Cait Maloney, one of Studio’s talented illustrators creates stunning art in a unique style. Lover of carbs (macaroni and cheese), wine and dancing – she’s got a brilliant sense of humour and a true passion for her work. Read on to get to know her and some of her amazing illustrations.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? What are you really into? What’s most important to you in life?
I was raised by monkeys in a tiny little town in the middle of New York state. After I earned my BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University, I moved to Columbia, South Carolina and have been slowly sweating to death for seven years. After all, it is “famously hot”.
I’ve had a passion for carbohydrates and visual communication as long as I can remember; specifically macaroni & cheese and drawing. Sometimes both at the same time. Growing up, there was never a doubt that I’d go into an art field. And when I found out people would pay me to draw things, I was set.
When I’m not creating, I’m hanging out with family and friends, taking a road trip, drinking wine on a beach, catching a baseball game, dancing poorly, or starting up conversations with cab drivers.
Can you tell us about what you do at Envato Studio?
I’ve been a service provider for Envato Studio for a couple of years now. I offer illustration and design services ranging from picture book illustrations to pin-ups to greeting cards and invitations. I’m always open to custom requests, sometimes those are the most fun to do. When I’m not overly busy with work, I also provide express design services on Envato Studio, where I will customize a client’s content for a given template within a 24 hour period. Those quick, small jobs have their own appeal as well.
What are some of the tools, apps or systems you use at work on a day to day basis?
Typically my work starts out with lists and sketching. I’ll write down ideas, words or phrases that could help get the creativity flowing. Then I start to do really basic thumbnails and sketches for composition. After that I’ll work out a sketch until its pretty refined and sometimes ink the drawing straight on top. I’m always trying out different pens for inking – lately its been Faber-Castell Pitt pens.
When my drawing is done, I’ll scan it onto my computer (Macbook Pro) and clean it up to bring into Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator (depending on the project) to add color and texture. I wouldn’t be able to color digitally without my Wacom tablet, or at least it would take a whole lot longer.
Sometimes I break this mold a bit and dig out the acrylic paint, markers, charcoal, hot glue gun, whatever will get me to my desired end result. I also often make my boyfriend pose for reference or use myself as a model when I need a little help with visualization.
Why do you enjoy what you do? Have you had a favorite job or project you’ve worked on?
I enjoy being an illustrator because I get to draw things, and that’s when I’m in a happy place. I tend to forget about everything else that’s going on. It sort of clears my mind.
I also like the fact that every project is different. Its not often that you get a client who wants something exactly like another illustration you’ve done – although, this has happened to me before. I like that each client is different and the challenge of understanding their needs, then communicating them effectively.
The best projects are when a client gives me a basic idea of what they want, but are open to whatever I come up with. Those are on par with the work I do just for fun. My favorite job I’ve had on Envato Studio was for a couple in Detroit, who wanted a custom illustration for their “Save the Date”. She was really easy going and the illustration she wanted was right up my alley – with the Detroit skyline, vintage cars and chickens!
What would be your advice to someone just getting into illustration and artistic design?
Draw everyday. And don’t stress about your “style” or lack thereof. In college I would get discouraged because I saw other students already having a clear, consistent style. It wasn’t until I started contributing to the online magazine The Story Shack, where I started to notice my style developing. I think it was because I was creating on a consistent basis. At the same time, it can be really useful to have more than one style. Which just goes back to the advice of, draw or create something everyday, you can only get better.
What are you working on at the moment? What would you like to accomplish personally and on Envato Studio in the next 12 months?
At the moment I’m working on an illustration of a taco truck (for myself), my fourth children’s book, a business card “paper doll” illustration, some illustrations for an apparel / accessories company, logo work, and an event poster – just to name a few.
In the next year with Envato, I hope to get more new clients and hopefully work with some repeat clients as well. I’ve worked with some really great people and made good connections and I’d like to continue that.
Personally, I’d like to make more time to do the projects I want to do, pay off the rest of my student loans, and visit New Orleans.
What helps you be more productive?
Coffee helps me with productivity! Wine does not. I think some uninterrupted time alone is helpful. But not too much alone time, because I’ll get to a point where I’d like some feedback or I’m stuck on a color or something.
I’m also a pretty big fan of naps, and taking time off. Get away from the computer for a while. Going for a walk or a hike. I like to take weekends to do these kinds of activities in order to recharge for the coming week. No one has time for burn out.