Chicago-based illustrator, painter and surface designer Kate Pugsley has a playful, child-like, aesthetic, that we enjoy. Her designs adorn anything from mugs to prints and greeting cards, all of which she sells through her online shop and Etsy. But you can also enjoy her work from afar, by following her Instagram page where she has amassed well over 211k followers.
Since earning a BFA in illustration from RISD, Pugsley has worked for notable clients that include The New York Times, Bloomsbury Publishing, Tiffany & Co, and even the United Nations. “I hope to be lucky enough to have a lasting career doing what I love,” she told I Do Art. “I dream of the opportunity to travel more and possibly live in a foreign country at some point.”
Her work draws inspiration from the world around her. “I take daily walks through the neighborhoods of Chicago where I see a lot of interesting things,” she says. “I’ll see a flash of an interesting shape, color combination, plant, structure or face and I’ll try to remember it. These little fragments fuel me and make me excited to get back to work. Travel is especially stimulating for me because I have entirely new experiences to get inspired from.”
Using gouache, watercolor, and pencil she admits her painting process is fairly spontaneous (as opposed to her illustration projects). “I begin with a blank piece of paper and start making marks until it slowly comes together,” she says. “I keep a lot of sketchbooks with little bits of ideas and often I’ll reference them in my paintings. I do this to balance with my illustration practice which involves a lot more planning and structure.”
Take a look at some of her work in the gallery below.