[Originally posted on January 2011]
Kaye is a young illustrator and designer, formerly English but now based in New York. She’s just starting out, but some of her works have already been printed by Tiny Showcase and Amelia’s Magazine among others. Lately Kaye’s been working on a line of jewelry, but she’s also been creating screenprinted fabrics, badges and self-publishing zines and prints. Let’s have a closer look!
How did illustration become your full time occupation?
It isn’t my full time occupation yet! I’d like it to be, but as I only just graduated in June of last year, I think it will take a while before illustration pays all the bills.
Are there any intentional recurring themes in your work?
I’m interested in dark humour, in the occult, and in violence, trying to make something a little funny out of something sinister. My work often has a little gore in it. Birds of prey and large dogs crop up a lot, and I’m always drawn to fights and war in one way or another.
When approaching a commissioned artwork, what are your sources? How do you prepare?
I don’t use a lot of visual references; I tend to draw from my head unless it’s something particularly complex. I brainstorm and come up with a few ideas; I don’t really sketch, I just start. I do several versions of each idea and then pick the best one.
What are your major influences?
Definitely my father, Peter Blegvad, he’s also an illustrator (among other things), and I was surrounded by his interests as I grew up: comics and graphic novels, the surreal, dreams, poetry, alchemy, pataphysics… I’ve definitely internalized a lot of that.
Are you the homesick kind of person?
Not to a huge degree, but then I’ve never been away longer than a few months. I do have a certain amount of nostalgia about home, and surround myself with reminders, but I quite like that feeling, it’s certainly not homesick. That said, I’ll be very excited to go home for a visit when I can, I’ll have been away for eight months by then.
You seem to share the DIY ethic, is it an ideal or a necessity?
With artwork, I definitely prefer things to look handmade. I like being able to see the process in the piece, I find digital work much less interesting than something hand-done. As for a general DIY ethic, I like the idea of making things for yourself instead of buying them where you can; I’ve always made some of my own clothes, bound books, customized furniture, but it can be so time consuming, and supplies can be so expensive, that sometimes you just have to suck it up and buy it readymade.
What is the place that you would like to travel to in the future? Why?
I’d travel anywhere I got half a chance to, but I’d particularly like to travel around Asia and South America. I’m really interested in the folklore, myths, and imagery of non-Western cultures. I’ve done a little bit of exploring in Mexico and Singapore, and it just made me want to see more. Different attitudes to storytelling and image-making are fascinating, and the content often quite alien to me, I love it.
Who is the woman you’d like to see featured/interviewed here?