About the artist
Tell us about yourself:
I studied graphic design at college and have been working in-house for a year or so after and started doing t-shirts and the like to improve my hand illustration skills, which I didn't want to lose to the computer. I'm definitely starting to stumble onto a style of my own, which I have struggled with in the past due to my ADHD way of working, in which I want to do everything at once and in-turn don't spend enough time on each design idea. I also try to do as much as possible away from the computer - I love the organic feel of illustrated lines and paints and the distorted edges of pencil lines etc!
Any future plans?
My to do list is never-ending, currently I'm bubbling away the ideas of a publication of an alphabet series of my doodle art style with themes for each letter in the shape of each letter… this will happen one day. I'm itching to paint more, which is greatly affected by the lack of space & area to throw around paint in my apartment. I want to do a full mag publication and self fund it. My own t-shirt brand will come soon, I'm working on that. And I have some children's book ideas. If only there was more time and money in the world ha ha! In the meantime, I want to create more and more so I can feel more confident in my abilities and feel comfortable in approaching the above projects.
What's a day in the life of Kristen Howard like?
Wake up. Go to work. Doodle some ideas on paper while waiting for large files to save. Go Swimming. Go home. Spend a few hours on designing. Take 3 hours to sleep because I am thinking of all things I want to do!
Can you give us a glimpse in working with online art contests/sites?
Online art contests and sites, you can do exactly what you want, there's no real aims, there's no limits. Sometimes you win with stuff. Sometimes it's an epic fail. It's a play in the park... and sometimes you find some money lying in it. But for me it allows me to try new processes and styles and get feedback on how they look. I can then carry forward good stuff and laugh at bad stuff! Side note: The word 'stuff' is a crap word but I seem to use it a lot.
In comparison to freelance?
Freelance is serious. Working to a brief or a customers expectations is also fun and rewarding but the balance of just going out there and being picked by public opinion and selection of designs without having a brief to follow balances things a bit.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years with your art career or other?
I think I grow as a designer daily, not just skills but also mentality and the way I approach stuff. It's great to feel more and more confident in the thing you love doing. Ideally I'd obviously love to work for myself and just be in control of my time. I think in 5 years I'll be happy with where I am, I know that much.
Do you have any interesting hobbies or tales of intrigue? Do tell!
Hobbies: I love ocean swimming and swim heaps. I make electronic music (www.myspace.com/goriot) which one day I want to take more seriously if I have the time. I also haven't picked up my
Any shout outs?
Loved ones for being supportive. Siobhan for wearing all my shirts. My computer... I apologise for never turning you off... I should probably apologise to the ozone layer too for this!