Interview: Kris Tate

By / Oct 19th, 2013 / , , / No comments
Kris Tate (2)

Experimental Artist Kris Tate, who coincidentally shares her surname with a prestigious gallery, swirls up ’80s glam-rave, tribal-patterns and bold geometric shapes to produce psychedelic animal designs. With a range of influences from knitwear to nature thrown into the mix, these trendy, festival-feelin’ illustrations wouldn’t be out of place on the set of Skins. Hipster at their heart, Kris’ illustrations have a splattering of Native American Indian influences in there too.The colour choices are all a part of her signature style, with many featuring black and white animals with neon-purple and turquoise doodle-bombs over the top. Kris is a really versatile designer and produces her pieces using photographic, digital, collage and hand-painting techniques.

Manchester-based,  Kris studied graphics at the University of Guatemala before moving to the UK. She’s got a great roster of clients and has worked with Urban Outfitters and Blood is the New Black to name a few. She’s also done a great collaboration with fellow Ohh Deer contributor Drew Turner which you can see here. 

We spoke to Kris to find out more about the inspiration behind these funky, indie illustrations.

What’s your background?

I was born in Guatemala, which has a colourful culture. When my Iovely parents discovered that I liked art , animals and illustrating, they let me study painting. I got a passion for it, and this inspired me to be a designer and make my own style.

How would you describe your artwork style?

My work style is simple I don’t know how to describe it, but I like animals, nature, and colours.

What kind of projects are you working on right now?

At the moment, I find myself in Guatemala preparing a new t-shirt collection for a brand that I am working for, and this will be launched soon worldwide. This collection will be made in Guatemala, and will be exclusive, which I’m really excited about.

Are you working on your illustration full-time?

Yes, always.

What are the influences on your work?

There are many, I watch loads of animals documentaries. I am very passionate about watching David Attenborough because I learn a lot from him. I am also inspired by my native Guatemalan culture.

If you could only use one colour, what would it be?

I like brown.

A lot of your designs are printed on clothing; do you wear your own pieces?

Yes, I have a t-shirt of my Huipil design that I like to wear a lot.

Describe you studio…

My studio is simple but cosy, with my Mac on an old desk, loads of cacti, and my prints on the wall. There’s lots of markers, coloured pencils, books, and there’s also a scanner.

You can see more of Kris’ work on her portfolio site, and you can buy products featuring her designs in our online shop here. 

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