At Design Cuts, we openly acknowledge that our biggest accomplishment and source of pride continues to be our supportive community of creative geniuses. In every interaction, our Design Cutters embody what values we hold near and dear - positivity, kindness, and collaboration.

Through our newest series, Community Spotlight, we will be highlighting a range of designers who inspire us with their boundless imagination and resilient spirit. We hope that in doing so, they too will bring inspiration to your doorstep.

First up we have the incredibly talented Kat Lynas from Drawn to Cats!

Q: Kat, what would you like to tell us about yourself?

Hi Design Cutters! I’m Kat Lynas from Drawn to Cats. I love drawing colourful quirky illustrations, usually featuring - you guessed it - cats! I started my creative business just before the first lockdown in the UK, which was an interesting time to go self-employed. I’m also the moderator of the Design Cuts Procreate Creative Community Facebook group, where I get to chat to other Design Cutters every day from my home studio. I’m based in a little seaside town in the north-east of England and due to lockdown I’ve never met any of the other members of the Design Cuts team in person. I’m hoping that will change one day!

Q: What was your graphic design journey?

At college (16-18, the UK version of high school), I completed a course that had a bit of everything - design, video, radio, photography, and I absolutely loved it! It was such a creative and fun time. I then went on to study graphic design at university. Unfortunately, the experience was very different from what I had expected. Following that, I was quite ill for a long time and didn’t pursue a creative career for years. Instead, I ended up working in education; first, in a centre where we helped elderly people learn how to use computers, then in a primary school. Working in the nursery class was my favourite; there was more opportunity to be creative and I once built a full-sized igloo from milk bottles!

I come from a creative family. My mum is a children’s writer and I attended lots of SCBWI
(Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) events with her. That brought me back to my
love of illustration and I started dabbling in art again.

I found out in October 2019 that I was being made redundant and that was the kick I needed to
begin a creative career. I started getting coached by Tom who helped me understand so much I didn’t know about the business side of design. Following Tom’s advice, I started by niching down
into cat illustrations and would draw one every day.

My style has jumped about a bit over the years. At one stage, I would draw black and white illustrations with lots of little details. The challenge to draw a cat a day meant that I had to speed up my workflow and my work became bolder. I discovered that I really like using bright colours, so I created a colour palette that I could use across my work to help create a consistent look.

Q: How long have you been with us as a Design Cutter?

I first stumbled across Design Cuts in 2015, lured in by a bundle deal! At the time I didn’t realise that
there was a community behind it. I didn’t rediscover Design Cuts until 2019, when someone I met at
a marketing session recommended that I follow Tom on Instagram. From there, I discovered the
community of Design Cutters and signed up to Tom’s coaching group.

Q: How did you start moderating our Facebook Procreate community?

Tom asked in his coaching group if there was anyone that would be interested in running a new
Procreate group. I thought it sounded like a really exciting opportunity to get more involved
in the design community. Knowing Tom’s philosophy on going the extra mile, I put together a proposal with ideas for the group, looking at how it could benefit the community. I had a Zoom interview, which was interrupted when Tom got distracted by a man who was having his shoulders shaved on the opposite balcony - lockdown life!

I love getting to know Design Cutters. One of my favourite things is seeing familiar names on
a hangout, then discovering what they create from the session in the Facebook group. It’s great that we have a place to share and get feedback from the community.

Q: Can you describe your design process?

I usually start with a concept in mind, then sketch it out in Procreate. I then ink and set that layer as
a reference. I add my flat colours, then add shadows with clipping masks set to multiply. I love
adding in textures and other details. If I’m working with a client then it’s a bit different depending on
the project.

Q: Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?

I get such a buzz seeing my work on products and in print. I’m developing a range of cat cards that
I’m starting to see results from, so I hope that that will continue to build. I’d love to collaborate with brands, get into licensing, editorial illustration and books. Creating artwork for a game would be an amazing project, but one of the things I love most about a creative career is that you never know where it’s going to take you!

Q: Your tip(s) for other designers:

The creative life can be filled with many ups and downs. Finding an understanding community makes
such a difference. I also have an accountability buddy in the lovely illustrator Leela Taylor. We
support each other on a near daily basis. Everyone needs a Leela, so go forth and find creative buddies!

Q: What are your favourite DC products to use?

I get excited whenever Lisa Glanz releases a new brush pack. I use her brushes on a daily basis and the
Instant Artist pack is one of my favourites. I’ve been working on developing my lettering, so ShoutBAM’s Kickoff Lettering Toolbox is an amazing help. It’s just as much a class as it is a brush pack! I also use Ian Barnard's Grid builder to help with compositions. I like adding patterns and textures to my illustrations. Sometimes I create these myself, but I find the Funky Brushes Collection by Patrycja Dolata super helpful when I need to add a little something extra. I also can’t not mention the Ultimate Brush Toolkit by Trailhead Design, it’s just a delight to use.

If you'd like to explore more of Kat's work, you can head to her Instagram! And to join the Facebook Procreate group she moderates, simply click here.