We love having creative sponsors and as an an International fine artist and illustrator this week is no exception. Katrina is the founder and designer of Arty Hearts, a national stationery and gift brand based out of Sydney, Australia. We chatted with Katrina to discover what inspired her to explore her own creativity and launch her own unique collection of luxury stationery.
Q&A with Katrina
How would you describe your creative style?
I have a background in print media, packaging and advertising, as well as television, fine art and illustration. This diversity in my work has seen me produce work in a variety of looks over the years for various other companies depending on the brief required. I also have worked with a number of interior designers on corporate projects so my work tends to be story lead in its approach. I work in a very loose watercolour style for Arty Hearts, but on my fine art side, I have a fine art collection called The Prosperity Collection, that is very different from Arty Hearts with depictions of koi and water in various themes. It is quite a technical collection so Arty Hearts allows me to be very free creatively in its style by comparison. Then there is the work I am commissioned to do for various corporate and private clients, and that can be anything from working to a designer’s mood board to create something specific colour based abstract style to their project, through to illustrative work for other clients.
What inspired/led you to start your own line of stationery?
I felt there was a gap in the market for something that was genuinely had illustrated in its style, yet highly curated in its product design stories. I felt a lot of design work in this area was digitally led, and to me gift giving is a very emotive experience. I really wanted to develop products that made a personal connection to the buyer, and the way to do that was to pick up a paint-brush and create these by my own hand. To me the brand had to be authentic in its intention, and I think when people see the visuals on our products, it does in some way feel personal.
After all, if they are giving one of my stationery items to their loved one or friend for a special occasion, that is a very personal choice too, and I wanted it to mean something. Arty Hearts is a very connected brand. We engage a lot with our buyers, and it enables us to tailor collections so our retailers also can merchandise our products through their stores almost tailored to their own retail space style.
With each collection, we keep growing and expanding our style stories into other product ranges. It’s a collection that very easily lends itself to a variety of products, not just stationery. If it were up to me, I would be wallpapering everything with our happy prints, but we keep quite focused on what our buyers want, which enables us to keep offering new and fresh ranges to the market, as well as keeping a few of the usual favourites in the lines.
In honour of this week’s theme, tell us about about your perfect ‘sweet escape’ and what this theme means to you?
For me it would be proper time out without technology laying on a beach somewhere, surrounded by palm trees and coconuts with a sweet cocktail in my hand. If you see the themes of our stationery you will get the idea I must feel like a sweet escape nearly every day! Lets face it, who doesn’t want to run off to some tropical island somewhere every other day? Our stationery lets you jazz up your workspace so you can have your very own sweet escape without leaving your office. Nothing wrong with dreaming right and I’m the biggest sweet escape artist!
Show us three of your favourite products that you have created and tell us why you love them:
This is a hard one, as with every collection being so personal, I have to be so involved in the process on both the illustrative and production side, and in the product development, therefor I feel because I use them everyday, it’s hard to single out one or two favourites. We try to make them so visually pretty, but the finished product also has to be practical. I like to have a variety of them in use every day with the idea of making life a little more organised.
If I had to single out some favourites, the fabric printed bullet journals are one of the standouts, just because not only are they pretty, but they make the most beautiful keepsakes for a diary or journal, but also to map out your own dreams and goals. I really like beautiful paper products that feel great as well and these just make you want to hold them while you are out and about on your own adventure. I also love the card ranges, they are not only a little cheeky, but again, just feel like something