This week we're showcasing the Undiscovered Voices Illustration of Kate Read, who chose a moonlit campfire scene from The Wind in the Willows.

Tell us about yourself in 50 words or less.
I’ve just graduated from Cambridge School of Art with an MA in Children’s Book Illustration. It was a life-changing course, which I applied for whilst taking part in the week-long summer school back in 2015.

Who or what do you think informs your illustration the most?
I’ve just had the pleasure of teaching on the summer school this year alongside my former teachers, which has been a huge honour and it feels good to give something back.

What materials do you enjoy using the most?
I work mainly in collage but I also draw constantly, I’m really inspired by colour, shape, and textures. Things my kids say inform my work but I also love people-watching and overhearing snippets of conversations. Every morning I walk my dog in the beautiful Norfolk countryside or coastline which gives me thinking time, and then I’m back at my (messy) desk to get as much work done as possible before school kicks out.

Why did you choose the scene you illustrated for UV2018?
I chose the scene (from The Wind in the Willows) when Mole, Ratty and Toad are under the yellow moon as it was so atmospheric, I could really visualize the gypsy caravan, roaring fire, and the long shadows. I usually use collage but felt that this black and white work needed charcoal and ink which I built up in layers then digitally manipulated. I really love using actual materials, getting messy and feeling the shapes as I draw or paint, I use digital media to refine and tidy my finished work.

If there was one thing that stood out the most about being a part of UV2018, what would it be?
I enjoy the challenge of applying for competitions and even if I don’t win anything, I’ve got new work for my portfolio. Being chosen for UV was a wonderful opportunity to showcase my work and it happened around the same time as my degree show so there was a real buzz in the air.

What has been the most valuable part of UV2018 for you?

It gave me the confidence to talk to publishers and feel proud of my work.


Kate's website is: www.kateread.co.uk

Follow her on Instagram 

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Undiscovered Voices is an anthology published every other year by the British SCBWI and aims to help fresh, new voices in children’s literature – both writers and illustrators – find agents, publishers and ultimately readers. Undiscovered Voices has launched the careers of writers and illustrators, who have gone on to publish more than 200 books. These authors have been nominated for, and won, an amazing array of literary prizes: including the Carnegie Medal, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Branford Boase Award, Blue Peter Award, the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and nearly 30 regional awards. Visit Undiscovered Voices for all the details and news when submissions will open for the next anthology.

You can download the Undiscovered Voices 2018 anthology here.

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