The inspiration behind Australian designer Kirsten Katz' botanical prints

The inspiration behind Australian designer Kirsten Katz' botanical prints

Welcome to The Creative Files, where we speak to some of the biggest crafters, makers and designers, gaining insights into their creative processes, inspiration and their advice for newcomers. Today we sat down with Kirsten Katz, an artist and designer specialising in creating colourful prints that reflect the diversity and uniqueness of Australian botanicals and birds. Kirsten lets us into her inspiration behind her unique style.

Who is Kirsten Katz and what is it that you create?

I'm Kirsten Katz, an Australian artist and surface pattern designer. My designs and paintings are a celebration of the beauty and diversity found in nature. Native flowers and Australian flora are often the centre stage of my work, as I am to capture their unique varieties through my modern botanical art.

Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?

Art and design has always been a passion of mine, going back to my early childhood. I loved fabrics and fashion, and wanted to either be a ballerina or fashion designer when I grew up. I was always passionate about art and crafting in a variety of forms, whether it was pottery, sewing, knitting, embroidery, or drawing and painting, I loved to explore my creativity through different mediums. This desire to create and express myself led me to pursue a career in design. I studied Print and Textile Design at the Fashion Design Studio in Sydney. Design is truly my passion, and I'm grateful that I've been able to turn it into a career as textile and surface pattern designer.

Kirsten Katz Designs

How did you cultivate your distinct style?

I have always had a passion for flowers and nature, and I feel truly inspired by their beauty and diversity. For me, nothing is more satisfying than spending my time creating unique works of art that celebrate the natural world. Whether it's designing modern botanical illustrations, stylized florals, or capturing the intricate details of birds and other wildlife, I am constantly striving to capture nature's stunning beauty in all its forms. My interest in design also enables me to explore new technologies and techniques that have allowed me to develop my style and to create fresh, modern designs that are on trend and truly reflect my love of flora and fauna. Whether it's through screen printing, hand drawing illustrations, painting or mixing traditional media with digital design work. My number one goal is to create art that adds colour and beauty to designer products that will be loved by people and design products that are not only beautiful, but also functional.

Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?

When designing a new collection or working on a series of new paintings, I typically begin by being inspired by photos or other visual elements that I encounter in my daily life. Whether it is beautiful flowers that I see while taking a walk or images from my travels, these photos provide me with the colours, shapes, and textures that serve as the starting point for my work. I typically start by drawing and painting on paper, experimenting with different colour palettes and designs to get a sense of how these elements will look when applied to different mediums. For example, if I am planning to create a design that will be used on fabric, then I will scan my hand-drawn illustrations or paintings and use Photoshop and other digital tools to bring my ideas to life to create a seamless pattern that can be printed in repeat. Through this process of sketching, refining, and experimentation, I am able to develop unique designs that capture both my aesthetic vision and the energy of the original inspiration source.

Kirsten Katz Design Inspiration

What does a typical working day look like for you?

I have always been a big believer in the power of routine and discipline, especially when it comes to managing my business, daily chores, and family life. To help me achieve everything I want to accomplish each day and week, I like to set myself a detailed to-do list at the start of each week. This list is filled with various tasks that need to be completed or goals I want to work towards achieving in the coming days. Though sometimes my list can be quite large and a bit too ambitious, having this framework helps me stay on track and stay accountable for my actions. I like to start the week off by getting all my administrative and business-related tasks out of the way, so that I can spend the rest of the week focusing on my creative projects and designs. This helps me to feel refreshed, motivated, and free to really let my creativity flow. And by mentally checking these things off my list early in the week, I am able to fully focus on my creative work. Whether it's working on new paintings and print designs or experimenting with a different creative process, I love immersing myself in artistic projects. And by making time for these activities on a daily basis, I am able to explore new ideas and enjoy the creativity that drives me forward in life.

What has been your favourite project to work on so far?

My art has been featured on a wide variety of products, from clothing and home decor to fabric, bedding, wallpaper, stationery and wall art. I have been truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on many exciting projects, including designing custom products for Spotlight. One of my favourite projects was creating several ranges of fabric collections for quilting and home furnishings. I have enjoyed working closely with the team at Spotlight to bring my artistic vision to life, resulting in beautiful Kirsten Katz fabric prints that are well-loved by quilters, makers and crafters alike. Another favourite project was designing several bedding collections which are exclusive to Spotlight. This involved working closely with production teams, and seeing my art brought to life as gorgeous bedding sets that are perfect for any bedroom. Whether I am designing custom pieces or working on large-scale collections, I always enjoy bringing my artistic vision to life on a variety of products with unique designs and vibrant colours. Throughout all of these projects, I have loved being able to channel my creativity and bring joy and beauty into people's lives with my art. I am truly grateful for all that I have been able to achieve, and look forward to new opportunities in the future!

Kirsten Katz Fabrics

Who are your biggest artistic inspirations and why?

Some of the biggest artistic inspirations in my life are other painters, designers, and creative professionals who have made incredible works that have inspired trends and art movements. Foremost among these are the likes of William Morris, Marimekko, and Liberty fabrics. These designers have created iconic designs that have stood the test of time, and continue to influence designers today with their unique styles and techniques. Additionally, I greatly admire the works of Picasso, Gustav Klimt, and Margaret Preston. Their paintings, subject matter, techniques, style and use of colour add a richness to the artistic world. As someone who aspires to create art with the same longevity, I am motivated to create pieces that embody the same timelessness and artistic excellence. Each time I view one of their works, I am reminded of the importance of creating something with beauty and meaning that will stand the test of time. One day I hope to join their ranks and be known as an iconic designer whose work will be admired for generations to come.

Do you have a single piece of advice you'd give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?

If I could go back in time to give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to take risks and follow my passions. When I was starting out as an artist and designer, I was hesitant to pursue my ideas, worrying that they might not be good enough or that they simply wouldn't work. But over time, I realised that the only way to truly succeed as an artist is to fully embrace my creativity and put all of myself into my work. Whether it's navigating the world of textile design or exploring new surfaces and materials, always keep pushing yourself to try new things and explore your creative potential. That is the key to success as an artist and designer. And at the end of the day, it's about enjoying what you do, so don't forget to have fun along the way!

Kirsten has created a stunning range of bedding and fabric prints available instore and online at Spotlight

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