Interview of Kat Elizabeth Donald by Sophie Pellegrini
Tell us a bit about yourself, Kate!
Well, I’m a 19 year old student/artist/musician living in Brisbane who was born and half-raised in South Africa (almost half my life was spent in each country!). I cry literally 24/7 but usually because I’m happy. I have 2 cats and 1 dog (Brett, Aurora and Benji). I also have ADHD and use a lot of brackets.
Would you say that ADHD affects your artwork?
ADHD definitely affects my artistic process. It’s the reason that majority of my works are small and simple because that makes it a lot easier for me to focus. It’s also the reason why I have I can’t just make collages at any time but when I do make them I can churn out 5 in one go.
How did you get started in the arts?
I have always been a super creative person. When I was younger I would dabble within most areas of art ‘n’ craft and give what I’d made to my family as gifts. I tended to lean more towards music whilst growing up and I’m pretty sure I shocked everyone I knew when I told them I was going to study contemporary art at university instead of music. Partially the decision was made out of stubbornness after an art teacher told me I could never do advanced art in high school let alone study it at university. Proved him wrong and now I’m part of an amazing community which has taught me so much about art and people.
What inspires your work? How would you describe it?
National Geographic has shaped my art into becoming what it is. I always found myself in awe of some of the simplest images. I guess my works are just a collection of beautiful things I’ve found and rearranged.
Would you consider your art feminist?
Definitely not all of my work but a lot of it has feminist undertones. I find that the messages I’m sending in some works are often received through simple yet fierce imagery rather than explained with words. Majority of them really just explain how I feel from a feminine standpoint; this can be the changes in my body, the objectifying of women’s bodies, sexuality and hygiene/cosmetics (facemasks, dyed hair).
Tell us a bit about your work process.
I will spend hours sifting through the hundreds (not an exaggeration) of National Geographic magazines until I find a collection of images that jump out at me. I look for background images, foreground images and text; when I’ve found enough I start try out different combinations until they feel right.
Is there a reason that most of your final images are round? What inspired this?
It was an idea I had one day and it was challenging, different, and began to give a sense of consistency to my body of work.
What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“We are not our failures.” It’s a lyric from my favourite band and I live by it; I even wear it around my neck. It’s The Castle Builders by La Dispute.
List five things that fascinate you.
Passion, selflessness, goats, inquisitive creatures, and evolution (not of like single celled organisms turning into the human race but people and things that evolve and grow over time).
Are there any songs/films/books that have had a real impact on your creative processes or work?
I do tend to make everything while binge-watching dystopian/post-apocalyptic tv shows. I always need to have some noise on in the background or I can’t focus.
If you could meet and have a conversation with any visual artist, dead or alive, who would you choose?
Tomoko Kashiki although there would be a massive language barrier, I would just like to sit with them or watch them paint.