Spotlight interviews are our way of showcasing the artistic journey of many of our customers. Not only do we share their story, we highlight the artwork they’ve used to design business cards or postcards on our high-quality papers. We’ve put this customer community together as a gathering place of great design and inspiration. All Spotlight artists are customers that we choose for the Portfolios section.

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Cait Maloney: The bright colors of summer, city and whimsy
July 21st, 2017
Cait Maloney's quirky and fun illustrations convey a playfulness that reminds us of summer, childhood and tasty treats!

How did you get started in the visual arts?

I have been artsy pretty much since I found out I was a human. My mom was into painting and craft shows, so we always had materials to create with around the house. She was encouraging about making things and drawing / painting all the time and she was involved in the local "art scene" which I thought was really cool. I guess it was in middle school that I got serious about art as a career and by high school it was a no-brainer that I was going to college for art. 

How did you get to where you are now?
I thought a degree in a "fine art" would be pointless, so I looked into illustration since it seemed like a good way to get paid to draw. I didn't really know anything about it other than book illustration (which I wasn't particularly interested in at the time). When I discovered all of the other applications illustrations are used for, I was sold. I started getting paying gigs toward the end of my time in college. Once I graduated and got over a year of creative block, I started to hustle pretty hard between a day job and freelance work - taking on as much as I possibly could stand. I figured if I wasn't doing it, someone else was.

If you weren't a visual artist, what do you think you would be?
A ballerina.

How would you describe your work?
Colorful, relatable, witty, humorous, sometimes surreal. 

Who else’s work has influenced or inspired your work?
It seems like every day I'm inspired by something new. I don't like to be stuck in my own head for too long, so I want to see what's in other people's heads. 


Can you tell us about your creative process?
I tend to put a lot of emphasis on the initial concept, I want the idea to be original and good. Ideas have to "bake" for anywhere between a day or two to sometimes six months or more. I write things down, do thumbnails of how I think the final piece could look and sometimes bounce ideas off friends to see how they respond. When I think its ready, I find or create some reference and work up a tight sketch. After that, I ink the drawing and scan into the computer to color and add texture.

What is your favorite part of your process?
My favorite parts of the process are coming up with ideas and drawing + inking, for very different reasons. Idea generation feels like the most creative / active part to me, like a party for my brain. The drawing part is when I go on autopilot and I zone out into drawing-land for a while. 


What's your favorite part about freelancing?
The variety of projects that come along and the ability to decide which one's fit. I like constantly doing something different. It keeps my blood flowing.

What advice have you got for other freelancers?
Work to play! Get up and walk around often (a reminder for myself). And create every day!

How do you grow and promote your business?
I have a desire for the next thing I do to be better than the last. Its pretty hit or miss for when I determine if I've been successful at that, but I think it helps me grow. For promotion, I try to submit to illustration annuals, local juried shows, share things on facebook / instagram / dribbble, and keep my web presence up to date. The internet rules.


How do your tailor your style for each client?
I stressed out pretty hard about my "style" during college. A lot of the other people in my major had very distinguishable styles and I thought my work was all over the place. It eventually developed naturally after doing more and more work (deadlines helped). For the most part, any "tailoring" required for client work is usually reflected in the color palette or subject matter.

What interesting projects have you worked on?
I've been working on a lot of beer related things lately, who would not love that? I'm also preparing for my first dual exhibition in August.

What areas of your work are you hoping to explore further?
All of it! I'm not sure what the future holds, but I know it will be great!

To see more of Cait's work, visit:

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