Katie Maeve Williamson is a name you’re going to be hearing more of! The Gorey artist recently shot to national fame when BT Ireland commissioned a piece from her to be presented to President Michael D Higgins at the opening ceremony of the 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in January. Katie Maeve’s piece was entitled “What BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition means to me”.
A graphic designer with CK Signs by day and an illustrator from the heart, Katie Maeve’s promising career in the creative space started with song writing! “My whole family is musical,” says Katie (26), adding that she has always sought to express her feelings, whether in word, verse, and, now, illustrations.
She has a fabulous range of Valentine’s Day cards which flew out the door of her number one fan and stockist, The Gaslamp Gallery, on Gorey’s Esmonde Street. “I love romantic comedies, but am a bit awkward in romantic situations myself, so I designed Valentine’s Day cards for people who are not romantic. I also work on wedding collections and personalised cards – they are all hand illustrated, I source the paper myself, and people can order them on Facebook or Instagram!”
Even at this age, Katie Maeve is aware that she needs to apply business logic to her illustrations. “With the wedding cards, there are trends every year, so even though my cards are quirky, I want them to fall in under the themes that are out there at a particular time.”
Drawing her inspiration from everyday things, she wants her illustrations to be accessible and approachable. “I don’t want people to have to think about the illustration means – I don’t want the sentiment of the card to be overshadowed by the fact that you have to work out what the image means – drawing in a soft, approachable way makes people more connected to the work.”
And, when you meet her, you do connect with her – she’s got a lovely genuine nature that draws you in and makes you wish only good things for her.
And so, far, good things are happening – not only has the BT Ireland commission put her on the map, but being referred to as “Wexford artist Katie Maeve Williamson” was a breakthrough moment for her in terms of her own perception of – and confidence in – her work.
And the BT Ireland commission – and all the other commissions she receives, including for children’s bedrooms and nurseries – and her greeting card range are “gratifying”. She adds: “It’s nice to make my mum and dad proud for seeing me through art college. And I’ve loved showing my cards to my grandmother, Betty Howard, who’s also a painter!”
For now, she’s living the dream… “Music, art and graphic design are my passions. I’m incredibly lucky to work in graphic design by day and illustration by night. I love my job and I work with really nice people.”
As for the future? “I want to release a greeting card collection every few months, and keep doing prints and commissions.”
Katie Maeve Williamson, Katie Maeve Illustrations – remember those names!
Interview: Deirdre O’Flynn
Profile sponsored by
The Gaslamp Gallery,
Esmonde Street, Gorey