Meet the Maker: Katie Manktelow (Katie Manktelow creative studio)
Can you describe your creative work in a few sentences?
I have always loved to draw, from a very early age so all my work stems from that. I mostly like to explore my interior world, what I’m thinking, feeling, and experiencing, and then use things in the real world to physically draw from to reflect those inner emotions. It’s a bit like creating a metaphor. A lot of the time that means getting out into nature where I can truly get in touch with what I’m feeling. That results in my work being inspired by nature. The drawings then become repeating patterns designed to go on quilting fabric. I’d describe the look of my work as feminine, modern and heartfelt.
What’s your favourite medium to create with?
I do surface pattern design, which involves taking my drawing and digitising them so I can create repeating patterns from them. So that always starts with good old-fashioned pencil and paper, sometimes some ink too. But then it moves into the digital space of adobe illustrator. I love these for different reasons. I love pencil/ink on paper because it slows me down, gets me present and in a state of flow. But I love the digital space as that is where you can play, and surprises always happen. There is so much freedom when you work digitally.
Shout out to lino cutting which I love too.
Can you share a programme/art supply brand/item you love working with?
I’m not choosy about my physical art supplies, mostly using any paper or pencil that I have at hand. However, working with an Ipad Pro and Apple pencil is a game-changer. I’m loving exploring all the creative possibilities that give me.
Do you create every day? If so, do you have a set time to create?
I’d love to say yes to this but truthfully, I don’t. I’m more of a go with when the energy is there. Being creative every day is a habit I want to build.
Do you have a ritual around creating?
If I’m drawing with pencil and paper I like to do that outside in the sunshine if possible (not often as I live in the UK!). It helps me to listen to some music while I work. Music just quiets my thoughts and allows me to focus on being in the moment while I draw. I also always like to have a nice cup of tea to hand.
What’s your favourite part about your creative work?
I love that I usually manage to surprise myself. Sometimes I create things that I had no idea I was capable of and it makes me so curious to keep going so that I can see what else I might create.
What’s your least favourite part about your creative work?
The days when I try and it just doesn’t come or doesn’t flow and it feels very disheartening because I’m not enjoying it. I’m focusing on the outcome and I’m not liking what I’m creating. But I try and tell myself in those cases that this is just a practice piece, and to just enjoy the time creating, don’t worry too much about the outcome.
What would you tell your younger self about your creative work?
That you do not need some grand big idea or mission that you stand for in order to make art. The small, quiet, unassuming ideas are just as worthy. You are capable and you have everything you need inside of you to make beautiful work. So don’t overthink it and go for it.
Do you create with a certain person/target group in mind?
When I’m creating surface pattern designs I am creating with the idea that it will go onto fabric and mainly for quilting. But I try not to let any idea of what someone else might want to get in the way. I really create for myself and create what I think is beautiful. Hopefully, if I love it someone else will too!
Where can people find you and your work?
My website: katiemanktelow.com
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