"When I draw houses and villages, it’s like I can imagine the people that are living in them. It is part of my daily job to imagine space for people, so maybe it is a reflection of that."
When speaking to Kakel (aka Kathleen), it becomes clear that she has a holistic approach to creating artwork. Living and working in Quebec as an architect, Kathleen has developed a unique style largely influenced by the gorgeous villages and communities she lives amongst. With a strong sense of geometric style Kathleen’s designs are aesthetically stunning.
How has your training in architecture helped you see as a designer and illustrator?
Architecture has opened my ideas on the sense of details and working together has a harmony. Like in my artworks, details are very important, but you also have to look at the big picture to make sure everything works as a whole. So yes, I see a lot of resemblance between creating an illustration and elaborating a house plan.
Can you tell us about your relationship with nature and the great outdoors?
As much as I love developing my work inside, the inspiration comes from the outside. Landscapes are so rich in colors, both urban and natural landscapes have something to offer. Since I work with the urban one all week, creating landscapes that focus around nature and wildlife helps me find peace I guess.
What’s your favorite part of illustrating and designing?
I love playing with colors and shapes. It’s such amazing how you can start from a blank piece of paper to a colorful artwork. The entire process is so much fun!
How do you think you can convey a sense of community and warmth in your illustrations?
The colors I use are very comforting to me and bring that sense of warmth, I believe. Like I mentioned earlier, everything has to work as a whole so I can be really satisfied by my piece.
What is it about villages that you are so attracted to in your work?
I guess it really comes from a while back, it has always fascinated me. When I draw houses and villages, it’s like I can imagine the people that are living in them. It is part of my daily job to imagine space for people, so maybe it is a reflection of that.
What’s been the biggest creative or professional learning curve you’ve faced?
Oh good question. I guess it’s still all very new to me and I constantly feel like I am learning something. I see that as a good thing, because when you stop learning, that’s when it starts to get boring!
I absolutely love the work “November,” could you tell us about it?
Well thank you! Very happy you do, it is one of my favorite piece. That piece was inspired by a hiking trip I made with my boyfriend in a national park close to the city. In “November,” the colors are starting to fade away with the colorful leaves almost all gone. This piece was inspired by this trip and a quest to find the colors back.
How do you create your works?
There is no typical way of creating an artwork! But usually, an idea pops into my head (I can be at the shopping center or in my bed) I either jot it down on my phone or I immediately start sketching my thoughts. Then I get on my computer and start to make it come alive! Then I like to take a little break and come back to it a few hours or days later to get a bigger portrait. I guess that pretty much resumes my process :)
When do you get your most creative work done?
Since I work during week days, I create at night !!! But the time I am the most productive is probably on Saturday mornings when I set up my coffee and dog beside me and start brainstorming and creating!