Kate Bolte is a gifted local designer who utilises words and typography in her art. Here, Kate shares the inspiration behind her creativity …
What is your connection to the Coffs Coast?
I grew up in a small town called West Wyalong; it’s about 860 km from Coffs Harbour. When I was little, my parents would make the drive every Christmas for the summer holidays. My grandparents have lived here for over 30 years. It was a home away from home. I moved here from Sydney almost four years ago now.
Could you briefly describe how you became involved in visual arts?
I have grown up loving anything creative in most forms. I was a dancer, and performing arts was a huge part of my life going through school. I loved painting and using different mediums. However, my true passion was using words to create art.
What is that you do?
Technically, I am qualified graphic designer. I studied my BA degree right after I finished school. I also love fine arts, drawing, painting etc. I love typography. All my work has words. I love how words can be their own piece of art.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am and will forever draw inspiration from my surroundings. The environment plays a huge part in what I create. Living in this beautiful town has helped me create some of my favourite pieces. The ocean and the land here are breathtaking.
As a designer, how would you describe your style and approach to a subject?
Experimental and personal – I try to connect with anyone that is looking at my work. My work is drawn from a very emotional level. Again, my connection to my surroundings and my mood play a really big part in what I create. I will always read the brief first over a couple of times and have interaction with my client to try and vibe off their mood.
Which designers do you admire and draw influence from?
I absolutely adore Jasmine Dowling and the team from Blacklist studios.
I also love Frida Kahlo – who was unequivocally fierce and an empowering woman.
What, in your opinion, is good design?
I love simplicity over chaos; however, I love most kinds of design. I appreciate the grind and thought that goes into someone’s work. It doesn’t necessarily mean it should be aesthetically pleasing to the eye to be good design.
If you could live anywhere in the world to experience a specific period of design or art, which would you choose and why?
To be honest, I wouldn’t change living in the present – I can experience design from eons ago by reading it in books or visiting museums. That is the beauty of art and design. You don’t have to be in a specific era to experience it. I would love to travel the world and experience it in the flesh, though.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering taking up design as their chosen profession?
Don’t go to a private college and create a massive debt for yourself. Honestly, if I could do this over, I would teach myself. An arts degree is a very expensive piece of paper. I believe you know design, or you don’t. At the end of the day if you have a happy client, then you know what you are doing; you don’t need an arts degree to tell you that.
What have been some of the favourite works you have created?
A lot of my work has been experimental and using different methods; most of the time it’s what I didn’t mean to do that becomes what I love.
A couple of years ago I started using watercolour and inks – I made a range of feather prints, and to this day they are still one of my favourites.
What are your plans for the future?
I have been accepted into SCU to study becoming a primary/secondary school teacher. I will continue freelancing and designing under Wood and Arrow Studios; I love design, and I will continue to create.
Where can people find out more about you and your art?
I have a website: www.woodandarrow.com for people who are wanting to contact me about my work or custom artworks. You can also find my work in Wrecked Vintage on Harbour Drive. Sophie, the owner, has been a genuine supporter of my work since she opened her doors.
Wood & Arrow Studios www.woodandarrow.com