From fun illustrations of cute boys (including Harry Potter) and Hitchcock's 'The Birds' to girl gangs with rare pokemon as their mascots, Katie Turner's imaginative work has the ability to brighten anyone's day by delivering a big dose of humour and cheer. A freelance illustrator from Oklahoma but currently based in Brooklyn, Katie has worked on projects for The New Yorker and Barnes&Noble (to name just two…), has recently contributed to an oh-my-god-I-need-to-get-my-hands-on-it Sailor Moon zine and other various magazines. I can't wait to see what she does with her talent next!
Describe yourself in 5 words
Dog-loving hot model babe.
When did you start drawing?
I've always loved to draw, so I honestly can't remember. I'm pretty sure in kindergarten my preferred thing to be when I grew up was an artist/marine biologist. Marine biology didn't stick, but drawing did, so I'm still doing it today.
What elements of your own character do you try to express through your work?
In my personal work I like to take snippets and elements from my own life and experiences and mix them in with fantasy. I think most artists or illustrators do that, because it makes their work more personal and honest. I'm often drawing my latest obsessions and interests.
The Moon Stone Mamas and Boyfriend Criteria illustrations are some of my favourite… what's yours?
It's always changing! As I create new work and evolve and change, it can be hard to look back on old work, even work that is less than a year old. Usually my favorite thing I've done is the most recent thing I've done. I'm really proud of my most recent piece for a The New York Times article by Carla Diana about the future of robots. I made 8 different illustration with 3-5 animation frames each, which were then turned into a video with narration by the author. You can see the full video here. It was a really challenging project - I've never done an illustration for video or animation so it was very exciting to do.
There’s a mixture of whimsy and teen vibes that reverberates through your art. How do you to tap into that teenage mind-frame?
I don't intentionally set out to make work with "teen vibes," but it does come out that way sometimes. Our teenage years are obviously important ones in most people's lives, as they're a time where things change and you grow at a super rapid pace. I've always enjoyed teen movies and coming-of-age stories, because they're often something that everyone can relate to. I think a lot of people have this feeling of nostalgia for teen years, and movies and comics and art about that time are always appealing to me. I'm really inspired by Jillian Tamaki's Super Mutant Magic Academy and Maré Odomo's comics, which often have themes of adolescence, and that "teen" feeling.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a creative career?
Very hard question! I don't know if I'll ever feel qualified to give out advice on this subject, but I guess I can say things that have helped me a little: have a portfolio website (like a real website), make new work as much as you can, be a nice person and try meeting new people.
What do you do in your downtime?
Watch a lot (a lot a lot - too much) of movies and TV, read true crime books, hang out with my dog, go on trips and stay in motels (I love hotels and motels).
And finally, what are your plans for 2013?
In 2013 I want to try to look on the bright side more and do lots of new work!