Meet Our Vendor: Kate Endle Collage
We are so happy to have Kate Endle back at our winter show. She makes great gifts for kids and adults that are kid at heart.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Kate Endle and I am an illustrator. I write and illustrate children’s books, I license my images to home decor and paper products, I am a freelance illustrator, I sell my work at the historic Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, and I have two Etsy shops. I’m married to children’s musician Chris Ballew, aka Caspar Babypants. Together we write and illustrate children’s books that include his music; I also illustrate his album cover art. We live in West Seattle and Vashon.
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
I just put the final touches on two new board books for small children- Ocean Motions and Penguin on a Scooter- to be published by Sasquatch Books/Little Bigfoot and will be released Spring 2018. Each book features a wide array of animals to be accompanied by a free downloadable song by Caspar Babypants. My husband and I just started writing and illustrating The Tail of the Market Kitty; a children’s picture book about Pike Place Market. I sell my art at the market as a craft vendor and, as a teenager, my musician husband honed his craft as a busker in the market, so the subject matter is near and dear to our hearts. The Tail of the Market Kitty will be published by Sasquatch/Little Bigfoot Spring 2019.
Any new exciting news you’d like to share with our readers?
Each year I set a goal for myself and 2017 was the year of networking and socializing within the craft community. I signed up for Urban Craft Uprising’s 2017 Spring Camp Thundercraft which introduced me to some really great regional artists. After the camp, a handful of us creators decided to meet up regularly to discuss topics ranging from product development strategies, social media usage, local craft shows, and who’s listening to what podcast. Next year a of group of us will be traveling to Craftcation in California! Without this new group of friends I would not have not even know about Craftcation so my 2017 goal has been a real success!
How did you get started in your business?
I’ve been illustrating professionally for over 25 years and my medium was acrylic gouache on paper. I started freelancing during my senior year of art school at The Columbus College of Art and Design. I did a lot of work in the educational and editorial market. I joined the Graphic Artist Guild and SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and attended their meetings and conferences. I sent out postcards and bought mailing lists to get freelance work. During this time I had a part time job at Seattle Art Supply and we had the BEST paper selection in town. I began collecting papers from Japan and India and storing them in drawers with the hope of starting a new hobby. Early 2001 I had a friend who was working at The Boat House, which is the studio of rock star glass artist Dale Chihuly, and I was offered a tour of the magnificent space. The day of my tour was the same day Dale was filming with local TV station KCTS so I did not expect to meet him. However, our tour guide found out I was an artist and suggested I bring my portfolio down for Dale to review. Within a few hours Dale and I were talking about art, vintage children’s books, and our favorite junk and antique stores as he perused my portfolio. At the end of the meeting he handed me a large empty box and told me to go into his supply room and fill the box up with Golden Fluid Acrylic paints and packs of Arches 300lb watercolor paper (these are the materials he uses to create his paintings). I left his studio quite giddy. There were talks of us working on children’s books together and he wanted to trade my art for some of his glass sculptures. My big break had finally arrived!! We stayed in touch for months but collaborative work never materialized. Later that year the world experienced the horror of 9/11. I, like a lot of people, had very little work due to the economic recession. During this down time I decided to reinvent myself. I pulled out Dale’s paint and paper and began hand coloring the papers I had collected from Japan and India. I glued them to the watercolor paper and then eventually to stretched canvases that I bought at Seattle Art Supply. I was addicted to this new medium! It took me about five years of trial and error to really solidify my current style of cut paper collage, but once established it really took off and I began freelancing in the publishing and art licensing industries. My collaboration with Dale never panned out, but his organization did ended up hiring me to produce product for their children’s line of Chihuly Pure Imagination products for children. I also sell my work in the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum gift shop. I like to tell this story because in this business one never knows where their artistic path will take them. That experience with Dale was a wild ride full of ups and downs, but I would not be a collage artist if it were not for his generosity.
Is this a full-time business for you?
This is DEFINITELY a full-time business for me. Most times, it’s TWO full-time businesses and it can be a real challenge managing all aspects of the business on my own. I have reached a point where it might be time to bring in some part time help, but I struggle with this decision on a daily basis. I love to work alone in my studio and I’m not good at managing others. However, I’m getting better at asking for help and hiring people to help out in other aspects of my life- the occasional landscaper,for yard work, help with creating a website and promotional materials, etc. Illustration for me has always been a full-time job, but it did not always provide me with a full-time income. For many, many years I had a wide array of part-time jobs- retail, figure model for art schools, retail display. Even though those part-time jobs were not my dream jobs they have all help, in very different ways, with my freelance career.
Be sure you are following us on Instagram for your chance to win this awesome prize from Kate Endle! You choose! One of my children’s books along with your choice of a Caspar Babypants album. Fun for children infant to 8-10 years old and makes great holiday or baby shower gifts!