My name is Kat Reeder and I am a Peruvian-American artist based in Honolulu, Hawaii. I have been a full-time artist since 2009.
I grew up in Miami, Florida where art, music, and fashion from around the world inspired my bold style. My interest in tropical imagery and calendar girls began with Barbie Dolls, Disney Movies, Pin-Up Art and 70s Latina Glam.
I moved to Hawaii in 2009 with a dream of being a Graphic Designer. Being a creative busybody, I was always looking for opportunities to flex my artistic muscles via personal projects, freelance work, and connecting with artists. After attending events like the Haleiwa Arts Festival and Chinatown First Fridays, I discovered Hawaii’s vibrant art scene. Through encouraging conversations with local artists and gallery owners, I was inspired to exhibit my first works. My art caught the eye of the organizers of the Vans Women’s Triple Crown of Surfing and I was tapped to design the 2009 official poster. This amazing exposure allowed me to leave my "day job" to begin my career as a full-time artist.
My journey as an artist has taken me from Hawaii to Florida, and back to Hawaii again (with a few trips to Japan in between). Being back home in Hawaii has re-energized my work and vision for the future. My hope today is to contribute to the artistic fabric of Hawaii, its people, and support my fellow artists.
What inspires you the most?
I'm inspired by femininity. Although every culture cultivates its own definition of beauty, female sensuality is universal. We see beauty not with our eyes but with our souls. I'm inspired by a mythical sense of feminine power.
Who are your influences?
My list of influences is wide-ranging. Alphonse Mucha, Frida Kahlo, Glen Keane, Coby Whitmore, and Alberto Vargas are a few of my favorites. I'm drawn to artists whose commercial works spoke to the masses via magazines, posters, and other now-collectible ephemera.
What is your creative process?
Every image starts with a pencil sketch that I scan and ink digitally. I carefully layer images with collected textures like wood, foliage and aged paper which I photograph myself.
Who is the girl in your paintings?
This is always a hard one to answer because she isn't one particular person but rather the embodiment of a concept. I asked myself once, if the spirit of "Aloha" had a face, a name, a presence, what would she look like? To me kindness and grace is a woman warmly smiling at you telling you everything's gonna be alright.
Is it true you still draw with a mouse?!
Ha! Yes, many of my works were created with a good old mouse. I'm a creature of habit and it's the way I taught myself to draw digitally. I've perfected this skill through years of trial and error and I'm actually pretty speedy! I have since moved on to my trusty iPad Pro but still render with a mouse every chance I get ;)
What are your preferred drawing apps or programs?
My go-tos are Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, and Illustrator.
Digital Art As My Visual Voice
My first foray into digital art was with a hand-me-down 1991 laptop with an early version of MS Paint. The idea of digital painting was then a foreign concept to a young kid like me. I spent countless hours creating images pixel by pixel, studying the relationships between color blocks and form. Watching an image emerge onto the screen like an intricate puzzle fascinated me.
What was largely considered an impersonal piece of technology suddenly became the medium by which I expressed my most personal feelings. I haven’t stopped pushing the limits of digital art since.