THIS MONTH’S FEATURE artist is Kat Ford. Kat has drawn five exclusive images for the May issue.
What made you decide to become a coloring book artist?
I’ve always loved black and white line art. As a child, the illustrations in Shel Silverstein poems and Roald Dahl books were my favorite. For years I had people tell me I should turn my drawings into a coloring book. When the adult coloring book craze hit, self-publishing capabilities made it possible for me to finally create a coloring book of my own.
How do you create your art? Do you create your drawings by computer or do you prefer old school pencil and paper?
I create all my art by hand with pen and ink. Once they are finished I scan them into the computer to clean them up and create the layouts for my books.
What is your inspiration for the different types of art that you create for your coloring books?
I love the detail of folk art. I defiantly pull from folk art pottery and blankets when decorating my pieces. In general I am inspired by nature, my life and hobbies. Most of my coloring books have natural themes.
Do you ever color your own work? And if so, what’s your favorite medium? Do you like pencils, markers or are you dipping into random reserves around the house for anything that can apply color in an interesting fashion?
When I created my first book I quickly discovered that I needed to color my own drawings in order to share them on social media. It became a very important practice. I found what I did and did not like about coloring my own work and started adjusting my layouts accordingly. Now, I try to color all of my work as a way of inspection. I’ve colored in pastels, watercolor, crayon, and color pencil. Color pencil continues to be my favorite medium.
How do you define success and how do you measure it?
For a very long time I defined success based on a monetary value. In my career I have been blessed, I’ve been a part of things that my younger self would have thought ‘I made it!’ What I have come to understand is that success is defined by fulfillment, and fulfillment does not come from money or celebrity. Fulfillment comes from doing the thing that you were put on this earth to do. Very rarely does that purpose require money or celebrity, and very often that purpose has a much longer lasting effect.
Besides yourself, who is your favorite coloring book artist?
I think Kerby Rosanes is extremely clever and talented.
What color or colors do you most love to work with?
I’m a fan of cool and jewel color tones.
Outside of creating coloring books, do you have any other hobbies or activities that you love?
I love to create. I’m an author and children’s book illustrator. I have released several children’s books and am currently working on a novel. I’m also a costume, prop, and set designer. I love working with clients to create their artistic vision. When I’m not creating, I love to read and travel.
What are your plans for the next year? Do you have any new coloring book releases planned?
My husband and I recently sold the majority of our possessions and bought a travel trailer that we are remodeling into a travel home/studio. We will spend the next year traveling around the country and camping at national parks. I plan on releasing between 1-2 coloring books next year and am hopeful that I will finish my novel and a third children’s book.
What are the titles of the last three books you have read or movies you’ve watched?
I am currently reading The Book Of Jasher. I recently finished Atlas Shrugged, which I’ve read several times. As far as movies/TV show marathons go: “The Man In The High Castle,” “Across The Universe,” “The 100.”
If you could be any super hero, which one would you be? Why?
I’m don’t think I’m wise enough to pick my definite super power yet, but I can say for certain the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, and Batman are my favorite.