How did you first become interested in creating and how has your career progressed since that point?
I have always been a keen artist and was always drawing as a child. I studied graphic design and illustration at college, working mainly in large collage pieces. After college I worked in a commercial art gallery for quite a few years but it wasn't until I left there that I realised just how much I had missed painting for pleasure. Creating my own website in 2006 was probably the moment I got the bug for creating artwork to sell, realising that I could create artwork that people wanted to buy, whilst doing what I loved! I think things really started to take off for me with the dawn of social media, being able to market my work directly to the people who really wanted to see it and also for them to interact with you too. I think it can still work really well if done properly!
Our Day Out - Mixed Media Miniature, 2016
Your illustrations are really lovely and you work a lot with layering, talk to us about how you create your pieces what steps do you go through from initial idea to finished outcome?
Thank you! My illustrations usually start with an idea that comes to me out walking or just before I drop off to sleep and then a hasty pencil sketch. I am fascinated with textures, so the layering technique is a way to make the artwork more 3D. Each layer is drawn and painted individually, then cut and layered. I am currently experimenting with layering different surfaces - fabrics and handmade papers. I am always striving to refine my technique and style!
Hidden Gem (detail) - Original Mixed Media, 2017
You live and work in rural Worcestershire, how does this setting impact on your practise?
Being able to work looking out on green fields and the ever-changing weather definitely inspires me! I love the openness, the big skies. I often get my best ideas when I am out walking the dog and then I can't wait to get back to try them out! The clear colours of the countryside are a constant inspiration to me.
Bunting at St. Ives - Original Mixed Media, 2016
What are the main things you are exploring within your works, what motivates the images you create?
Textures, definitely textures! I have always been inspired by the light and colour you only get at the coast too, something about the sea makes me happy and I want that to some across in my artwork.
I have always been very interested in the art of 'craft' too. I want to create artwork with an extra dimension. A vignette. Combining collage with painted surfaces excites me, using thick paints, scratching into the surface. I would like people to feel like they want to step into the painting.
Hidden Gem - Original Mixed Media, 2017
The colour palette of your works is quite defined, was this a conscious conceptual thing or more the colours your naturally drawn towards?
I want to say that it's a conscious decision to work in such a defined colour palette, but when I'm painting the colours do seem to have a mind of their own! If I try to work in a more muted palette I usually find that I feel compelled to add some colour somewhere at the end, even it's just a splash!
A Vintage Escape - An Original Layered Watercolour, 2015
Where could we have seen your work so far, and where should we be looking to catch your pieces in 2017?
I have taken part in the Hereford Contemporary Craft Fair for a few years and it's where I got my first taste of a more serious craft market and last year I took part in the mac Birmingham's Christmas Craft Market. Although I love interacting with people via social media - on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - I do think it's important to actually go out and meet people at fairs. It's good for people to actually see the work up close too and you have a chance to talk to them about your inspirations and techniques. This year I will be taking part in the monthly mac Maker Markets in Birmingham, on the first Sunday of the month and I am hoping to take part in the Hereford Contemporary again in November.
Harbour Cottages - Original Mixed Media, 2016
VISIT www.katebrazier.com FOR MORE OF KATES WORK
INTERVIEW by ART WEEK / HANNAH SMITH