Wednesday, 6 March 2013

the creatives: Kathryn Wilkins of Lookbookillust

Today's Creatives feature is Kathryn Wilkins who draws sweet fashion illustrations of bloggers and Lookbookers in a variety of styles.
Who are you?
My name is Kathryn Wilkins, i'm a 22 year old illustrator, animator and animation artist currently living in southern California. I grew up in a little suburb called Walnut (not to be confused with Walnut Creek). Growing up I spent a lot of time in the park next to my house and looking back, I guess you could say I was a peculiar child. My peculiar tendencies lead me to pursue art. I learned of The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) when i was in the fifth grade and i worked form that point forward to get into their Character Animation Program. When I graduated college I was accepted directly into their character animation program (a big accomplishment at the time). I am now about a year out of college and currently working to break myself into the animation industry and I've recently been exploring Fashion Illustration. 

When & why did you start illustrating?
I started illustrating when I was very young. I had always been drawn to art and was often known by my artistic tendencies. I had always wanted for art to be my career as it is my passion. Some of the earliest memories I have of my art was when I used to create comics and stories when I was around 10. I remember I'd create these stories and do illustrations to go along with them. I'd go to school and tell my friends the stories and we'd all act it out on the playground. That's kind of the thing that lead my artistic career to lend itself more towards sequential/story based artwork.
What attracts you to Lookbookers?
When I was in college, most of my time was spend animating or storyboarding and I wanted to have a bit of a side project to work on while I was doing all of these other things. I remember a teacher of mine showed up Lookbook one day as a great way to study 'characters" and I was instantly sold. Lookbook is like a collection of characters. Everyone is so different and so unique. Everyone has their own flavor and their own styles. I love looking at someone's outfit and making up a story in my head that goes along with that outfit. Every time I do an illustration of a lookbooker I try to invoke a certain type of character and I try my best to capture the personality I think the fashionista is trying to portray. It is, interestingly enough, one of the only projects I've created that I've actually been able to continuously work on consistently.

What's special about your illustrations?  
 I'm not the first illustrator to have a project where they do illustrations of user on lookbook, but I think I'm unique because I do put perhaps more focus on the character than I do the actual clothing. I put a great amount of detail in my fashion based art work because Ive always loved being able to put my illustrations next to the photos and see the resemblance. However, my main focus when doing these illustration is character and character design. The fashion aspect comes as an after thought a lot of the times.
How would you describe your style?
I don't know if I could specifically describe my style. when I look at my work as a whole I think it has a wide range. I draw anything from semi realistic to extremely cartoony. One of the main purposes of my blog is to push myself. I try something new every single time. It's a great way to push myself into discovering new things. I love doing something new and I love problem solving when it comes to my illustrations. 
In terms of mediums, I use almost exclusively photoshop and at times I uses flash. A lot people have told me that my artwork looks like it's done by a traditional medium and that's one of my many goals. I've spent a lot of my artistic career using completely traditional mediums so my aesthetic lends itself towards that sort of look. I'll often look at some of my favorite illustrators and attempt to emulate their style in both actual design and in their usage of traditional mediums. I recently created a Mary Blair brush set through studying the great works of Mary Blair. I was very happy with how these turned out as they really, to me were able to emulate Mary Blair's style quite well (at least for what I was trying to do). I would say that this aspect of my illustrations is what ties most of my work together.

You can find more of Kathryn's illustrations at her blog or on her facebook page. If you've got an interesting project and would like to be featured here please email me at! Also... you may have noticed that Robyn, who I featured last time, has done me a lovely illustration for my sidebar :) 


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