Category: book love

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

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!!

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

Word book!

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A while ago I made a cloth word book for my pre-schooler, and we’ve been looking through it lots lately so I thought I’d blog about it! It was a super satisfying project although I did have some technical issues with the final binding- didn’t really think it all the way through and it was very fat when assembled- way too fat to fit in my regular old sewing machine. So I did some hand sewing and used my bookbinding training to piece it all together and so far it has withstood some rough handling. I drew the pictures, designed it all up and then had the fabric printed digitally. I lined the pages with quilt batten to make them more substantial which did contribute to the tricky sewing challenge but I think was worth it. I loved making the illustrations – I’m definitely inspired to do it again. IMG_0962.JPG

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Cactus Study

paul rand cactus by kate austin 2014

paul rand cactus by kate austin 2014

Another little ink painting I made recently. This one was inspired by a great book I got from the library, From Lascaux to Brooklyn by Paul Rand. It’s a great book- really thoughtful and inspiring. And some great photos- including a beauty of a classic cactus, the inspiration for this picture! The texture on this dude would make a lovely all over pattern too- working on something right now…

Studio Peek

my studio wall of inspiration and work in progress

my studio wall of inspiration and work in progress

Today I thought I’d share a little peek into my work space. I decided it was time to refresh the wall in front of my work table – I wanted to have a look at some of the ink paintings I’ve been working on, and also my new postcards from Sou Sou of artwork by Katsuji Wakisaka. I also put up my new little marimekko gift cards- I love how they’re printed on the front and back with bright and graphic images. The envelopes were really nice too- patterned in bold colours on the inside, white on the outside. The fabulous pencil sketch of a moose is by my 7 yr old, as is the lily pad lake drawing beside it- both inspired by our trip to Algonquin (we saw a moose!) I also took a pic of my messy work table… sigh.

my messy worktable and fabulous apron- thrifted- it's an inuit screen print!

my messy worktable and fabulous apron- thrifted- it’s an inuit screen print!

I’m loving having a set up for painting- I just skiddle up here whenever I have a moment and pick up a paintbrush- it’s working for me. However the whole concept of cleaning up and organazizing is not really happening at the moment.. one day! Check out my amazing work apron… I got it years ago at a thrift shop- it’s a screen printed inuit image by Nanogak! I have held onto it for all these years and kept it so pristine, but now I think– I should give it some life! And you know if it gets a little paint on it, c’est la vie. Also check out my new mug… LOVE this unikko colorway from this summer. Mmm tea. Now back to work!