Get to know New York City-based creative Kath Nash. Through her design and illustration work, Kath aims to help companies and people spread messages of inclusion, welcome, and acceptance. Learn more about what inspires Kath’s work, have a glimpse into her daily routine, and learn how she balances both productivity and personal time.
Where do you work? Tell us about your space(s).
I recently started a contract position with Google, so at the moment I’m working in their office in Chelsea, New York City which is awesome. But when I work on freelance projects, I work from my home studio in Greenpoint. I love that space so much. It’s airy and bright. I keep it full of plants, art, books, and random little things that make me happy, like a Ketnipz Bean plushie.
Where does your inspiration come from and what does your creative process usually look like?
I have so, so many sources of inspiration. Nature is a huge inspiration for me. I grew up as an introvert in a big family in Florida, so my woodsy backyard was often my place of peace. Artists like Carson Ellis, Lisa Congdon, and Oliver Jeffers have been inspiring me for many years. I really look up to artists who use their work as activism and to spread good, important messages.
I really look up to artists who use their work as activism and to spread good, important messages.
My work tends to ride the line between graphics and illustration. Working in editorial/media, my clients always want specific things communicated and represented, often in a single image. I am equal parts problem-solving and making things look nice. My process usually starts with a mood board. Then I get all the required elements onto an artboard. Then I figure out a way to design those elements in a way that is both beautiful and effective.
Tell us about your routine (or lack of one.) How do you structure your days to get things done?
When I work from my home studio, a routine is super important for me. It took me a while to figure this out. I learned that going on a walk with Winky (my dog) right before I start working helps me transition from waking up to workday. I learned that I can allow myself to watch TV during breaks, but not shows that suck me in. For example, I can watch 30 Rock, but I can’t watch Queer Eye. Not until I finish work for the day, at least.
I think having a designated room in my apartment as my studio helps me tremendously. When I’m done with work, I close my office door and don’t open it again until the next morning. That simple physical boundary really helps.
How do your space, tools, and habits benefit you? What about those things do you think needs improvement?
My studio space is perfect for me and I have all the tools I need (mainly my laptop, monitor, and iPad). I feel so grateful.
As for my habits, some are good and some are bad. I’m good about going outside for walks morning and afternoon, thanks to Winky. And I’m generally good about ending my workday between 5 pm and 6 pm unless I’m riding a deadline.
My biggest bad habit I have to fight against is giving in to distractions, usually my phone but sometimes cleaning the apartment or cooking or hanging out with friends. If those get excessive, I set myself a 30-minute timer, during which I’m not allowed to use my phone or get up from my desk. Some days I have to repeat that several times to get any work done.