Katie Vernon has her new book, Make Art Every Day, that will jumpstart your creativity with guidance on new techniques to try. You’ll discover new ways to visualize your creative goals, and then make them a reality!
What inspired you to write Make Art Every Day?
Being creative and making art for a living or just for fun can be hard work. It takes dedication and planning to make art regularly and to avoid burning out.
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There are many things that support daily creativity (finding inspiration, making connections with other creatives, dreaming of goals, etc.) and so I wanted to encourage people to view those supporting creative exercises as part of the art making process.
I don’t want people to feel bad if they miss a day of art making- especially since it’s so easy to look at Instagram (and all the daily art challenges) and feel discouraged if you’re not making awesome art to post. Make Art Every Day provides ideas and suggestions to give inspiration to literally, make art every day.
Do you make art every day? If so, how do you block out that time?
Since I am a full-time illustrator, most days I am working on jobs for at least a few hours while my daughter is in school. It has taken time to build up my creative muscles to the point where I can make art on most days. And even then- I know that Monday through Wednesday I am extremely productive, but then Thursday and Friday I usually need to refuel with some thrifting (inspiration!) or working from a place where I can get a delicious coffee (self-care!).
How did you learn to illustrate?
I studied illustration in college and have always made art for friends. I’ve read books and took online classes (which were good for the business/marketing aspects of the job), but honestly- the way to learn is to just make a ton of art.
How has your art evolved over time?
Oh, it’s crazy how much my art has changed. The biggest shift came after I had some success with a specific look (pencil with painted florals). I found that I didn’t enjoy making art like this (even though it was well received). So I took some time to rediscover what I needed from my art-making process in order to have fun. I ended up needing to be loose at the start (ink on cheap paper), and then more in control at the end (collaging/coloring/adding details in photoshop). I’m definitely still evolving because that’s a part of being an artist that I love – growing, learning, trying new things!
When did you know you’d make it as an artist?
For me, it was when I got an agent. Agents are not necessary for success, but I was never good at the marketing side and knew I needed support for this to be a full-time gig.
What different creative mediums do you play around with?
Acrylic ink, watercolor, colored pencil, and iPad pro.
Tell us about your creative space. Do you have a dedicated studio space? In your home? or outside?
It’s a room in my home. I like being able to get up and do some laundry or take my dog for a walk. Or put in a few hours of work at night if I need to.
Are you the kind of person who needs to have a clean slate to create? Or does your creativity flourish with supplies and inspiration all around you?
I feel more at ease with a tidy/organized space, but sometimes that is just unrealistic. So I just try to ignore (or hide) clutter until I can’t stand it. Then I do a mega-purge and it feels so amazing!
How do you schedule your creative time? Do you schedule start and stop times? Or only when inspired?
I definitely don’t set a clock but I also don’t wait until I am inspired. The hardest part when you’re not feeling inspired is just starting. So if I need to, I’ll open Pinterest and quickly find something that sparks an idea- like a cool, old chair- then I’ll figure out a way to make it my own. 50% of the time I’ll dislike what I painted, but it will have led to a new idea, and hey, I tried.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My agent, Lilla Rogers, always says there’s enough space for all of us (artists) and that what’s good for one artist is good for all artists. This has really helped me relax, not be jealous, and just be myself.
What’s your art goal for the next year?
Say “no” more and have more fun!
You can find Katie’s work on her website: https://katievernon.com
And her new book on Amazon: Making Art Every Day
Interview with Katie Vernon posted December 2017
Browse through more inspiring painting and drawing projects on Create Whimsy.