Caitlyn Knepka’s art makes us nostalgic for Sunday morning cartoons over a bowl of cereal. The freelance illustrator says her childhood plays a huge influence in her work, and it shows: Her art has us daydreaming at our desks. Caitlyn graduated from Nazareth College in 2010 with a BS in graphic design and illustration, and since then, has been warming hearts worldwide with her delightfully quirky style of art. Her work always gets us feeling fuzzy inside — and that’s why she’s our Illustrator of the Week!
Find out more about Caitlyn and her art below, and buy some of her exclusive-to-HelloGiggles phone cases by clicking right here.
No pressure, but describe your art: I think my art is fun and quirky, with more of a commercial, nostalgic style. I’m a child at heart, and have always been extremely influenced by people like Disney and Maurice Sendak. My own childhood shows through quite a bit in my work.
What inspires you to make things: I draw inspiration from all of my interests — movies, music, favorite animals, dinosaurs, etc. Many times I find myself doodling characters from a TV show I’m watching, or an image that comes to mind from a record that’s playing. I also find great inspiration in other artists. One of my favorite things to do is to throw on an artists podcast in the background while I work.
Your favorite thing(s) to draw: I’m mostly drawn to facial expressions and emotions. I love being able to feel an immediate emotional response from a character, almost as if they were real! (This usually comes in the form of animals.) As a child, I loved making up imaginary story characters and I think this is still the basis of the work I create today!
Medium of choice: The majority of my work is digital, but I love a good brush pen and some gouache!
The first time you knew you wanted to be an artist: I can remember taking my 101 Dalmatians VHS tape and drawing every-single-dog on the box. Years later, my parents took me to Disney World and I was able to see the artists working on Tarzan. My dad says I turned to him and said, “That’s what I want to do someday!” I guess that’s probably when I knew I wanted to be an artist.
Proudest achievement so far: I’ve done so many things I love, but I think my proudest moment has to be landing my first children’s book. I never thought I would be able to live my dream, and I cannot thank Brittany Bang, the author of the Little Mouses Adventures series enough for giving me a chance!
Music you listen to while you work: Mostly Sufjan Stevens, Tycho, and The National. Also, soundtracks from my favorite movies!
Your most prized possession: My Wacom Tablet!! I would be completely lost without it.
Your personal hero: My personal hero is my (soon to be) husband. He has shown me what it’s like to be passionate about your career, and has always supported my dreams.
The last thing to make you giggle: Luke Danes from Gilmore Girls.
Current project(s): I have a lot of exciting projects coming up! I’ve designed a few plush stuffed animals as well as worked on my first animated video, both of which should be out within the year. I have a new book hitting the shelves in two weeks, and am finalizing my last book of the year!
You can check out our past Illustrators of the Week here!