To celebrate International Women’s Day, we want to shine the light on our female designers to discover what inspires, drives and motivates them in their work. In the lead up to International Women’s Day on the 8th March, we are sharing mini-interviews with our artists and designers which we hope will empower our followers to champion women and take action for equality.
Today's interview is with designer Kate Collins who we are working with for the first time this year to design our new Christmas range and our Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls collection, both of which will arrive in July 2020.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I am a nature loving, freelance artist/designer who lives in a cave house in Andalusia Spain. I worked very closely with Gibsons’ Product Development Manager Emily in the past, and was delighted when she asked if I would like to work with her developing puzzle and packaging designs for Gibsons.
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Throughout my whole childhood, the National Geographic Magazine arrived at our house every month. This had a huge influence as to how I formed my view of the world, and my early ambition was to be a photographer for the magazine! Although my dream hasn’t come true (yet), documenting the natural world has always been part of my life and inspiration.
Q: Why did you choose to become an illustrator?
A: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t in love with Art… it was clear from an early age that it would be the path I tread. I studied painting at Chelsea School of Art, then went on to do my MA in Contemporary Visual Art in Falmouth. My career has been quite serendipitous, after years of working as a painter I sidestepped in to Graphic Design, working for an accessories company. I was given the opportunity to work within the Licensing world and designed for exciting brands such as the London 2012 Olympics, Disney, Marvel, Despicable Me and many more. In 2016 I chose to leave the corporate world. I went travelling with my laptop and became a freelance designer! I kept in contact with the friends and clients I had made in my career, and while fulfilling design briefs in various locations around the world, I am drawing and painting like I was always meant to.
Q: What motivates you to work for yourself and be an entrepreneur?
A: Without a doubt, it’s the freedom to travel, to enjoy nature and to live life outside the confines of a nine to five world. I got to a point where I was more interested in experiencing travel and the environment, working for myself really allows the freedom to this.
Q: What’s your biggest achievement?
A: One of my designs went in to Space!! When I was designing the London 2012 Olympic merchandise, British astronaut Piers Sellers asked to bring an Olympic Flag to the International Space Station and I happily designed one for him.
Q: Who is a woman you admire and why?
A: Artist Agnes Dene had always been an inspiration to me. As a pioneer of Environmental Art, her work highlights ecological concerns and the relationship between humans and the natural world. These subjects are big news in today’s world but Dene was ahead of her time, creating her seminal work “Wheatfield – A Confrontation” in 1982.