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Meet the Artist: Katie Kaapcke

Meet the Artist: Katie Kaapcke, designer of the Modern Rainbow print for MiliMili x PRONOUN

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Meet Katie Kaapcke - the designer behind our modern rainbow print for our collaboration with PRONOUN

 

After a two-month long search process to find the perfect designer for this collection, created in collaboration with PRONOUN by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, we were elated to stumble upon Katie’s Instagram profile. She loved color, her paintings were layered and textured, and she is part of the very community that PRONOUN seeks to support. (If you’re looking for some fascinating Instagram reels to watch - check out her process videos where she takes you behind the scenes in creating her art.) 

 

We thought it would be fun to do a little bit of a throwback and bring back our 20 Questions series*, so we could all learn a bit more about Katie. 

*We let Katie pick and choose which questions to answer

 

Let’s do this! 

 

An example of Katie Kaapcke's early work

An example of Katie's work from early in her career

 

  • How did you get your start as an artist? 
  •  

     It was a very long winding journey for me. As a child I was always creative, dance, baking, imagination, coloring and drawing/painting. My brother was naturally better at drawing than I was and I was obsessed with dance so that’s what I cultivated and I kind of talked myself out of art. I made my first comic book in high school and it was super weird like me. I then got started in graphic design in college and I was still dancing. Right when I turned 30 I picked up a pen and paint brush and started making my own comics again. My comics started to build some momentum in San Francisco and I started painting every day. I absolutely fell in love with watercolor and gouache and couldn’t stop creating. It made me super happy and helped me through a lot of difficult times with my mental health. A couple years later I got an office job that took up a lot of time and wasn’t really creating much. I decided to do a 365 day daily art challenge which also turned into several 100 day projects and that consistent daily practice really launched my art career. I kept creating consistently and showing up for my art and for myself and in the process falling in love with abstracts.

     

  • How has your style evolved since you started? 
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    I absolutely fell in love with abstracts, so deeply. It’s the most expressive and free I’ve ever felt with painting. I still draw and illustrate and make both abstract and more illustrated patterns. Abstracts are just my heart and soul. I don’t like to limit my style, I like so many mediums, collage, drawing, painting in everything but oils (yet). I have different styles for different mediums and I love the freedom to express myself however I feel like at the moment. No limits, that’s my art style.

    Pronoun by Jesse Tyler Ferguson - Modern Rainbow Art Print for MiliMili

     

  • Talk to us about the process in developing the custom print you did for our MiliMili x Pronoun collection
  •  

    I wanted to express the spirit of pride and showcase trans pride with a little different spin. I didn’t want to do the traditional Pride rainbow colors but an interpretation of them. I wanted you to look at the print and feel the joy of Pride. I did a lot of illustrations on paper and digitally and started to play. My process always starts with play.

     

  • Where are you from? 
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    My family is originally from the east bay area but I moved around a lot as a kid and a bit as an adult. I’m a Californian and I love northern California. Southern California is beautiful but it’s just not for me.

     

  • Are you an early riser or night owl?
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    Night owl mostly.

     

  • Do you have a sleep routine and/or necessities that ensure a great night of sleep? 
  •  

    No screens, kindle only. 

     

  •  Favorite color(s)? 
  •  

    All of them! Purple is a favorite.

     

  • What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
  •  

     Tie between Venice Italy and the Cinque Terre.

    A piece from Lee Bermejo

    a piece from Lee Bermejo

     

  • Most influential person in your life?
  •  

     From a career perspective it was Lee Bermejo and Carlos D’Anda. They taught me a lot about creating artwork, never giving up, work ethic and kept me believing in myself. They were there at the beginning. I learned a lot being surrounded by successful comic book artists but Lee and Carlos taught me to always keep making. Even if it sucks which it often will or you think you are terrible. Never give up and never stop. Consistency always.

     

  • What locations/countries (landscape, artwork, people, etc...) inspire your work the most? 
  •  

    I’m most inspired by nature all over the world and the historic buildings and details of Europe. I love so much artwork and find all of it inspiring. I love comics, movies, abstracts, illustration, botanicals, really I love it all. 

     

  • What are you most proud of in your career? 
  •  

    Not giving up and sharing my experiences as a person who suffers from mental illness and is queer.

     

  • How do you structure your work days to stay on task + productive? 
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    I have short daily task lists and I tend to have less energy in the mornings so I do more of my administrative work in the mornings and painting in the afternoons and evenings. I’m productive because I consistently show up and I create whether I feel like it or not.

     

  • What’s your biggest goal right now? 
  •  

    This year I want to grow the art licensing and pattern design sides of my business as well as get back into some in person shows. 

     

  • What is your biggest day to day challenge? 
  •  

    Making sure I make time to move my body, yoga and running. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in work and not take a break.

     

    know your magic ii art by Katie Kaapcke

    'Know Your Magic II' by Katie Kaapcke

  • When have you given up on something?
  •  

     I haven’t really ever given up on anything. I’ve taken breaks, my interests have shifted to a new area but if I really love something I never give up on it.

     

  • What gift have you received that you will always treasure?
  •  

    I have some original artwork given to me by Lee Bermejo and I will always treasure it. It’s from a hard but special time in my life.

     

  • What other designers / artists do you love to follow on Instagram/social? 
  •  

    So many! I learned surface pattern design from Bonnie Christine’s @bonniechristine Immersion course and it was life changing. I love Heather Day @heatherday. Claira Heitzenrater brings the spooky witchy magic @virgosunstudio. Charlie J. Meyers is a crazy talented queer artist @charliejmeyers. I love @leebermejo’s work and Carlos D’Anda @c.deeanda.art. I also love  graphic novelist  Mari Naomi @marinaomiart. Nicolle Cure is one of my favorite abstract artists @nicollecure_art. Honestly I could go on and on. I love all art and I love comics and I can’t get enough!

     

     

     




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