Artist: Kate Endle
Business name: Kate Endle Collage, Kate Endle Illustration, Kate Endle Collage Illustration
Web sites: kateendle.com and kateendle.etsy.com
Location: Seattle, Washington
What do you create?
Illustrations and boutique art.
Where and when do you do your creative work?
I work from my home. I work whenever I feel like it. I'm mostly a night owl (no pun intended) but these days it seems like I'm working all hours of the day.
Do you have another "day job"?
Well, the only thing I've ever done "full time" is my art career and it's been an on-and-off kind of full time job – mostly with pay, sometimes no pay. I've always had weird little part time jobs. Right now, I spend about five to eight hours a week selling hard cider and exotic Japanese vegetables at our local farmer's markets. I also work about four to eight hours a week at Anthropologie helping in their visual department installing window displays, etc. Next month I start a worldwide tour with my boyfriend's band selling merchandise. I've made sandwiches, modeled nude, sold art supplies, worked as a decorative painter and muralist. I always have volunteer jobs, too. I love my weird little worky life. I never know what's going to happen from day to day – keeps me on my toes. It also keeps me from holing up in my studio – I have hermit tendencies.
Where and what did you study?
I've been studying art my entire life. My parents got me into art classes when I was very young. I never had that "What am I going to study?" dilemma. I received my BFA in Illustration from The Columbus College of Art and Design, in Columbus, Ohio.
Where do you find inspiration?
Oh, everywhere. For sure, Anthropologie – another good reason to keep the part time job. I try to stay away from blogs, but I can't help it. I can't believe the huge amount of brilliant creativity that is on the planet; it overwhelms me, which is why I try to avoid the internet. I love watching birds and hanging out in nature. Seattle is a truly awesome combo of urban, flora, and fauna. I look at lots of books and listen to music and stare into space. I had an ideal childhood and I draw a lot of inspiration from those times.
What motivates you?
Money and fame and happiness. Money pays my mortgage and fame..... well, how does the song go? "Remember my name. FAME! I wanna live forever. I'm gonna learn how to fly. HIGH!" I don't know why, but I want to be famous. Not like Madonna famous, but like my true loves – Marimekko, Orla Kiely, Lotta, Sukie, School House Rock, Charley Harper, and so on. Those artists have done such lovely work that makes everybody feel good inside.
When did you start doing this?
I started illustrating professionally while I was in college. I developed my painted illustrations a couple years out of school, around 1995. I started collaging in 2001. It took a few years to develop that style. I started selling the originals in 2004. I've been licensing and freelancing in the collage/collage illustration style for a couple of years.
Do you remember getting into art as a kid?
I have very early memories, maybe as a toddler, of drawing on paper bags. My dad used to bring home paper from work, too – I would use the back side of his reports to draw and color with.
When and why did you decide to start your own business?
I started my business in 1995. I took baby steps, which is the great thing about art. You can put in as little or as much time/money as you can. Now a days, with blogs and online stores, it's so easy to get your work out there.
How did you choose the name for your business?
I like my name and I like how it sounds with "collage".
What do you love most about creating your work?
I love so many things about it! I really love the feeling of completion and knowing that everything just jives.
What's the most fascinating place you've been?
One time I walked into a history museum on an island in Greece. I found myself in a gallery that housed hundreds of tiny, terracotta, primitive figurines. I had this massive feeling of chills running from the back of my head and down through my back. Then, I burst into tears. I'm not emotionally unstable, but I really lost it. Once I composed myself I started to read about the work on display. I was looking at sculpture from the Mycenaean period. I went onto read that this was the first time in the history of mankind that artists began signing their name to their work. I started to cry all over again; I'm crying now.
A book you love: Wind Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami – that's a stunner. Lust for Life, Irving Stone. Poor Van Gogh...
What is the most interesting thing about you?
I have a dark streak – it's not very wide but it runs deep. My mother has always referred to it as my "devil look". It's not evil, mostly mischief.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of what I have achieved with my collage style. That's a good example of me making lemonade out of lemons. That style was developed during a very sad time in my life – both professionally and personally. To see it get out in the world makes me happy.
What advice would you give women starting their own business?
I don't think I have anything that hasn't already been said – do what you love and don't worry about what other people think. Don't be afraid to screw up. Ask a lot of questions. Know all you can know about what you're selling. Down time is just as valuable as up time – maybe even more valuable. That one was a hard one for me to learn.
What's the biggest challenge you face in your work?
PAPERWORK!! I hate paperwork!! Invoicing, putting together quotes, bills, contracts. Ugh.
What do you love to do in your free time?
I love going to see live music, spending time with my fella, hanging out with my friends and family, going to the gym, eating, sleeping, traveling, organizing, cleaning, riding my bike, museums, staring out the window, buying art... stuff like that.
What are you working on right now?
I'm working on a lot of super cool projects right now (when it rains, it pours). My boyfriend is the singer/songwriter for The Presidents of the United States of America. His songwriting is so luscious! We want to put together a CD/picture book for toddlers. His kids’ songs are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and I've seen him turn tots into crazy dancing maniacs. I'm just finishing up the final touches to note cards for Papyrus – a dream job for me. I'm starting work on a book for Cartwheel/Scholastic called I Can Help the Earth. I have a bunch of art shows I'm preparing for and commissions to complete. All good stuff!
What do you hope to achieve next?
I need to reproduce my images onto fun products. I need to create prints for my Etsy store. I need to move onto the next bigger and better stage of things. Always moving on up...