bonus of using paint is that when I get approval, my colour mixes are ready to go.
This image was licensed exclusively in 2020, while that issue was new. It is now available for licensing.
At the beginning of 2021 I had a list of goals for the year. One of them was to get my work on a jigsaw puzzle.
I'm unbelievably excited to share my latest collaboration with you! "Beach Essentials" from Surf Shack Puzzle Co.
This was a match made in Heaven! Owner, Mahina is a fellow surfer who started Surf Shack Puzzles last year. I approached her about working together and she was full of wonderful ideas. This first puzzle was an adaptation of an illustration in my portfolio. I painted some additional icons to add more detail to the puzzle.
Mahina was wonderful to work with and I love that she promotes female artists across the world. Surf Shack Puzzles are made from recycled materials, come in plastic free packaging and are printed with non-toxic inks.
I created the elements with watercolours before scanning them and tweaking the arrangement in Photoshop. I kept to a colour scheme in order to make everything coordinate. (I talk all about this in my online class.)
I just love that there are so many avenues for illustration to find its way onto products. My second design will be launching with Surf Shack Puzzles a little later in the year. Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to hear about it.
Hey! I wanted to share my fresh prints! I recently completed this series after starting the first one as a class demo. This is my first series of work combining watercolour and gouache together. It was a big learning curve and I really enjoyed being a stylist - decorating each room and deciding on a colour scheme for each one.
Which one is your favourite?
These illustrations will be available as A4 prints and as a 4-pack of greeting cards in my Etsy store next week!
Do you take online classes? What's your preferred platform?
If you're interested in learning how to paint you own boho bungalow, or about using gouache and watercolour together, check out my Skillshare class! You can sign up for 2 free months and watch a load of classes for free.
This is such a fun way to create a repeating pattern with minimal photoshopping.
I started off painting my design in the centre of my paper. This square will be the size of the repeating section.
I carefully measure and cut my page into four quarters... the centre points go to the outside, then I proceed to fill in the blank areas with pattern, painting across the cuts.
I match the sides as I continue to fill in across other cut lines until I'm happy with the design.
The pieces look like this once I'm finished ^ then I scan them into my computer to join them back together as a seamless tile that can be repeated again and again! Check out the final patterns below:
I'm excited to announce that I've relaunched my Society6 store and have opened a RedBubble store. I have built up a nice portfolio of designs over the last 12 months and will now be making them available on cushions, backpacks, phone covers... even dresses and leggings. It's super exciting. These stores periodically have free shipping and other promotions, so if you want to be notified, subscribe to my mailing list and I'll keep you informed.
Here's what I've been up to:
WELCOME TO MERMAiD'S COiN
Surf Artist, Hannah Katarski is based in Fremantle, Western Australia. She creates ocean-inspired art that is bohemian, retro and fun.