We are back with one of my favorite monthly series on bedsidesign. Today we have a familiar face - Kate Wong of Striped Cat Studio. You may recognize her from our Design Residency collaborative series. I was beyond thrilled that Kate agreed to be the second feature so let's get to it!
Can you explain what type of design work you do?
I’m still figuring out what I want to specialize in. I love doing branding and identity work, because I really enjoy helping someone who has lots of ideas for their business think things through and come up with something really coherent and harmonious. But lately I’ve also been moving more towards illustration as well; I think my work is strongest when I try to bring both illustration and graphic design together.
When did you “know” you wanted to be a designer?
Ha! Design is something I very much fell into. I went to college and studied “humanities,” and wrote my thesis on political journalism and satire. The one art class I ever took was watercolor, which turned into a hobbie, which turned into my aunt (who is a writer) asking me if I’ve ever thought about doing book design.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
Finding inspiration and figuring out what a design should look like—clients (myself included) have so many ideas, and it’s like a puzzle figuring out how to convey their message, and the vibe they want! I also love choosing color palettes, and seeing the finished project!
The obvious places of course—Pinterest, blogs—but sometimes an idea pops into my head and I have no idea where it came from. I really love looking for my inspiration in forms other than graphic design, because it helps me stay creative and different. As much as I enjoy looking at other designers’ work, I don’t need to be inspired by what someone else is already doing—that’s already their thing, and I want my own!
Can you tell us about the city/town that you live in?
I live in Santa Clara, CA, which is about 45 minutes south of San Francisco. It’s small and no one ever knows where it is, so I usually just tell people I’m from San Francisco, and frankly I wish I was—there’s so much to do there! The Bay Area has a really lively, supportive creative community, which I love—I’ll be sad if I ever have to leave!
What is your favorite pantone color?
That changes on a daily basis! I can say I’ll pretty consistently choose a variation of green or coral.
Describe your design/interior/fashion
Eclectic, playful, contemporary, polished, and bright.
[image features work from Kate's portfolio] Do you freelance? If so, do you have any tips for people starting out?
I turned in the paperwork to officially create my own freelance business a couple of weeks ago! That said, I don’t have any tips for people starting out, because that describes me pretty accurately—in fact, anyone who does have tips really should get in touch!
Describe your “perfect” day.
On my perfect day I would wake up around 10:30am, get dressed, and take my TARDIS (any Doctor Who fans?) to present-day Paris. I’d go shopping, and obviously have an unlimited budget because I already had enough money to fund research into building my TARDIS, probably return to the States for dinner—maybe Chipotle, I’m simple like that—and then spend the evening relaxing with my family, boyfriend, and cat and watching new episodes of Fringe or Lost, which JJ Abrams would create after I asked him as a favor. So really nothing too complicated, obviously.
Did you go to school for design – what was your major/school? How has this impacted you as a designer?
I’ve taken some design classes online, mainly technical skills for Adobe CS. I did enroll in a class that was actually about design, but hated it. Funnily enough, the humanities major I got in college has influenced me as a designer: I love incorporating disparate themes and ideas into something harmonious in my projects, just like I always had to do with essays back in school.
Who is your all-time favorite musician?
You want me to choose just one?! Well that’s silly. I like plunky acoustical music, preferably banjo. My favorites are Trampled By Turtles, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Joe Purdy.
Make sure to follow Kate!
If you are a designer and are interested in participating in this series please contact me! Months are booking up quickly so I encourage you to sign up today!