Born in Germany and raised in Australia, Kathrin Legg is no stranger to foreign lands. But what makes her so unparalleled is her ability to imagine new places and ideas. Kathrin is a brilliant force of creativity and storytelling – to learn even more about her thoughts and inspirations, read our interview with her below:
BBP: Describe your style in 5 words or less:
Kathrin: Playful, colourful, engaging, storytelling and joyful
BBP: What is your creative process like?
Kathrin: I always create pictures and scenes in my mind that I want to draw on paper, during moments in the day when my hands are busy but my mind has time to wander – for instance when I’m cooking dinner or just before I fall asleep at night. I usually try to do a quick rough sketch on paper of my idea, just in case it slips away again. Then, when I am in my studio, I create a detailed illustration on paper before I use photoshop to scan and digitise, add colour, and lastly add texture.
BBP: Do you always work from the same a spot- a studio, a particular desk, etc.- or do you move around?
Kathrin: I do have my favourite spot in my studio where I can sit for hours and create, however it is inspiring and refreshing to slip a notepad and pencil into my handbag and venture out to find a new cafe, park or garden to sit in and let my imagination flow.
BBP: How has your style changed over the years?
Kathrin: I have tried to add subtle humour into my art – I find that kids and their parents are drawn to pieces that make them smile.
BBP: Tell us about the colors you use- how do you choose them, what inspires them?
Kathrin: I tend to love using a lot of colour, for me, it makes the artwork happy and uplifting and something children are drawn to and inspired by. I usually have one or two particular colours in mind when I’m drawing a piece and they become the base colours from which I then choose other complimentary hues. Design Seeds is also a wonderful website to browse for inspirational colour palettes.
BBP: Did you always know that you wanted to design for kids and families?
Kathrin: Absolutely, drawing for kids and families is my passion. I can have so much fun creating characters, personifying everyday objects and adding lots of colour and humour into my work that it makes getting up in the morning something to look forward to!
BBP: Do you think art is important for kids? Why?
Kathrin: I am a trained visual art high school teacher so I am very passionate about teaching art to children and the importance of using both their left and right side of the brain to develop critical thinking skills, problem solving, language and vocabulary skills. For children as young as toddlers, exploring the world around them through play and art shows them that learning is fun, and builds their communication, social, emotional, and fine motor skills. The benefits of surrounding kids with beautiful art is that it inspires them and encourages creative thinking.
BBP: Tell us about your favorite design on the site: Which one is it? Why? What inspired it?
Kathrin: My favourite is ‘Under the Sea.’ It was a piece I made for Lilla Roger’s MATS Bootcamp course. The topic was nautical which is a perfect theme for children’s art, so I created a fun and friendly underwater scene and I added some numbers to foster early learning number recognition.
BBP: How would you decorate a nursery?
Kathrin: For kids bedrooms I like to make the room engaging so it’s a happy and special place for them to sleep but also calming. I like using a variety of framed and unframed prints and canvases, and to set them off I made some small butterfly paper cuttings which were arranged around the artworks and a mosquito net over the change table.
BBP: What was the most surprising thing about having children?
Kathrin: Seeing how they engage with the world, their enthusiasm to explore their surroundings and new environments. Their imaginations are endless!
BBP: Do you have any advice for new moms or dads?
Kathrin: Sleep when you can and ask for help when you need it.
BBP: Do you have any pets?
Kathrin: No, we don’t have any pets.
BBP: Where did you grow up?
Kathrin: I spent my early childhood in Northern Germany before we moved to regional NSW in Australia.
BBP: What was your most prized possession as a kid? Tell us about it!
Kathrin: It would have to be my one and only ribbon for coming first in a swimming carnival race in primary school. I never before (and never again) came first in any race so it was definitely a proud and joyous moment. I hung the ribbon in my bookshelf until I moved out of home.
BBP: What did your room look like growing up?
Kathrin: My mum always made my room look beautiful with lots of art on the walls, cute bed linen to add colour and warmth to the room, a big desk for me to draw and do crafts and my dad made a beautiful bookshelf so I had somewhere to display my favourite books and knick knacks.
BBP: What’s your favorite midnight snack?
Kathrin: I have a sweet tooth so any dessert would tempt me, but something with chocolate is my favourite.
BBP: Are you usually late, early, or right on time?
Kathrin: I am usually early for everything!
BBP: Do you have a favorite quote or saying? What is it and why?
Kathrin: “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body” – Elizabeth Stone
It describes exactly how it feels to be a parent and the struggle you can go through between wanting to help them every step of the way but also knowing they need to find their own way in life.
BBP: Beach or mountains?
Kathrin: This is a hard one, I really enjoy both but the beach has always been that special holiday destination for my family when I was a child and it brings back great memories.
BBP: Coffee or tea?
Kathrin: Definitely coffee.