Getting new clients is always a thrill, and today I’m especially pleased to be introducing my new illustrator and coloring book author, Kathryn Holeman!
Kathryn is a graphic designer with three coloring book illustration credits under her belt. When her new coloring book query landed in my inbox a month or so ago, I read it straight away and emailed her to set up a phone call later that same morning. I love the whimsical yet complex style of her line work, and her new pitch was exactly the right mix of hilarious, heartfelt, and snarky. It was a fast decision for me. Insta-project-love.
A talk or two later, she signed with me, we got lunch, and now I have the pleasure of welcoming her to the BookEnds family!
We’re so happy to have you, Kathryn! I hope you all enjoy her interview.
Tell us a bit about your process. Where do you work, and how often?
I used to be a night owl but now that my family is up and out the door to school by 7:30am, I have adapted to get my work done earlier in the day. Lately, some of my best ideas have come to me while on the way home from daycare drop off, when my mind is fresh and the car is quiet. I work from home, in a sunny little room off the side of our house. I have one big table for my computer, scanner, and drawing space so I am always rearranging things depending on where I am in the creative process.
When did you start pursing your art professionally and what advice would you give to aspiring illustrators?
As a graphic designer, I have incorporated illustration into my work since 2001. It wasn’t until 2008, when I started selling custom stationery and art prints on Etsy. at local craft fairs, and on Minted.com, that I realized I thought I could make a career out of being an artist. From there I started sharing my drawings and sketches on my website and social media. In 2015, a major door opened when author and wedding expert Maggie Lord found my work on Facebook and hired me to illustrate her coloring book, Color Me Married. My advice is to just keep creating the art you want to make, share some of it online, and make connections with other artists and makers. Keep moving forward and the rewards will come (and not always in the ways you expect)
What is the hardest part about illustrating for coloring books?
Coloring books for adults should have enough detail to appeal to colorists but also enough open space for someone to add their personal touch through color and shading. My natural style tends to be more whimsical but, at the same time, my coloring book drawings need to be a really great starting point for the coloring process.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what do you listen to?
I like the idea of listening to music but I am so indecisive! Sometimes it’s quiet for hours before I think to turn on my speakers. Lately I have been listening to Amazon Prime playlists for “writing and reading” It’s a lot of instrumental music from movies like “The Hours” or “Legends of The Fall.”
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
Joining Beth Campbell and the BookEnds family marks the beginning of my dream job. To be included in this roster of wonderful authors and illustrators and to have an agent who will advise me, advocate for me, and make connections on my behalf is an amazing step for my career.
If you could illustrate any book, what would it be and why?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I love the idea of creating beautiful maps for imaginary worlds.
If you’re not working on your art, what would we catch you doing?
Cooking something from The Game of Thrones cookbook, building Lego structures with my sons, or relaxing with a glass of wine.
You can check out Kathryn’s website here: http://www.kathrynholeman.com and follow her on twitter @kshcreative215