Gina Mei
Updated Jul 23, 2015 @ 7:02 pm

As co-host of HelloGiggles podcast “All New Friends,” Katie Kimmel won over our hearts on a weekly basis. So when we found out the 23-year-old Los Angeles native was also a mega-talented artist, we were obviously pretty excited. Katie’s illustrations are fun, colorful, and delightfully weird in a totally accessible way — and we’re obsessed with them. Katie has a BFA from The School of Art Institute of Chicago, and is master of many mediums from ceramics to puppetry. Her work is all kinds of awesome — and that’s why she’s our Illustrator of the Week.

Find out more about Katie and her art below, and buy some of her exclusive-to-HelloGiggles phone cases by clicking right here.

No pressure, but describe your art: If all the food in PeeWee Herman’s refrigerator expired.

What inspires you to make things: I’m already embarrassed by my answer to this question. My friends, family, antique malls, the message boards on, daytime TV, distasteful Etsy searches, seafood, and anyone under the age of 15.

Your favorite thing(s) to draw: Hors d’oeuvres.

Medium of choice: Recently I’ve been drawing a lot on my Wacom tablet but ceramics will always have my heart.

The first time you knew you wanted to be an artist: This is tricky to answer. I’ve always been an artist but I don’t think that I realized that until after high school. I always loved drawing and making things but then I would go to museums and look at the paintings on the wall and think nothing I make looks like this so what I make must not be art. That is because my art is very silly and you don’t see a ton of that in museums. I just kinda thought there was something more to being an artist than making a piece and showing it to people (like a knighting ceremony). This was very confusing for me and stunted me for a really long time. Eventually I realized it was crazy for me to compare myself to other artists and it was a massive relief. I’m very impulsive when it comes to making art, and I think that acting on those impulses is what makes me an artist.

Proudest achievement so far: Either graduating from SAIC or when Dwayne Johnson tweeted that he liked my art.

Music you listen to while you work: To be honest I don’t usually put on to music while I work, I just turn on QVC and listen to it like radio.

Your most prized possession: I own 4,000 tchotchkes and I love them all equally.

Your personal hero: My parents who are both amazing, supportive, creative, and super divorced. Also Amy Sedaris.

The last thing to make you giggle: On Monday, Tatti and I overheard a guy at a bar bragging about a friend named Shay.

Current project(s): I’m trying my hardest to put together a ~cool~ Etsy shop and I’m working on some pretty exciting stuff right now with the bath and body company Not Soap, Radio. Also my mom has a really awesome pajama company Maddy James that I am getting involved with. As always, I’m hiding in my bedroom painting and drawing everything that makes me laugh.

Check out Katie’s amazing phone cases via Casetify — they’re an exclusive partnership with HelloGiggles! For more of her work, check out her website, Instagram, Twitter, and Etsy. And check out past episodes of “All New Friends” right here.

You can check out our past Illustrators of the Week here!