Katelyn McKenna is an Irish Graphic Designer & Illustrator, residing in Berlin

Katelyn McKenna is an Irish Graphic Designer & Illustrator from Greystones, Ireland, now residing in Berlin, Germany. Katelyn often embraces a limited colour palette and creates intriguing work that encourages viewers to step into the narratives she creates. We’d add that Katelyn is great with figures, architecture and animals, with a lot of originality, energy, humour and depth.

Here’s where we found out more…

When did you start illustrating?

Graphic design was my chosen degree, but I always had a leaning towards illustration. After graduating, I worked on my portfolio some more and became part of Illustrators Ireland which has been a big help.

Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?

Oh, I'm very lucky to have a hugely supportive family. To my advantage, I wasn't discouraged from pursuing a career in art, especially because my mom is an artist! Friends come to a very close second; I love them so much.

Did you always think art was going to be a major part of your life?

For sure. I've always been one of those kids who either daydreams or doodles in class instead of focusing. With my upbringing constantly surrounded by my mom's artist lifestyle, it no doubt impacted me. Although, there was a brief time before college when I considered fashion design, but that quickly dissipated after some internships.

What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?

Probably people, then architecture, also animals. It's hard to nail it all down to one.

How would you describe your style?

A clean mixture of playfulness and expressiveness with some friendliness.

What is your favourite collaboration to date?

There are a couple that I cannot show just yet and one of them involves my work with Spun Out. I'm super grateful for them to trust me in designing for an online course of theirs. It's a mix of my illustration and graphic design skills, so they really have shone through in that sense.

What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?

First of all, the dedication that the team at Illo Agency holds. I've heard about them multiple times before, and I've always wanted to eventually reach the point in my career to be represented. It's an honour and a great help to get my work out there. Us independent creatives know how hard it is to juggle everything! Also, I want to fulfil an ambition to illustrate children’s picture books and more editorial work, and I am hopeful that Illo Agency can help me work towards that.

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?

My favourite film directors are probably David Fincher and Greta Gerwig. I know 'Past Lives' is Celine Song's first film as a director, but she's already up there! As for designers, Frank LloydWright and Louis Sullivan. I'm enjoying Jeff Vandermeer's work at the moment.

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

Yes, I'm currently working on one which is a selection of illustrations summarising my time in Berlin for an exhibition. Or, rather, the aspects of Berlin I adore here. The architecture, the people, the sunny weather when it comes... It's basically the general feeling of me telling my story of my time here, things I notice, etc. If all goes according to plan, I think this theme can transform into something bigger. It's enjoyable because, again, it's a nice balance of my two styles.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?

Oh, I love listening to podcasts when out and about on my walks. I actually have a lotta favourites, so this is a tough question. 'Sidenote' is a fun one, 'Young Hot Guys' podcast is a recent one that's great for the Irish giggles and banter.. 'Hard Fork' for long tech news that focuses on our future that is already happening. Speaking of Psychology is another.

If you’d like more info, please contact: [email protected]

At illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.