Designer Showcase: The Beautiful Illustrations of Katrina Canedo

Are you able to describe who you are and what you do?

I’m a 22 year old student studying Independent Illustration at Seneca College (Toronto, CA). I’ve been in love with drawing and making all kinds of art for as long as I can remember. I do graphic work like logos and icons on the side and other random commissions (like tattoo requests). I’m overall an illustrator with graphic design work experience.


How would you describe your portfolio?

I would describe half my portfolio as very simplistic, while the other half as full of energy and vibrance. My styles constantly changing, so I can’t really say if I even have a style, however this keeps things interesting and fresh with me so I’m not complaining (as of yet). I like to experiment with different media and this experimentation usually results in some fantastic images.


When did you first decide you wanted to pursue a creative career?

I first decided to pursue a career as an illustrator when I saw the movie “30 Days of Night” based on the graphic novel by Ben Templesmith. I was fascinated with the graphic novel and Templesmith’s art. His work was nothing like I’ve seen (since I was used to comic book art like batman and spierman). His art was so un-proportional and crazy, yet it looked so amazing and quite enjoyed reading his graphic novels. By then I had been drawing for several years and thought I could do something like this, probably even better and probably make lots of money of off doing what I love. Then the lightbulb went off in my head and I enrolled for art school.


What is your favourite medium to work in?

My favourite medium to work in would probably be good old traditional pencil and paper. I’ve grown quite used to drawing with a pencil and paper, and there’s really nothing like it to me. Although recently I’ve also grown to enjoy digital painting and have also improved at it in the past year.


How did you get to where you are today?

I decided I wanted to live the dream sometime during high school when I realized my career in the art industry would be very soon. I realized that I was going to do what I loved doing most and that was art, so I job shadowed an art teacher for the co-op program in high school. However I finally started getting things into motion when I started taking commissions and jobs to gain some experience being an illustrator/designer. That is when I attended college for the Independent Illustration program and knew I would do greater things with proper training from school.


What is the biggest challenge you have found, being in the creative industry?

The biggest challenge I’ve noticed in this industry is probably the hectic schedule I always have to manage. Asides from making time to finish school, attend classes, and do commissions, I also have to find time to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, and somehow make time for family and friends on top of it all. Its not an easy career and i’ve lost many hours of sleep trying to pursue it, but its honestly my dream and the passion I have to complete my mission is what always keeps me going (and also keeps me awake).


What inspires you?

I’d say movies, cartoons, and a lot of graphic novels and comics have influenced me. Sometimes I see an image I like and I make note to somehow incorporate it to a piece later. My brain’s constantly mutating these random inspirations into something new, and honestly I can’t complain.


Do you have an all time favourite piece of work you have created?

My most favourite piece of work would have to probably be the self portrait I made for digital tools class. I remember being so worried and doubtful of my digital paint skills. I thought I would never be able to make something so realistic looking with photoshop. I remember my teacher showing my class some examples from the previous semester’s class and some of the students had done such an amazing job and I thought I wouldn’t be able to measure up in their epic work. But soon after I started the portrait I got the hang of it, with my instructor’s tips in mind, I somehow created one of my most rewarding pieces.


If you could give some advice to aspiring creative minds, what would it be?

It would have to be to always organize and manage your time wisely. Time is money and you don’t want to be wasting either. I would also advice that procrastination is the worst idea ever and to avoid it. Though the most important thing is to always remember what you want to get out of this career or pursuit. Don’t forget your dream, live it, see yourself achieving it because sometimes when you feel like your body’s about to give out from exhaustion or things get so hectic, your drive and motivation to seeing yourself achieving that goal is all that you’ve got sometimes and will help you all that much more.


Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would like to add that Designer’s Best Friend asking me for an interview is going to be another exciting chapter in my art career. I’d just like to thank you for the opportunity.

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