Prove your humanity

Grok Magazine sits down with Kate Loveday, a second-year student who’s currently studying a major in Creative Writing and a minor in Illustration, as we begin to learn about her various achievements as an artist, accompanied by her contributions to Curtin Illustration Club and Curtin Writers Club’s Coze publication.

To start things off, we ask Kate about how and when her love for the creative arts first developed. “I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. As a kid, half of my time was spent out in the back patio with a bunch of paints, but I didn’t start taking art seriously until half-way through high school.” She then goes on to explain how she always knew that she wanted a career in creative writing, but as her drawing abilities improved alongside it, she ultimately decided to take on both forms of art.

Our conversation shifts onto the preliminary response Kate received after telling her family that she wanted to pursue art as a profession. “So, my parents are both scientists. My dad’s a chemical process engineer, while my mum has a PhD in sustainability. My brother’s also an engineer, so their initial reaction was like “that’s nice dear… how about you do that as a hobby and then get a job in the sciences?”” Giggling while reminiscing about her family’s early response, Kate admits that since she was vaguely interested in occupational therapy, her parents had tried to push her into that line of work. However, after spending some time under a creative arts tent during an open-day which her mother had brought her to, she only felt more adamant about pursuing a creative path.

It wasn’t until Kate had her very first stall in a convention, that her parents started to change their perspective on her visionary ambitions. “My parents saw that I was actually making money from my art – and it was a decent amount of money too.”

In addition to her parents’ approval, she received her first commission through networking during her last year of high school. It was a large six-person family portrait, which managed to earn her an incredible amount of money, despite her being so young in age.

“I earned $2000 from painting that big portrait.”

Image Credit: Kate Loveday

Besides receiving opportunities to paint at her casual job as an art-teacher, while also finding the time to dabble in clay-sculpting, Kate expresses how she always loved to make things out of cardboard boxes. “My parents have this running joke about waking up to the sound of sticky-tape, because I’d always be constructing some sort of crafty thing in my bedroom late at night.” Laughing about this habit of hers, she then tells us about how she once constructed a whole cardboard village for her Polly Pocket dolls. “I got really bored and wasn’t particularly social. Even now, I’m still an introvert who loves my alone-time. But as a kid, I would just create things in my bedroom because it sounded like a lot of fun.”

Moving on, we begin to inquire Kate about her various contributions to Curtin Illustration Club and Curtin Writers Club, followed by how her experience with the two clubs have benefitted her artwork. “I found that the really useful thing with CIC, as well as doing illustrations for CWC’s Coze, was that they both give you industry experience with working on a design brief, collaborating with people who you don’t know, while also meeting deadlines.”

Wanting to expand further on the industry subject, we ask Kate if she has any concerns with the competitive nature of the art industry. “I’ll occasionally have mild existential crises about what I’m doing with my life, as I am committing myself to an industry where almost nothing is stable.” Despite having a fear of the unknown, specifically with where she might end up career-wise, Kate often has to reassure herself that everything will eventually work out.

“I’ve found that you need to set your intention with “I’m going to make this my career”… and then you’ll find a way to make it your career.”

Our conversation with Kate progresses onto her experience with managing platforms on social media – particularly, her Instagram, YouTube and Etsy pages. “It’s actually a lot harder to build a platform than people think. It’s not like you’ll post artwork and suddenly get heaps of followers. A lot of the time, you’ll post something, and then be like “oh cool, no one saw that.”” Being capable of perceiving the advantages and disadvantages that social media tends to provide, she communicates the importance of not allowing your emotions to be influenced by the numbers of likes and followers. “Although it was a process, I’ve gotten to the point now where I’ll just post something because I like it and I’m proud of it. If no one sees it, then that’s fine.”

Regarding her artistic achievements outside of Curtin University, we question Kate about the number of conventions she’s managed to participate in, as well as her personal experience with managing her own stalls. “I’ve been to three conventions so far. The first one was Kai-Con, the second was Genghis-Con, and the most recent one was Hoshi-Con – which turned out to be really good.” Smiling, she continues to describe how positive her attendance was at Hoshi-Con, especially since she presented a wider variation of products for purchase.

“It really blew my mind in terms of how much profit I made from Hoshi-Con. I think I made around $1900 of sales, but since I spent about $700 on buying the stall and ordering products, I ended up making $1200 of profit.”

Image Credit: Kate Loveday

Nearing the end of our discussion, we ask Kate about what she plans on doing after she finishes her course. “The areas that I’m currently looking at are either concept art or book illustration, as well as doing commissions for people. I’m kind of leaning more towards book illustration because I’m also doing creative writing, and I believe those two would work nicely together.”

Subsequent to telling us about her future aspirations, Grok Magazine inquires Kate about whether she has any advice for aspiring artists who are either current students or who are planning on studying creative arts at Curtin University. “If you’re coming to Curtin, join the illustration club! It’s really good to have a community around you, especially when you attend meetups that provide you with regular drawing practice.”

At the end of this month, Kate Loveday will have her own stall for the upcoming Tokyo Alley convention that is scheduled to occur on the 28th of May 2022, from 10:00am to 5:00pm at Curtin Stadium. If you would like to check out some of her work, feel free to attend! Otherwise, you can support Kate by following her on Instagram (@kel_sticks), subscribing to her YouTube channel (Kel Sticks) or even browsing her Etsy (KelSticks) for products you might be interested in purchasing.