#Maker Monday – Let’s Meet Edinburgh Graduate Kate McLelland

May 27, 2019 | Blog

It’s #Maker Monday. Our newly revamped feature where we speak to the artists behind your favourite prints and design goodies. What inspired them to become artists, where they look for inspiration, their favourite coffee spots and much more.

This week sees the launch of the Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show (ECA) We love our annual trip to check out what’s new and exciting emerging from the local art school and to finally catch up with the 4th Year illustration students that we’ve been working with on this years Maps Project. It’s great to finally see their show after all the hard work.

We’ve worked with so many allumni of ECA over the years. Kate McLelland is this month’s featured Artist and will be taking over our window this week; displaying new work and some of your old favourites too. We’ve worked with Kate since 2010. Scottish Landscapes and Animals feature highly in her illustrations and she’s been a firm favourite with both locals and tourists for many years.

Kate Mclelland Wild Life Map of Scotland

What Do You Love Most About What You Do?

The feeling I get when I am totally immersed in creating new artwork. I also love the freedom that working for yourself brings – the old cliché of freelancers working in their PJs is quite accurate!

Hedwig by Kate McLelland

Where Did You Study And Why?

My first degree was in Theatre Design at Wimbledon School of Art. I wanted to storyboard and create characters and it seemed like a good way to do this. After my degree I worked as a book cover designer before putting all the pieces together and realising I wanted to illustrate books! I then did a Masters at Edinburgh College of Art in Illustration.

Kate Mclelland - Meet The Maker

Where Do You Base Yourself & Why?

We had our first child just after I finished my masters and a year and a half later we realised we wanted more open space to grow as a family. This was the best move from a work perspective. I have been able to spread out all of my art materials and printmaking equipment. I also find being based in the countryside is so inspiring. My illustrations predominantly feature nature and animals – so looking out onto a field of cows and sheep is lovely!

Kate McLelland Maker Monday

What Do You Like To Do When Escaping Work? Where’s Your Favourite Coffee Spot?

I love walking, especially on the beaches of the East Coast. As a family we enjoy cycling and trips to the cinema. I have quite a few hobbies – it’s a running joke in my family! Amongst my hobbies there is sewing, toy making and a little woodworking . . .

What’s Been Your Favourite Piece to Make So Far?

Oh that is such a tricky question! I truly don’t think I have a favourite project. I can name a few particularly memorable projects. Blackbird, Blackbird What Do You Do was my first solo author and illustrator project. I loved working on a series of Nature Cards and I worked on a large wordless picture book with Ars Edition and I am really proud of how that turned out. I just feel lucky to have worked on some really wonderful projects.

Kate Mclelland Maker Monday

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

I don’t think I would give her any advice. I am a big believer that we all develop at our own pace. I’ve made lots of mistakes and my route to my current way of living and working has not been straightforward. However, I’m grateful for all my experiences, even the harder ones! I might tell her not to worry and try not to overthink things . . . but as I still do this it would be pointless!

Who’s Your Favourite Artist at The Red Door and what would be your Top Purchase?

50 shades by Emily MacKenzie

There are so many great artists at The Red Door gallery! A few favourites are fellow illustrators Alice Melvin and Emily MacKenzie. In fact, Alice’s new A-Z is top of my wish list!

Alice Melvin A-Z PosterWe’d like to thank Kate for taking the time out from her busy day illustrating to let us get to know her a little bit more. Keep your eyes peeled across our social media for some snaps of her new window display going in this week.

Animal Parade by Kate Mclelland

 If you’re not already following us. Pop on over to Our Instagram where we’ll be sharing more of Edinburgh College of Arts past graduates all this week. Don’t forget to check out our stories and Highlight Reel too 😉
Instagram snapshot

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Great, thanks again and we look forward to keeping in touch with you :)