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Meet the artisans, discover their expertise, and share their passion.

A dive into our exclusive collaborations and special partnerships.


Twik Collaborates with the Illustrator Kate Pugsley

5 June 2018

At Simons, art is important to us. We’re inspired by the work of artists, since like them, we believe that art beautifies the world and helps new ideas to emerge. That’s why, season after season, we love collaborating with creators and designers from all over the world.

This spring, we dove into the imagination of Chicago-based illustrator Kate Pugsley, where life under the sea goes hand in hand with the best days at the beach. This clothing collection will definitely make you daydream about warm summer days. Not only did we get the chance to collaborate with this talented artist, but also we were able to ask her a few questions about herself, her life, and her creative process. 

How do you stay inspired?
I generate a lot of inspiration from keeping a sketchbook. I record my thoughts and ideas in a sketchbook through notes, lists, drawings and small paintings—otherwise, I'll forget them. When I'm feeling uninspired, I flip through my sketchbooks to remember my ideas and build on them.


Why did you choose a beachy, underwater world for the Simons collection?
I love the beach and sea animals, so I draw them at every opportunity. I also think those things resonate with people, so I hope they like it!

How would you describe Kate Pugsley creations?
Understated, narrative, thoughtful, feminine, colorful.

What would your dream project be?
A cover illustration for the New Yorker or a collection of illustrated ceramics.

At what point in your life did you know you’d be an artist?
I’ve known I wanted to be an artist since I was a child. Drawing was my favorite thing to do, and I was lucky enough to be able to pursue it. 


What’s a typical day like for Kate?
I start my day with a nice homemade coffee and breakfast. I don’t keep a strict schedule, but I usually start working by 9:30 in my home studio and try to keep focus for 3-4 hours before taking a break. The afternoon is usually some combination of exercise, sketching and painting, talking to clients, or running errands. I take a break for dinner and a walk with my husband and then often pack orders or work on illustrations for an hour or two before bed.



We often see certain characters reappear in your illustrations. Who are they?
Some are friends or family hidden in my work, some are people I see on the street, and some are just invented!

When you’re having a creative block, what helps you or makes you feel better right away?
I just have to keep working. It's not the easiest thing to work when I'm feeling uninspired or negative about my art, but working through it is the only way I know to actually get better.


What is your favourite medium to use?
Lately, I use gouache, watercolor, and pencil. I used to be an oil painter, but that medium doesn’t work very well for illustration because it takes so long to dry between layers.

What are you most proud of in terms of your career so far?
Honestly, I’ve really loved working on clothing collaborations. It’s been the most fun to see people wearing my illustrations. 

In your opinion, does art change the world?

What do you enjoy about doing collaborations?
The best collaborations happen with clients who trust me to do a good job and give me the creative freedom to put something of myself into the work. This collection is a good example of a nice collaboration!

Where do you like to create the most?
I have a home studio where I do all my illustration work. Sometimes it’s hard to work alone all the time, so I might try a shared studio space in the future if I can find the right people.

Who are the people that inspire you the most?
People who are creative and kind but don’t worry about what others think too much.

On what platform would you like to see your work that hasn’t happened yet?
I’m really looking forward to publishing my first children’s book. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for many years, and I’m finally in the process of illustrating it, so that will be exciting. I’d also really like to do a postage stamp!

Besides illustrating, do you have any other passions?
Travel, reading and swimming.

If I weren’t an illustrator, I would be…
A therapist.

To close, please fill in the blank: When Kate isn’t drawing, she’s…
Walking, reading a book, or sleeping.

Dive into the illustrator's imagination, where life under the sea goes hand in hand with the best days at the beach.