Sunday 19 September 2021

An Interview With Fandom Artist - Kitty.Clair.Doodles

Artists Assemble! This Disney – Pop Culture Artist caught my eye instantly with their imaginative, beautiful, brightly coloured prints. I discovered @Kitty.Clair.Doodles when browsing for my own art inspiration on Instagram. I can’t remember exactly what hashtags I was using but the Insta spiral I was on brought me to their page, and I was in awe of the creativity and love that went into each piece! 

As a huge Disney & Marvel fan, this fandom art really stands out for me. I love the colour schemes, the different layers, the inspirational quotes, and I love the effort that Kitty goes to, in order to be an eco-friendly artist by using recycled packaging and highlighting important issues such as climate change! <3

So, without further ado, here is my interview with the graceful and artistic, Kitty Clair Doodles!

Tell us a bit about yourself! When did you first start illustrating? My name is Natalie and I'm a high school teacher in Canada! Like many artists, I started drawing when I was a little kid and have been drawing on and off for decades now! Digital illustration is still quite new to me. I was hired as a Media Arts teacher almost 5 years ago, and this started my initial introduction to the Adobe Programs that I now use to create my artwork. I still love to draw with a good old-fashioned pencil though! 

How did you come up with your artist’s name? It's a combination of my middle name and part of my last name. The word Doodles is just for fun! I enjoy maintaining a bit of mystery by not using my full given name. 

What software do you use to illustrate? The fantasy landscapes that I create are all made using Adobe Illustrator, a fantastic vector illustration software. My Fandom Wisdom series (the prints featuring text and watercolour) are all done using Adobe Photoshop to achieve those specialized textures. 

What other materials do you use to create your artwork? I always start with a concept sketch on paper. I like drawing with a mechanical pencil (though my high school art teacher would be furious to hear that). Last year I participated in the popular #inktober challenge and started using markers and pens to practice character illustrations

Is being an artist your full-time career? In a sense, yes. My little Etsy shop is a side hustle since I am a full time Art teacher. Either way, all aspects of my professional life involve a lot of creativity!

On average, how long does it take to create one of your prints? The fantasy landscapes can take anywhere from 5-10+ hours. My ideas tend to evolve, and the final product is often much more detailed than I may have initially envisioned. My fiancée (who is also an artist) always helps me overcome any unforeseen creative challenges as well. It always helps to have a fresh pair of eyes to look at my work. The Fandom Wisdom designs take about 1-2 hours, mainly because they are text based and therefore a bit simpler. 

Have you found sales have increased or decreased during the pandemic?  Generally, sales have increased, but I'm not sure if it's due to the pandemic or my improved social media and advertising skills . Even the fact that I've nearly doubled the number of products I have in the last year helps.

Which of your doodles is your favourite!?
I did a sketch of Beast last year that I'm absolutely in love with. It's the scene where he first reveals himself to Belle when she finds her father locked up in the tower.  

Which of your Disney prints is the most popular? So far it is definitely my Tangled print with the glowing lanterns. That scene never fails to make me cry, so I am thrilled that the print is so well loved. It definitely took the most amount of time to render those countless floating lights, but it was 100% worth it. 

Which other artists inspire you? There are too many to name! My Instagram feed is filled with gorgeous art every day because I love following as many artists as possible. I am going to give you 10 people that I adore!

@davefranciosaart @gretlusky @theanimatedlife @elioliart  @tacusauceninja @suren.rajawat  @vitkovskaya_art @dyru.jk  @melmadedooks @taylormaw_art 

What kind of Disney Princess would you like to see created next!? We need to see something we haven't seen before. Representation matters, so we need a main character wearing a hijab, in a wheelchair, someone from the LGBTQ community, etc. I hope and look forward to seeing Disney break their most basic cookie cutter moulds and challenge themselves to be more inclusive. A gender fluid character would be AMAZING!

Who’s your favourite; Marvel or DC Superhero?
Wonder Woman is of course an absolute boss. Hawk Girl is also severely underrated. From Marvel, Deadpool has my heart for sure.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to become an illustrator? Never stop practicing. Follow as many tutorials and take as many classes as you can. YouTube and Skillshare are some of my favourite sites for inspiration and there are endless free resources out there!

You’ve produced some art before to highlight the effects of Climate Change. Are there any cool, eco-friendly art products or handy tips you have for people that want to be more eco conscious?
There are great companies for packaging. Eco Enclose and No Issue are 2 companies that I've used to source things like envelopes, padded mailers, tissue paper, even compostable stickers!  All of my packaging is either recyclable or compostable. Finding a printer with the same values is important as well. The company I currently work with only uses FSC certified paper. Enamel pins can be tough to produce in an eco-conscious way, but when they are shipped, you can ask your manufacturer to have the pins wrapped in tissue paper instead of being in little plastic baggies! Every effort helps to make a positive difference. 

Have you ever sold your art at a Comic Con or Local Fair? Indeed! My fiancée had tabled at Fan Expo Canada before and his friend wanted to split a booth one year. It gave me a trial run to see how well received my designs would be. That was probably one of the best weekends of my life for so many reasons. It was so successful that it encouraged me to open an Etsy store! I really miss being able to meet and interact with patrons.

I know you love the ACOTAR (A Court Of Thorns And Roses) book series by Sarah J Maas! Any plans to create your own interpretations of the characters? Perhaps one day once I've developed some character design skills! As of right now, that's a bit beyond my capability. Super excited to see who they cast for the live show in the meantime! 

Do you have any other hobbies outside of creating? I have a deep love of nature and hiking. There are lots of gorgeous waterfalls close to where I live that I enjoy exploring with my fiancée and our dogs! Aside from that, reading, crafting, watching movies - that's pretty much how I spend my free time!  Do you plan on expanding on merch anytime soon? T-shirts, tote bags, more pins!? I like to keep my products small for the sake of low production and shipping costs, so items like clothing are unlikely at this point. Luckily, I have endless ideas for prints and pins in the future, so stay tuned!

I’d like to take the time to thank Kitty.Clair.Doodles for giving us a great insight into the world of Pop Culture Art! 

Kitty Clair is based in Toronto, Ontario.

Every order will receive a FREE surprise print!

I personally just purchased 3 prints as I come to the end of this interview; Hakuna Matata, Once Upon A Dream & my absolute favourite due to the BEAUTIFUL colours, Everybody Wants to be A Cat!

Go check out her 5* Etsy page, Facebook and Instagram.


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