Sketchbook Stories :: Kate Pitner

I was only recently introduced to Kate by way of internet. Social Media is a wonderful thing!! Kate so graciously pulled all of her info together at the last minute when I had to do some Sketchbook Story rescheduling. She even including a lovely bio, so I thought I’d go ahead and let her do the talking and introduce herself.

Kate’s Intro :

KP: My Sketchbook Story started when I was 8 years old, sitting at my fold out card table in my rainbow wallpapered bedroom creating custom greeting cards for whoever might be interested in buying one. Little did I know I would be starting my brand in the third grade with my then “Katy Kards” line.

It wasn’t until after college and after getting married that I started to envision my art as a bonafide business. I began working as a freelance artist, creating images for baby apparel and accessories, logos for companies, and more cards. “Katy Kards” resurfaced and I became very busy creating custom party invitations, wedding invitations, holiday cards, and birth announcements. Each of my cards had a “handmade” element, that made them very personal and unique.

(Side note: My favorite card was when the wife of an NFL Quarterback contacted me and asked if I could create their family Christmas card with a picture of Santa in her husband’s uniform throwing a pass.)

When I started my family, my art needed to change to work with our new busy life. I began learning the computer (not at all a comfortable thing for me in those early years). In 2006 my husband and I started Little Aloha Flag Company after our search for Hawaiian Style decorative house flags for our own home came up fruitless (my husband is Hawaiian).

About four years ago I learned about Art Licensing. It seems silly now to have not known about it earlier, considering all the work I had been doing. I am having more fun now than ever! Art licensing is an absolute perfect fit for my life and my art.

Here is Kate’s Sketchbook Story :

KP: Since I have been working in Art Licensing, my process for creating art has drastically changed.  I used to design one complete image at a time, but now I create in elements so that my artwork can be more versatile; incorporating my hand drawn and painted parts with digital design and lay-out. The following is from my collections Gerbera Smile and Sunny Side Up.

KP: I was asked to work out some designs that had gerbera daisies, particularly yellow gerbera daisies.  I began my research with buying a beautiful bouquet of them for my desk (this was a great excuse to treat myself to some flowers). OH, and one more thing ~ as a perk, Gerbera daisies last a really long time, so I got to enjoy them for a good two weeks! :0)

First, I made some sketches…   

KP: …then painted the flower tops and stems separately. 

KP: Any time I do glassware, and in this case the mason jars, I create them in photoshop – it’s so much easier for me to successfully get the “see through” affect digitally.  Here, I scanned my mason jar sketches and redrew and painted them on the computer.  When the jars were done, I scanned the finished flower images and started laying them out. 

KP: After the four stand alone lay-outs were complete, I added backgrounds and borders  (I made a few border options for the “Gerbera Smile” collection stand alones).


KP: I loved these flowers so much that I decided to rework them again into what became the “Sunny Side Up” collection. With that one, I incorporating both stand alone images and repeat patterns and borders.


KP: I really am happy with how these two very different collections turned out and how I was able to use the art in so many ways.  To me, the flowers are very cheerful and fun. I even incorporated one of the Gerbera daisies into the homepage of my website.


Kate’s Desktop Inspiration:

KP: My messy drawing table.  I call it my “beautiful chaos.”

I painted this quote on my color pencil box and it reminds me to continue to do the work I love as an artist.   All artists know it is easy to get distracted during the day, especially if you’re feeling creatively blocked. This little reminder keeps me focused on my goal.

 Last Halloween I got this very cool looking crow for my front porch decorations.  He never made it outside, though. When I brought him home I put him on top of my drawing table light and he¹s been there ever since.  I love his face.  It¹s funny because it makes people jump when they walk into my studio.

Here is where to find Kate :

         Kate Pitner Designs ::
Little Aloha Flag Company ::
                               Blog ::
                            Agent: ::
                         Linkedin ::
                        Facebook ::

if you are an artist or designer or would like to recommend someone to be featured in Sketchbook Stories please feel free to drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you :-)

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