Help our followers get to know you. What does a typical day in the life of Katie Zamudio involve?
I work a pretty typical 9-5 job at a faith-based marketing company. I am their lead graphic designer. I take several mini-breaks through out the work day to doodle and take a break from the computer screens and get my creative juices flowing. My bosses encourage creative breaks through out the day, which is amazing! I lucked out to have such great co-workers and bosses. After work I put my step-mom hat on and spend time with Clint and the kids, Brookelynn (12) and Raelynn (almost 10!). On the weekends you can find me outdoors hiking or riding bikes as a family, We go to a lot of local music shows and concerts, many of my friends are musicians.
When did you first become interested in illustrating?
I’ve been drawing and doodling as far back as I can remember. As soon as I could properly hold a crayon or pencil, I was drawing on anything I could get my little hands on. Drawing/Doodling has always been a part of me, my hands have always needed to create, to express, to make art…to have purpose.
What are your favourite things to draw?
I’ve found that I am drawn to smooth round shapes, circles, floral shapes with a touch of tribal patterns. Circles are my favorite shape so you can see that reflected in my doodles. I also enjoy doodling animal silhouettes. I can draw/sketch using shading and lines for more realistic images but I much prefer the ’doodle’ style. It offers me a good balance of creative freedom and control. As organic as the doodles seem they are balanced and each element is drawn with purpose. I need that control sometimes in my art while still letting the doodle unfold before me as I draw it. It’s a happy balance that works for my “artist-brain” :)
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. It’s a trait I get from my grandmother. She is such a huge part of who I am as a woman, a “Southern Lady”, and artist. She would see the beauty and wonder in all things… the tiny veins of a leaf when held up against the sunlight to the animal shapes in clouds, the beauty in wrinkled skin and laugh lines, the awe in a pretty sunset or the uniqueness of a random stone on the ground. I find that I appreciate those things too. Nature inspires me most, so I tend to draw more floral and organic images. Human behavior and the human spirit also inspires me. I am a people watcher and collector of information. I like to learn how things work, how the brain processes things we see and feel and how art (in all forms) can connect people from all different backgrounds and places.
If you weren't an illustrator what would you be?
Ohh! Tough question. I can’t imagine myself not being an artist/illustrator, but if I could be anything else I think I would enjoy working with animals, bears perhaps! (My favorite & spirit animal) at a national park or reserve. Park Ranger perhaps. On a practical note, I’ve always said my plan B would have been interior design. I enjoy decorating spaces, repurposing and refinishing furniture, etc.
Why do you think adult colouring books have become so huge?
I think research on the human brain and benefits from activities like coloring or drawing plays a huge role in its popularity. Awareness of the negative effects of stress too. As an adult, a step-mother with 2 pre-teen girls, a full time graphic designer with a few projects and companies on the side, my stress levels can skyrocket… like most adults, so finding an activity that allows my brain to escape and find that inner-childlike joy and release is much needed. I also believe that sometimes we need a break from technology. Many of us are glued to our smart phones, computers or TVs, always looking at an illuminated screen… so I think there is an appeal in taking a break from electronics and getting your hands on something tangible like paper and colored pencils. A visual and mental un-plug from technology…a chance to revert back to a time (even for a moment) when thinking was easy/simple and coloring was a fun pastime that took you to a place of inspiration, imagination and escape. It’s something we tend to lose as we “grow up” so I’m happy to see adults reclaiming it. That’s what drives me to doodle… to give people like me a chance to take a break from their lives and get lost art, to find whatever it is they need in that moment while coloring.
Do you listen to music when you work? If so, who/what?
Always. Music is a vital part of getting my creativity to flow. I love all genres of music so really, it depends on my mood. Anything from Chopin to Frank Sinatra, Phil Collins to City & Colour, Royal Bloods to Bob Marley…Everything really. I am in no way musically gifted but I have always been connected to music and get lost in it. When i doodle, I sometimes feel like I am in a bubble, what I call “Katie Zone", where nothing else exists but the music I hear and the art I am making.
What are your favourite things in life?
Love, connection, expression and adventure. I also love little things in life that make me happy… like hugs from my favorite people, a tasty margarita, a vibrant sunset, a good dirty joke, the smell of rain when it hits the dry dirt, spending time with my family, a great pair of heels, a good cry, traveling/exploring and of course my spoiled cat Zooey.
Finally, please give 3 words that describe your work.
1. Whimsical 2. Themed 3. Intentional.