Artist interview – Kaitlin Ziesmer

Kaitlin’s designs have been firm favorites on our site, there is something about robots in their underpants that brings a smile to our faces. Kaitlin takes some time out from painting ‘preggo power rangers‘ to chat us about hiking, visiting the UK and her love for portraits.

How did you discover you had a talent for art?
I was participating in more advanced classes when I was younger, but that was more or less, just really fun for me because the teacher was letting me do portraits. I always wanted to draw faces, especially friends. Now I look back at some of those…they’re hilarious.

Your work is heavily focused around portraits is there something in particular that draws you towards them?
I think that it’s the familiarity of them. There’s something so personal about a straight on shot of someone, even if they are a robot ;).

You use some well known characters from film and TV in your paintings but who are the unknown bodies in your work?
90 percent of the time, it’s my own body in all its doughy glory… and my own clothes. There’s nothing better than spotting a batman leotard at the store and know exactly what painting you are going to use it for. Other times, I’ll ask friends to pose and sometimes even pick their character…be on the lookout for a preggo Power Ranger people.

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What inspires and influences you?
My peers. It’s incredibly invigorating to see others around you kicking ass, it just makes you want to work that much harder; that’s totally the beauty of social media. Also, some old friends and I have started a little art collective called PRIMA GROUP and are about to have our second show together…seeing what they come up with makes me get my act together.

Aside from work ethic influence, I love film characters, as well as comic book art, old-timey scientific illustrations, and anybody who loves what they do and creates purely because can’t imagine doing anything else with their life.

What are your top 5 films?
Well, some of these will always be on the list, and some are constantly rotating (in no particular order); The Royal Tennenbaums, Beginners, In A World, Wish I Was Here, The Graduate.

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When you aren’t painting what are you doing?
I love hiking. My aunt and her friends always ask me to join in on their hikes, and they constantly out hike, bike, and ski me…they make me want to be like them when I get older. I call the “The Ladies”.

You’re the first person we’ve interviewed from the states so tell us what it’s like in Colorado?
Right now? It’s snowing like crazy. For the most part though, it’s sunny and beautiful and there’s ALWAYS something to do. That’s probably what I love about it the most…there’s never an excuse to just be sitting around. Note: I have no problem with sitting around, but it’s nice to know there’s always something out there. Mountains, good food, really good beer, plus…really great crafty and creative people.

Have you ever been to the UK?
A couple times! Both were when I was younger, so I’d like to plan something to experience now that I’m older and have some traveling experience under my belt. In fact, I’m looking into a long term trek trip out there for possibly next year.

Are there other artists you look up to?
My other PRIMA GROUP artists are a huge influence to me, and have been ever since high school. And some of my other favorites that are working today…Jenny Morgan, Betty Turbo, Mike Graves, Sandi Calistro, Mike Mitchell, Fly Okay Illustration, and Rebecca Green. Honestly, I could go on and on…there’s so much great stuff and dedicated creatives out there right now.

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What music are you into?
I know everybody says this, but a little bit of everything! At the moment I have Vance Joy, You Won’t, Sia, and Beirut in the rotation.

What phone do you have?
iPhone 4S…although I have a feeling like it’s going to die on me at any moment.

If you had to chose another one of our artists designs to rock on your phone who’s would choose and why?
I love the “Infinite Beard” series by Fredrik Andersson! I would go with #2 in particular because that orange is calling my name. Plus, clean line drawings are my cup of tea, forrrrrr sure.

If could paint a famous landmark which landmark would you chose and what would you paint on it?
It’s not a particular landmark, but I’ve always thought it would be SO COOL to paint one of those giant wind turbines! Seriously, I think they make up one of the most beautiful man-made landscapes…plus they remind me of going on a roadtrip.

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