Prantl's Illustrators: Käthrine Yan

The creative world of Käthrine Yan - At Prantl we believe passionately about championing the skills of the next generation – particularly the talents of up and coming illustrators. This is why Prantl has established a tradition of working together with a number of talented illustrators, who have created their own range of card designs for us and showcase their work on our website.

One such young artist we’ve worked with this year is Käthrine Yan, a Swedish born Chinese designer/ illustrator based in London. She is currently a graphic design student at Central Saint Martins College of art and design. Her playful designs – in a variety of styles – caught our eye and we couldn’t wait to collaborate with her. We recently launched her first collection – found here.

Käthrine first got in touch with Prantl when she applied as an Illustrator/Graphic design intern. She hoped to develop her illustrative skills and design knowledge simultaneously. She has been working with us since January 2013.

Käthrine Yan's Website Käthrine Yan's Website

Becoming successful whilst pursuing your passion is everybody’s dream. We asked Käthrine a few questions, which we hope might inspire others on their own path:

How old were you when you first started to paint/draw/design and what inspired you to take it up? 
I began drawing when I was pretty young. My parents were quick to see that I enjoyed drawing hugely, so they enrolled me in drawing classes. I started these at around five and my parents came with me. aIt was huge fun – a place where kids could finger paint on thin plywood. I have very fond memories of it.

What is your favourite subject matter & why?
I really enjoy watching animated films and reading children's books, which I suppose has to do with my interest in drawing. Food is also pure happiness to me, both cooking and eating it! Stationery and books are naturally things that I enjoy as well and a bookshop would probably be the only place I would willingly spend hours shopping in.

KY1_web A selection of landscape Christmas cards for Prantl

Do you prefer to use modern day technologies or keep with traditional papers/boards and drawing utensils for your designs or both?
I like to use both traditional and modern techniques. What tool I use depends a lot on the subject matter, but I do tend to sketch by hand most of the time. Mainly because it is the fastest way for me to put down my ideas before I forget them.

Which other Artist's work do you most admire?
In terms of drawing I like to look at work from the golden age of illustrations. Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen and E.H. Shephard are a few favourites. I also admire work done by artists that know how to write a good story as well as illustrate, like Tove Jansson, Elsa Beskow and Beatrix Potter. As an animation enthusiast I am also a big fan of the animation studios like Aardman and Studio Ghibli of course. Lately I have become interested in kinetic inventions, so amazingly clever and creative people like Arthur Ganson and Theo Jansen really inspire me too.

If you could exhibit in any Museum/Gallery, which would it be and why?
If I am allowed to dream, then it would have to be the Ghibli Museum in Japan. It is just like a mini fairy-tale land- too wonderful to resist. However, in the near future, what I would really like to do is exhibit my work with a group of friends and it wouldn't really matter where that would be.

KY2_web A selection of portrait Christmas cards for Prantl

How long does it take to complete one of the paintings/designs which you have produced for Prantl and which is your favourite so far?
Each individual watercolour painting usually takes about 3-5 hours - from concept to finish.  Obviously this depends on how much detail I put into the work. I try to paint as close to the printing size as possible, to ensure that the original stays as similar to the print outcome as possible, as there is often a lot of fine machining involved. To date my favourite design is the Robins. It was the first painting I created and one of the designs which I had a very clear idea of from the very beginning.

What would you next like produce for Prantl?
I would like to try and use another medium next. Watercolour seemed like the most suitable medium to use in terms of Christmas cards, so something completely different like wedding invitations or something relating to children would be fun to try out.

kathrine_blog Käthrine Yan's Design Blog

Käthrine is clearly a new talent in the design world and we look forward with interest to seeing where her career will take her – and will be cheering her every step of the way.