Getting to know: KS Doodles


KS Doodles is created by Katie, a self-taught artist from the Waikato. Her creative style of monochromatic, repetitive designs creates clean intricate art work that is inspired by NZ culture and nature. Recently we caught up with Katie, and she was kind enough to answer a few questions about her life and art:

How did your artwork start out?

My artwork was ignited in 2014 as I was needing to fund for a three-month cycling stint in the US. I made one-off designs for the fundraiser and through word of mouth I was finding myself re-creating the designs. Travelling around different countries for my sport, I had limited space, so pen and paper was the obvious medium. I refer to my drawings as ‘just doodles’, hence KS Doodles was created!

What is your background?

Creativity has always been within me and has been kept as a passion/hobby. I did art at high school but found I was more drawn to the sciences. I am completing my PhD in sport science so I love the balance of being so precise with my research, and then coming home to be creative.

What inspires you?

Nature is a big inspiration – typically flora and fauna. I also love patterns and designs from surrounding cultures – mainly Maori, Pacific, Aboriginal.

What do you do when you’re not inspired to create art? What brings your mojo back?

The worst thing for me is to force creativity. I find taking a break in the outdoors is great for the soul. I typically have great big bursts of ideas which will take my full attention. When a piece is finished, I am either inspired with another idea or it is time to have a break.

What does your art aim to say to your audience?

The eye is in the beholder! But I do hope that when someone looks at my piece they appreciate something different from when they last looked at it. 

What are you known for?

My current style uses positive and negative spaces, with monochromatic, repetitive designs that make up the shape of animals or plants.

How do you get ideas for each piece of art?

I might see a bird or a plant and think that would be cool to draw. Or I get ideas off friends favourite animals.

How has your art evolved over the years?

I feel my art has evolved tremendously. I don’t think I have found my style yet – I just love experimenting (scientist eh?). I’m currently working with my preferred medium of acrylic paint and creating large works full of bright colours and loose brush strokes. 

What media do you use with your artwork? 

My drawings are simple – black pens of different thickness (STAEDLER) and quality bristol paper/board. Lately I am in love with painting and prefer acrylic for the vibrant colours and fast drying time.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without?

Art pad, pencil, and STAEDLER pen (0.3mm), rubber. These are staples in my backpack for when an idea has to be quickly sketched!

Where do you have artwork displayed?

I currently have one painting in an exhibition in Dunedin. Otherwise, soon you will be able to view and purchase my work from my website which is currently being developed.

What’s your favourite artwork?

My favourite artwork is actually an advertisement from French artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, called La chain Simpson (The Simpson chain). I have a print of it hanging on my wall. It marries my love of cycling; bright, simple colours, and the print style.

Tell us something interesting about you.

Cue the classic from Bruce Springsteen “Born in the USA”. Moved to NZ when I was 7. NZ is home though!

What do you enjoy outside of creating art?

When I’m not immersed in research papers, love to be active! Biking, SUP’n, walks, or in the gym. I also catching up with others over a strong long black, sweet treat, or a delicious platter.

Any advice to young or new artists?

Pursue what you love and enjoy. Don’t be afraid to go outside the norm, if it feels right it most likely will work out.  



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