Maker Profile: Illustrator, Kristen Solecki

On Thursday November 7th at 6:30pm artist Kristen Solecki will be teaching an illustration class at Gather Goods Co in downtown Cary, NC. Together, we’ll make a set of 4 postcards to swap & keep of favorite feminist women in a loose portrait style that Kristen is known for. You can sign up for the class here.

Kristen is a recent transplant to the Triangle. Prior to living here she was based in Charleston, South Carolina and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a professional illustrator she has created work for NPR, St. Martin’s Press, Cup of Jo & the tv show Mad Men among others.⁠

I asked a few questions to Kristen about her process and what’s inspiring here, see below:

What is inspiring you currently? Being outdoors, hiking,  and traveling. 

What is a recent great book you’ve read or podcast that you’ve listened to? Syllabus by Lynda Barry is really excellent, and Normal People by Sally Rooney.

What are your favorite Triangle go-tos? I go to Flyleaf Books on an almost weekly basis, love their selection and staff recs. 

What other illustrators or artists do you like? There are so many but Margaret Kilgallen, and Edward Gorey are two artists whose work I go back to again and again.

What are you listening to lately (music wise)? Loving the new album from the band Better Oblivion Community Center, an awesome collaboration between Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers.

Why illustration? How did you get into it and what did going to school for it teach you?

I chose illustration because I love drawing and storytelling. I also really love the variety of work in the field, each project is different. I didn’t know Illustration was something you could study when I was in high school. I was first introduced to it as a career through an open house lecture. Going to art school taught me a lot of technical skills as well as allowed me to explore a lot of mediums and creative works I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.

Any daily rituals or routines that help with working freelance?

I stick to a pretty tight routine during the work week, especially when I am on deadline. I try to keep normal work hours daily but it usually goes over that. 

You can sign up for Kristen’s class at Gather Goods Co on Thursday November 7th here.

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