Read as we follow the journey of Katie Lund’s ‘Puggles’ from a mere creative escape from life as a new mom to embracing the walls of homes…
“I am an Illustrator living and working in Cape Town. Creating my business ‘Katie Lund Studio‘ has been a wonderful journey, and waking up every day to ‘work’, doing something I love so very much fills me with a deep sense of contentment and energy. I print my illustrations onto cards and prints, which I sell in a few popular Cape Town stores. This, along with client jobs keeps me busy. I love the fact that I can work from home or coffee shops, as this makes me flexible so that I can spend precious time with my two beautiful toddlers and my 7 week old baby boy. My childhood was spent camping and staying in wild African places and this is the primary inspiration for much of my work, along with my children who give me hours of inspiration as I discover the world through their eyes. Illustration has always been my calling, and I have had a pencil or paintbrush in hand since my youngest days.
After working for so many years as a permanent and freelance Graphic Designer in the creative, corporate and advertising sectors in South Africa and abroad I realized that the stress and tight deadlines that accompany this sort of work were not conducive to a life with small children. So after having my second child, with the support of my husband, I made a decision to start my journey as an Illustrator. It was ideal timing with little pressure, as I was supposedly on maternity leave, so I started going to coffee shops for an hour at a time and drawing whatever came to mind (usually plants or animals) and just ensuring that I produced something every time I sat down to work. It was strange at first to believe myself to be working while I was doing what I loved so much – drawing, but after many hours I began believing in myself and slowly interesting things started emerging on the page. My husband was studying at the time, so we would both work at night, with my baby in a sling so I got all the bonding time we both needed. This worked for me, as my most creative time is generally between 11pm-3am. I’ve also been incredibly lucky to have 3 easy babies that sleep at night and are generally very chilled. In my life as an artist the creative magic has always happened at night. During the hard days when inspiration doesn’t come easily and I don’t like what I’m producing, I am constantly aware of trying to listen only to the positive voices in my head that enable me to keep productive in my work, I find the easiest way to do this is to put pen to paper. Eventually something interesting emerges, and if it doesn’t I just keep drawing. Sometimes life juggling small children, deadlines and creative passion projects is a challenge, but how rewarding it is to have work that doesn’t feel like work at all. I feel incredibly grateful and lucky to be able to do what I love.
When I decided to change my career from Graphic Design to Illustration a few years ago my relationship with Orms Print Room & Framing began, as I believed them to be the best place to scan my illustrations. I built up a fantastic working relationship with Renate, Karla and many of the other staff and started bringing my work to be printed there too. The quality of the printed artwork is phenomenal and the service has been unwaveringly excellent. I really enjoyed working with the team a while ago to create a feature on the children’s book characters I have created called Puggles – these are based on the characters of my children and memories from my youth and the Puggles’ adventures are forming a series of children’s books I am busy writing and illustrating and hoping to publish some day soon.
Most of my illustrations are sold as prints, however, it has always been my dream to move my designs in new directions. When I was approached to be one of Orms’ wallpaper artists I jumped at the opportunity, as it is a very exciting prospect to see one’s illustrations on such a big scale. Wallpaper is an incredible product, as it becomes a part of the daily experience of the person in the room. A mood can be changed by the right images on a wall, and I feel very lucky to get the opportunity to transport people into the world I have created through this awesome collaboration. I’m constantly being inspired with new illustration ideas for my wallpaper range… now I just need to find more hours in a day!”