Advice from a Snail… the zine!

advice from a snail

advice from a snail

today i took my first ever skillshare class, AND made my first ever zine!!!

actually, i made a few zines today, and this one is my favourite so I thought i would share!

inspired by my spirit animal, the slow and steady snail, i made an illustrated life-guide, snail-style. I cant wait to xerox and distribute it! it was super fun to work in black and white (although you know i love colour) and i especially loved working with india ink again- it has been a while! here is the zine in its entirety- i stand by every page, these are shelly, slimy words to live by…

take it slow. eat those greens. Advice from a snail by kate austin

take it slow. eat those greens. Advice from a snail by kate austin

there's no place like home. flowers rule. Advice from a Snail by Kate austin

there’s no place like home. flowers rule. Advice from a Snail by Kate austin

rainy days are for parties. small is beautiful. don't forget to leave a sparkly trail. Advice from a Snail by kate austin

rainy days are for parties. small is beautiful. don’t forget to leave a sparkly trail. Advice from a Snail by kate austin

back cover, Advice from a Snail, by Kate Austin

back cover, Advice from a Snail, by Kate Austin

Little Shop of Goodies!

Allover Alphabet risograph poster by Kate Austin

Allover Alphabet risograph poster by Kate Austin

Happy Friday!!

Yesterday I picked up some beautiful fluroescent pink and cornflower blue risograph Alphabet posters I designed- printed by the awesome Colour Code Print studio here in Toronto. Today I set up virtual shop! Check them out– the colours are so vibrant. See if you can figure out what I chose for each letter! There’s only a couple of goodies available right now, but there will be more soon– stay tuned!

New Inks!

new inks by kate austin

new inks by kate austin

Just got back from an inspiring and refreshing holiday- camping in Ontario and visiting my 96 year old grandmother in England. England was green green green with honeysuckle and roses around every corner. And I found a lovely little art supply shop in Oxford with these inks that I have never seen or used before and HOLY smokes are they ever gorgeous. I managed to squeeze a few into my suitcase and now that I am back home and settled into my studio I have been taking them out for a run. I took a TON of photos for inspiration and I’m loving making some new little paintings of all the beautiful flowers and critters I encountered on my travels. On our walks around Oxford we saw loads of Elderflower in bloom- this is what they look like before they pop into gorgeous tiny white flowers. There were also twisting vines along the paths- I love this one little green flower in particular with curly stem and balloon like buds. Today I’m going to visit the Toronto Botanical Garden- my first time there- cant wait. Bringing my paints and pencils and camera of course! Yay for summer!!!

Picture book dreams!

kate austin illustration intro postcard

kate austin illustration intro postcard

Today I’m doing something I have thought about doing pretty much forever: submitting my work to children’s book publishers! I can’t really believe it’s taken me this long, to be honest, but then again everything takes time right? I also think everything has a time, and for me the time is NOW to reach out, put myself out there, and introduce my work to the art directors of the kids publishing world. I started considering this seriously a while ago- probably as I was emerging from the fog of baby land- and it has been percolating ever since. We have a truly massive collection of picture books- both current and vintage- and they are a constant comfort and inspiration to me. I have been LOVING doing my (now deeply neglected!) daily postcards, and finding that I have lots of illustration ideas and drawings and paintings I really want to make. It’s funny how creating patterns feeds this side of my brain/work, and vice versa. I have lots of exciting pattern projects in the works post-Surtex and  I promised myself that before I get too busy I would dedicate some time to this longstanding dream of illustrating a picture book. Today is the day I am making it happen. Here’s hoping!

My shiny new Illustration Portfolio!

I’m excited to present my new illustration portfolio! It premiered last week at Surtex NYC – a fabulous show, more on this later!- and now is available for all to see!! Many of my little paintings have been part of my instagram feed of daily postcards, some are brand new for the 2015 portfolio. I’ve fallen off the daily postcard wagon a bit, but I’ll be back on again before too long!! Hope you enjoy this collection of whimsy!!

Countdown to Surtex!

my studio wall

my studio wall

Ooh la la! It’s Wednesday and Surtex starts on Sunday… that’s 4 days from now!!!!!!! WOWEEE!

I am so excited! I am totally looking forward to getting my booth all set up and colorful, and to seeing all the other booths all set up and colorful too! I’m excited to re-connect with the other peeps in this wacky meta world of behind the scenes surface pattern design and art, and also to meet new fabulous artists from all over the world. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to meet new manufacturers and art lovers, and to re-connect with the lovely buyers I met last year as well, some of whom I’m lucky to be working with!  I am SUPER excited to see where my art will end up in the world after this show– it’s always surprising and fabulous!!!

Surtex is a jam-packed non-stop action three days of excitement and I can’t wait!!!

kate austin designs/ spring summer 2015 Lookbook

Happy Spring: the lookbook!

I’m so excited to present my first-ever surface pattern lookbook!

This is just a nibble into my new collection of surface patterns, launching in a few short days at Surtex NYC. I wanted to share my love of summery days by the sea– many pics from my travels to Nova Scotia and New England made it into this wee book! I hope you enjoy this little offering… it was so fun to make!!

lookbook spring 2015