KT Smail is one of the artists who designed a Face This tee by using Indonesian kids’ drawings. Katy Smail’s vibrant illustrations follow dreamy characters into their magical worlds filled with decorative florals, enchanted creatures and pretty patterns. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York where she continues to draw girls with mermaid hair, posies of wildfowers and pretty dresses. KT works for clients like Macy’s, Converse, Westin Hotels, Seventeen and Sesame Magazine.
Face This: Katey, please tell us who you are and what you do.
My name is KT Smail. I’m originally from Scotland, I live in New York, I’m an artist and illustrator. I work on drawings for lots of different companies: books, advertising, magazines, news papers. Some kids clothing I design. And then I work on paintings and artwork for myself as well as that I have exhibitions. Yeah, it’s a good job
Face This: Can you tell us something about the process of your artwork?
It kind of depends on the job but say I’d had to do with an illustration of a girl I would lots of drawings of my friend’s faces or from photos of girls in magazines. Lots of the drawings will be bad and hopefully some are good and then I turn those drawings into finished artworks. I also like to pin up inspiration pictures and photos all around my desk for whatever is inspiring me for that project and really surrounded by the atmosphere and ideas and that really helps me to create artwork and lots and lots of flowers because that’s what I like to draw the best.
Face This: How is working with kids’ drawings different from working with artwork from ‘other’ clients?
It was pretty different because usually for a job the artwork is mine and with this I was using other people’s drawings with mine so that was a challenge to let them make come together in the same design and not look like they being smushed and that it all made sense, so it was difficult but in a good way and fun to work with or start with the kids’ drawings as a starting point, so that felt really good.
Face This: Why did you decide to work with us and what did you think of creating art-work with drawings from Indonesian kids?
I wanted to work with you guys because it seemed like a really wonderful organization and I really admire the work that you do and I wanted to help in a small way. And I also just thought it was a cool idea to use the artwork done by the kids themselves to show them the little drawing they do could escalate and be used in a T-shirt on the other side of the world and to feel the possibility of where drawing and creativity can take you. And I just thought that someone had used my drawing for a T-shirt when I was a kid I would think that was so cool and exciting and I wanted to help and give that feeling to the kids and the excitement of creation and hopefully start some of them to want to keep creating.
Face This: What did you like to draw/paint the most when you were a kid yourself?
I liked to draw lots of outside scenes with trees and flowers and plants and I liked to draw girls in dresses. So pretty similar to the same things I draw now, so I feel really lucky be doing that still. And my cat wants to say bye. This is my cat Roady. So it was lovely to meet you and thank you, bye!