“Night arrived embellished with a million stars. They twinkled and guided Eun back home for the day.
After her father tucked her in for bed and blew out the candles, sleep brought her to dreamland, where she found her next tale to tell her friends in the forest.”
Thus, began the story of Kate Pellerin, who is the newest artist to join our Art Kit collaboration!
Read on to discover Kate’s journey through creating the kit, how she became a picture book illustrator, and more—
Hi Kate! Lovely to have you here. Let’s begin this interview with a self-introduction and tell us a little bit more about the moniker “Poopikat”!
Hi, thank you for having me! My name is Kate Pellerin, and I go by Poopikat online. I’m an illustrator based in Canada who enjoys working with a lot of colours and loves anything magical.
The name “Poopikat” was created when I lived in Italy because I missed my cat, Noëlle. I always called her “poop” because I genuinely thought it was cute, and she had a funny little accident that I will always remember.
Lastly, I used the letters “kat” to mimic the word “cat” but also the beginning of my name, “Kate”. It’s really nothing fancy, and I didn’t think that name would stay, but it did, and here we are!
To create an entire Mixed Media Art Kit was a feat of its own. What were the highs and lows you faced throughout the entire process?
It sure was! Since this was my first time working on such a big project, I found that I misjudged the timing for many aspects.
I think that was definitely a low for me as I was working long hours for 2-3 months straight, drawing out every page. Because some drawings have finer details, it was definitely not easy to do with coloured pencils, so it took more time than I thought.
However, everything was made possible because of Mossery’s amazing organisation, feedback, and patience, so working with them was definitely one of my highs. And of course, seeing all the finished artwork on my floor was a really good feeling to have.
While the users are sure to gain new insights from the tips you’ve packed into the Guidebook, has working on the Guidebook and Practice Book also allowed you to learn new things about your creative process?
Oh, definitely! Creating the “steps” pages really made me start assessing my process. Since I was not used to drawing at a smaller scale in traditional media often, I had to really think about when to apply certain colours without smudging, how much pressure to add in certain areas, and so on and so forth.
It was a challenge for me, but a very positive one! I learned to be more patient with myself and to give each item its deserved duration to work on.
Besides learning to create art with mixed media, how else do you hope our users can benefit from using the Mixed Media Art Kit?
Learning to draw with mixed media is something a lot of people aren’t comfortable with at the beginning. Once they’ve tried it, some of them can become more daring and get really creative with the mediums!
So, I challenge people to step out of their comfort zones and try some of those mediums in different ways, like using different approaches, different tools, and different kinds of papers to see what they like best.
The way you use mixed media and do mark-making can define you as an artist, as it’s an original style that you developed yourself!
What advice would you give to aspiring artists with rich stories in mind but struggle to visualise them through art?
Write down all of your ideas! Ask yourself what kind of feeling you want your audience to have, and write a checklist of what your character or environment should have to obtain that feeling.
Emphasise the personality of your piece, then create lots of thumbnails to narrate what you’re trying to say. You don’t need to get all-in with the details, so let your ideas flow as messy as you’d like until one catches your eye. Once it does, develop that idea even more.
The characters you draw tell charming tales through their round, sparkly eyes. When you create, what are the kinds of stories you love telling most, and why?
I think I love illustrating any kind of adventure-filled story. I really love the idea of exploring as well as finding new and weird things, which is why a lot of my drawings are based in forest-like settings.
Tell us more about your journey of becoming a picture book illustrator and the dreams you want to pursue in the future with your art and stories.
I went to art school thinking I’d go into character design and work for game companies such as Blizzard. It wasn’t until my second semester at Seneca College when one of my professors told me my work didn’t communicate anything.
He happened to be a children’s book illustrator and he basically opened my eyes to this whole new world. Since then, I’ve strived to make my illustrations more narrative-like, and begun to pursue a career in picture book illustrations.
In the future, I’d like to experiment with more mediums, and eventually publish a fully traditional picture book!
Could you share with us your sources of inspiration that might surprise us?
Haha, I have many!
First and foremost, I do enjoy getting inspiration from Ghibli films. I’ve always been a big fan of Princess Mononoke since I was around 4 years old, so I think that movie has truly shaped my work.
Also, anywhere I go, I always try to look at the colours and how they interplay — that usually gets my brain going in terms of the scenes and visualising the colour palettes I want to create.
Lastly, I’m not sure if I should share this, but I do love my glass of wine, and an evening on the patio with music and wine drives me to draw a lot because I feel very relaxed, and the songs help me develop the stories’ narratives.
Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring artists out there?
Remember that learning can and will be frustrating at times — it’s completely normal. Not feeling inspired for periods of time is also normal. Feeling like your work isn’t what you want it to be is also normal. It’s part of being an artist, so look at it as a lifelong learning process.
Art isn’t a race, so do you, keep pushing, work really hard, and enjoy the ride.
Lastly, drawing is like working out, you need to practice almost every day to make it a habit, so don’t give up!
Trivia question! If you were a witch preparing to attend a Magic University, what kind of magic study would you major in, and why?
Haha, oh boy! I think I’d be studying for a few years because there are a couple of things I’d love to study such as flying, shapeshifting, and being able to control the elements.
I’d major in flying, because how cool would it be to just fly and float around? Shapeshifting would be sweet as well because I could have deep conversations with my cat, and see if she only loves me for the food I give her or not.
Finally, controlling elements is also great because you don’t have to worry about anything — you can start a bonfire whenever, create wind if you’re too warm, fight off zombies like no tomorrow — everything would be cool!
Kate Pellerin is a Canadian children’s storybook illustrator and you can find her on Instagram here.
Our new Poopikat Mixed Media Art Kit is now available! With a comprehensive Guidebook and a Practice Workbook formatted like a storybook, learning art has never been more magical.
Wake the wonderful fables in your head, it’s time to share them.
We hope you’ll enjoy practicing with this exciting art kit, and we can’t wait to see you create your own fairytale with the tools and techniques you’ve acquired!
Remember to tag us with your unboxing clip @mosseryco on Instagram, we’d love to see them!