ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Cat Coquillette

Name: Cat Coquillette, founder of CatCoq
Place to live: Nomadic. I travel around the world working off my laptop as I go. Currently: Naples, Italy.
Interests: Watercolor, digital illustration, petting dogs, exploring the globe.
Favorite Color: Turquoise
See the Designs!
The world is her “office”. Sassy statements, natural, sometimes mysterious designs are the leitmotif of her work. Cat Coquillette loves to experiment many different techniques from hand-lettering, to hand-painted brushwork and digital illustrations. Bright and pop colours meet the variety of her subjects, creating a cheeky and playful collection.

Interview with Cat Coquillette

How did your journey as an artist begin?

I've been drawing and painting since I was a little kid. My art teachers encouraged me to continue following my passion, so I continued to enroll in art classes throughout high school. In college, I double-majored in graphic design and illustration. I guess you could say I never really stopped creating.

We think your work is bold and busy and beautiful! How do you describe your unique style?

I have two primary illustration styles: watercolor paintings and digital drawings. My watercolor work incorporates fine areas of whitespace between each painted shape. I initially began this technique because I didn't have the patience to wait for paint to dry before I started a new section of my painting, but now it's my signature style. I illustrate digitally when I'm on-the-move and don't have all my painting supplies on hand, so the bulk of my digital portfolio was created from coffee shops, airport terminals, and long train rides.

How long does it take you to create a new piece? What is your creative process?

I'm a fast painter, so each piece takes about an hour or two from sketch to final painting. However, the bulk of the work actually comes after the paint is dry– I scan in my paintings and do a lot of exploration in Photoshop. I play with the depth of the tones, explore color palettes, and even infuse gold foil effects into my original painting. By the time I'm finished, I usually have around ten variations of one painting.

Your work features a wonderful array of patterns and designs, from donuts to unicorns! Who and what are you inspired by?

My primary source of inspiration comes from the things I encounter during my travels. I painted alpacas after hiking alongside them in Peru, elephants after visiting an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, and water buffalo after biking past one in Cambodia. I've also painted loads of tropical-inspired pieces, from orchids and hibiscus to ferns and palm trees. These all came from visiting jungles, rainforests, and botanical gardens throughout the world.

In the future, what kind of art could you see yourself creating?

I've always wanted to try my luck at stained glass. I'm terrible at pottery and sculpture, but piecing glass together into an illustration seems like the perfect fusion between getting to work more hands-on and traditional 2-D drawing.

“Little But Fierce Charcoal” seems to be the most liked design by our users. But… what is your favourite work featured at caseable? and why?

Little & Fierce was my first big hit and it continues to be one of my most popular pieces. I actually painted the original for my cousin's first baby and it now hangs in her room. It's hard to pick just one favorite out of my entire portfolio of hundreds of pieces, but my Evil Eye digital illustration is definitely up there. Morocco is high on my travel list and my Evil Eye drawing reminds me that I need to make my way over there soon.

Tell us something that might surprise our readers.

I travel with packets of Fancy Feast in my backpack so I can feed stray cats and dogs. I'm absolutely obsessed with animals, but my nomadic lifestyle makes it impossible for me to keep a pet. Stopping to pet every cat and dog I come across is my happy middle-ground.