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For the past 18 months in which we’ve been ‘Meeting the Species’, we’ve duly noted that nature, in its many weird and wonderful forms, shouldn’t be limited to being recorded in black & white. We’ve explored many different ways of recording our findings, through photography, audio, and video. We also love the idea that using art not only to record nature but using art to connect and engage with your natural surroundings and the wildlife in it. Luckily for us some of the most captivating artists can be found right here in the world of blog, and here’s one of our favourites!

Katie Vernon (Indiana, USA) takes leaves out of nature’s many pages. Her projects capture a simple essence of structure & form in nature and the unique beauty of wildlife around her. Here’s what happened when ‘Meet the Species’ get the opportunity to ask Katie about the inspiration for her artwork…..

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MTS: So Katie… What is the connection between your art and your interest in nature?

Katie: The most obvious connection lies in the fact that I was a florist for a few years. It was easy to be inspired to draw/paint floral images when I was surrounded by them. I love drawing animals because I think they can be more expressive than drawing humans (and drawing humans has never been by forte). I have always been more drawn to nature than cities- put me in a mountain range and my heart sings, put me in a crowded city and my senses become overwhelmed. (although I do love some good people-watching)

MTS: Where does you passion for nature come from?

Katie: My mom always wonders where I got the ‘outdoorsy’ gene from. I always loved playing outside as a kid, then in high school we had a gym class that exposed me to climbing, kayaking, and camping-and I was hooked! I’ve done a 28 day course with NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) in Wyoming, am married to an Outward Bound instructor, and find that the more time I spend in nature, the more I love (and crave) it.

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MTS: Are there any green spaces or natural locations near you which particularly inspire you?

Katie:  I currently live in the awesome town of Bloomington, Indiana. It’s a great little liberal town with so much to offer, but I am unfortunately not inspired by its natural surroundings. I think I have been spoiled by spending lots of time out west in places like Yosemite, some of the more remote areas Yellowstone, and so many other places with absolutely breathtaking overlooks, pristine mountain streams, and wildlife more majestic than a squirrel. (no offense to the cute squirrels in Bloomington) Since my job is very portable, we will be moving in a few years and have our sights set on places like Oregon, Idaho, or even New Zealand.

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MTS: Do you have a favourite animal or plant you like drawing?

Katie: Lately I have enjoyed drawing botanicals that aren’t necessarily flowers and I always love drawing bigfoot and brontosauruses.

MTS: What is your favourite season?

Katie: definitely fall. I love being outside without having to wear a million layers or breaking a major sweat. The crisp air is at the same time invigorating and soothing- it makes me want to go for a hike and then come in a sip on some hot cocoa.

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 MTS: What materials do you use?

Katie:  I use a combination of materials in my work- pencil, acrylic, gouache, and ink. I also use a tablet sometimes and I do a lot of collaging on the computer.

 MTS: Describe your art style in 3 words?

Katie: Whimiscal, quirky, in-development

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MTS: So….Any projects on the horizon?

Katie: 3 months ago I gave birth to our first little girl- Juniper. So that’s my main job for a bit, but I am in the very early stages of working on a few children’s products (games/puzzle) with Chronicle Books. I also have a new etsy shop (KatieVernon) for my current work that isn’t strictly floral fauna (like ChipmunkCheeks). And lastly, I have a small online shop called Good Voyage that a friend and I opened earlier this spring (good-voyage.com). It combines our love for adventure, the outdoors, and design. We are currently working on our fall/winter products!

Thanks Katie… We wish you all the best with your future projects!  If you like Katie’s work, then here’s where you can find her:

Website:www.katievernon.com

Blog:www.katievernon.blogspot.co.uk

Etsy Shops: www.etsy.com/shop/KatieVernon or www.etsy.com/shop/ChipmunkCheeks

Facebook: Katie Vernon Illustration

Twitter:@katievernon

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kyvernon/

Instagram: kyvernon

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