This Illustrator Will Teach You How to Grow Your Independent Brand

With a passion for illustration, the color pink, and all things cute, illustrator and graphic designer Catherine Kay launched her brand, Katnipp, hoping for the best (incidentally, “you da best” is also her unofficial motto).

Now, a few years later, her brand is making quite a splash online, both on Instagram and YouTube; while her online Etsy shop is continuously restocking. Her merch includes a range of prints, pins, and other paper goodies, all infused with that Katnipp magic.

Based in North-East England, Kay is also working on her first children’s book for a small publisher in Scotland. “I have always had a passion for illustration & design for as long as I can remember,” she writes on her website. “I wanted to pursue this as a career but found jobs few-and-far-between and when a job did come up, I found it was someone else’s creative vision rather than my own.”

“Slowly but surely, I have created designs, from custom portraits to hand-printed mugs (which I do myself in my little studio),” she says. “I can honestly say this is my passion, I am so thankful everyday that I get to create and illustrate cute things with some of my favorite colors & inspired by the things I love the most (Anime, coffee, books & animals).”

Zoning in on the things that made her happy (meaning illustrating cute pastel happy stuff) proved to be the right decision for Kay. Now – through her buzzing YouTube channel – she encourages other creatives to do the same. Follow her lead!