Kayte kindly answered some questions I had for her about how she goes about gathering and processing inspiration and ideas for new projects...
Katie: Are you a sketchbook keeper? I hadn't heard you speak of it on your blog. I know I've never been able to keep one for very long. How do you go about collecting and formulating your ideas? Do you keep a sketchbook or some kind of catalog system? I know you juggle several design jobs at once and wonder how you keep it all organized!?
Kayte: I am like you, I can’t keep a sketchbook for long. I always have good intentions but it just doesn’t stick so I have millions of half finished books lying around. That’s one of the reasons I decided to start a blog: so I could keep a record of all the things I loved in one place.
Besides the blog I have lots of inspiration books & little portfolio books that have clear plastic sleeves to hold all of my magazine tears. I have them organized by things like “craft", “rooms and interiors” , “fashion”, etc. I am an incredible magazine hoarder and book buyer.
Katie: Do you have any unusual times or means of working out your ideas?
Kayte: I am actually a morning person in disguise as a late-night person. I love staying up late and claim that I get a lot of work done then but really, my mind is clearest early in the morning. As I get older and have less desire to stay out late, this has become an easier task. I am a serious multi-tasker and it’s pretty hard to get me to sit down and do one thing. I’m trying really hard to get more focused. Since I seem to always have a million things going on, I like to break down my task list into tiny little things so I can cross a lot off and feel accomplished! I make lists constantly.Katie: What's your studio/office like? What are the most important factors necessary for you to thrive in your workspace?
Kayte: I have a little alcove in the corner of our loft for all my crafty stuff. I keep everything either in bins on restaurant supply shelving or in this old metal cabinet I found at a flea market. I like things to be out in the open but also shelved and organized. My sewing machine is always out and ready to go and all my sewing supplies are neatly stored near-by. I love to play around with displays of little bits and bobs that inspire me, like vintage millinery supplies or jars of buttons. These things are functional but also beautiful.
Katie: What are the top five tools/supplies you keep within reach at your creative workspace?
Kayte: 1. My Bernina 2. Straight Pins 3. Lots of scissors- I’m always losing them! 4. Thread in tons of colors 5. Rotary cutter
Katie: Where do you think you end up sourcing inspiration for most of your project ideas? I know you like to revive vintage crafts as well and wonder how you resolve the situation of making the project new and uniquely yours?
Kayte: That’s a really interesting question. I guess I try to think of ways to honor the technique and the craft but still to make it my own. I like to deconstruct quilts and patchwork, and make them geometric and modern. I do love nature too and I am always inspired by it but in a kind of remote abstract way. I live in a big city and what I make is often part of a yearning for nature and simplicity. I have a tendency to romanticize nature because I haven’t lived around it in many years so I am inspired by it. I guess I sort of take what I like from nature and try not to think about the rest!
Katie: Are there specific places, things, music you like to visit, observe, or listen to when you're seeking inspiration or motivation for a new project?
Kayte: I love to travel and I always have a list a mile long of places I want to visit when I go to a new place. I just went to Art Basel in Miami and it was just incredible. The amount of art I saw was almost overwhelming but I was buzzing with excitement for days afterward.
When I get blocked creatively, I just go for a walk: I can walk fro miles and miles and daydream and clear my head. Walking is also great for people watching, anther big inspiration for me.
Katie: Who are some of the artists/crafters/designers that you find yourself repeatedly looking to or admiring?
Kayte: I am inspired by so many crafters and designers that it’s hard to pick out just a few but as far as artists go, right now my favorites are: Jean Shin, Eva Hesse, Louise Nevelson, Cézanne, Louise Bourgeois, Andy Goldsworthy, Ghada Amer, Patrick Dougherty, Simone Pheulpin, Megan Whitmarsh, Holly Farrell, Tara Donovan, the list goes on and on.
The Garden Party Headband- page 36!