I'm delighted to welcome illustrator Katy Dynes to my blog today. Katy now juggles her illustration work, with making handmade soft toy prototypes, greetings cards and teaching when she can, leading to a very fulfilled working life. She has also just entered the very exciting world of fairs and exhibitions, where her work has also been very well received. Go, Katy!
After studying and gaining an HND in 2D Animation from the Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design (now the Arts University College at Bournemouth) and brief ‘brushes’ with Aardman Animation, Warner Bros and Disney, Katy realised that her passion for ‘creating’ lay in the character design, story telling and setting the scene (sadly, not in the moving image).
So, moving swiftly sideways and having the extraordinary opportunity to work from home, she doggedly pursued a career in freelance Illustration. Managing a Gallery on a part-time basis, Katy illustrated in the remaining time, gaining and being recommended by clients such as Waterstones, J. Sainsburys, W F Graham, Hotch Potch, Washington Green and De Montfort and Cranfield Universities.
This work (with personal recommendations) led to a 1 day a week work placement in a local Primary School as an Artist in Residence for 2 years. This amazing stroke of luck gave Katy the impetus, confidence and the finances, to finally ‘bite the bullet’ and freelance fulltime.
In doing so, she met and worked with many more clients from Harper Collins, Rocket, Folens, County Studio, DC Thomson and co., Jellycat, The MS Trust, Quick Brown Fox, Holy Mackerel, Authors Online, Safe Dreams and Unicef.
Katy has written and illustrated a book, ‘Our Cat Family’ for her Mum about their numerous cats, it was published in 2014 and she has had requests for it ever since
Here's the cover, and a larger picture so you can see all the fab cats! Wow! Are all these cats your Mum's, Katy? It must have taken you days to draw all these.
If you'd like to buy a copy, it costs just £6.99 and you can obtain it direct from Katy, contact her via email:
Here are some projects that Katy has worked on.
From 'Archies' Rugby Dream' by Katharine James and 'Lawrence the Lion seeks Work' by Miller Cauldwell
She has also illustrated lots of spreads for dictionaires, such as this Kingfisher.
I asked Katy to tell us a bit about herself
What sort of illustrations do you like to draw?
I love to illustrate animals and big, round eyed, curious children…….I love sketching and drawing from life and take inspiration from the little things that people may miss. Inspiration comes in the form of words, dreams, very vivid colour and every day magic.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I love hidey holes, dens and climbing trees and I used to have a pet fox as a child.
What was your favourite children’s book when you were a child?
Too many to mention- my Gran taught me to read when I was 3 and after that, I was rarely found without a book or a piece of paper. ‘The Folk of the Faraway Tree’ and ‘The Enchanted Wood’ by Enid Blyton were both favourites- they still are……and when I was 7 or 8, I read ‘Ludo and the Star Horse’ by Mary Stewart which changed my world. After an incident with my hideout- an old van - which was sold with all my books in it - I couldn’t recall the title but have carried the story with me for years- until I finally discovered the book again last year, some 30+ years later
What’s your top tip for new illustrators?
Keep drawing every day if possible and do keep sketchbooks for any ideas, no matter how small; you never know when you look back, what the ideas may become! Also always be courteous, persevere and grab every opportunity, no matter how scary……again, you never know who you may meet along the way.
Thanks for dropping by and telling us about your fascinating work, Katy.