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Kathryn Rathke

International line illustrator. Seattle

Kathryn Rathke
TV

Artists of the Year

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Kathryn Rathke draws portraits honouring Seattles's worthiest artists.

The commission from City Arts Magazine is a regular for Kathryn and this year the people represented are the best of Seattle’s culture in a variety of ways; Dance, Music, Film, Visual arts and Activists. She says "I am tasked with arranging these folks in a way that they are mildly interacting. In previous years I have arranged them having cocktails around a piano, draped in and around a restaurant booth, etc. This year I have them arranged in a nod to Vanity Fair’s Annie Liebovitz academy award winners tableaus. Rather than talking/engaging with one another they sit together and gaze out at the viewer. I think it works really well!"



Nobel Prize Winner

Friday, October 14, 2016

Kathryn Rathke celebrates Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize with this fantastic portrait.

This week Bob Dylan became the surprise winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, what perfect timing for Kathryn Rathke to treat us all to this wonderful, expressive portrait of the famous singer/songwriter which was originally commissioned for The Economist.

 



The Spirit & Flair of Prince

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kathryn Rathke creates a portrait of Prince for Seattle's 'The Stranger'.

Within 24 hours of the sad news of Prince's death Kathryn received a commission from Seattle's alternative weekly 'The Stranger' to create a portrait of the global star. She says "There is a huge outpouring of grief among this magazine’s demographic (Seattle has a vibrant music scene), so I had a lot of responsibility here to GET IT RIGHT! I worked hard to capture his liveliness of spirit and flair."



Audible Range

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Illustrating for the 'Audible Range' editorial site, Kathryn Rathke visualises listening to Moby Dick for a feature on audiobooks.

Kathryn's artworks support a feature written by a woman who has a deep love for audio books; inspired by her inability to read with proficiency due to Dyslexia. The woman specifically relates how an otherwise tedious car commute was utterly transported by listening to all of Moby Dick. Kathryn says "For image inspiration I seized on the jumble of word forms created by Dyslexia, which formed the turbulent sea setting for Moby Dick".

 

 

 

 




Rocket

Friday, December 11, 2015

Kathryn Rathke works on a charity project for KEXP - a listener-sponsored radio station.

KEXP is a community building force in Seattle who recently announced a campaign where listeners were invited to create a fund raising scheme offering services for pledges. Kathryn says of the project "I decided to offer pet portraits, and OMG the response was overwhelming! This is Rocket, the dear little pal of a woman who lost him just the other day after 18 good years."



Macron

Monday, November 09, 2015

Kathryn Rathke draws a portrait of France's Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron.

Commissioned for the profile page of Dutch Magazine Elsevier, Kathryn has demonstrated her skills of capturing charm and likeness with minimal lines. She says "As with all my portraits, I tried to give him an engaging gaze. In this case, the art director wanted him to be a bit of a playful scamp, and I do believe that I caught that!"



Seattle's Jody Hall

Monday, September 28, 2015

Kathryn Rathke's portrait skills are used again for Seattle's City Arts Magazine.

The task was to draw a woman named Jody Hall - the owner of the extremely successful Cupcake Royale franchise and a big name in Kathryn's home state of Seattle. The magazine highlights her interest in developing an marijuana-infused cupcake - as the drug is now legal in Seattle. Kathryn continues "...so for this assignment I made her adorable (she is well-loved in the community) and wanted to give an idea of a cupcake with a little added interest. So I decided to add a candle with interesting, thoughtful smoke. I love how it came out!"



Illustrator Profile - Kathryn Rathke

Monday, June 29, 2015

Kathryn Rathke illustrates with fluid, expressive and calligraphic lines.

Kathryn Rathke illustrates with fluid, expressive and calligraphic lines.

With a huge body of portraiture commissions as well as narrative work and logo design, the Seattle based artist creates everything digitally in Photoshop and Illustrator. She has a unique sense of gesture in her illustrations which have proven popular with clients such as The Guardian, The Economist Intelligent Life, Wendy's and Vanity Fair.



A Wall of Wally

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kathryn Rathke takes part in the Wall of Wally project.

Kathryn Rathke takes part in the Wall of Wally project.

Brand guru Wally Olins passed away last year, and this project put together by designer Jamin Galea, involves many illustrators paying homage to the man. A wall of portraits, drawn in a variety of styles is being created, Kathryn says "I liked the idea of this project, that everybody got the exact same assignment, using the same reference photo. I think it is a really neat way to compare illustrators and could be a great sourcebook for that reason...".



T.S. Eliot

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kathryn Rathke produces an intense portrait of T.S. Eliot for The Guardian Review cover.

Kathryn Rathke produces an intense portrait of T.S. Eliot for The Guardian Review cover.

The piece with Kathryn's recognisable lines was to celebrate the centenary of the publication "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". Kathryn was given complete freedom with the colour and layout and decided to focus on his face "... as his owly craggy expression reflects perfectly the essence of his poetry..." she says. Kathryn chose minimal colour, to enhance the expressive lines and as a fan of both T.S. Eliot and The Guardian, she experienced 'an absolute dream commission!'



World Cup Nicknames

Friday, June 27, 2014

With the world coming together in the name of football, Kathryn Rathke has done a bit of her own player analysis.

Kathryn says "I drew these as a way of legitimizing my World Cup obsession. Ozil and Balotelli have such interesting facial features they make my hand twitch with the need to draw them. Robben is so deeply maligned, I had to draw him with a sneer. Ochoa; an astounding new hero! The captions are just for fun; Falcao’s is the only one that was real at the time of composing, although Robben’s is not far off if you watch his left arm as he is running, and Suarez, well, "Chupacabra" may well be his new nickname…"



All about Rathke

Thursday, February 06, 2014


This fun commercial is all about Kathryn Rathke and her wonderful work!

Kathryn says of the video "This fellow is an actor in France who offers to make promotional videos for your business. He promises to be 'very enthusiastic'. So, of course I had to try him out! I wrote the script, and sent him visuals to show in the background. It was also my idea to have him finish with 'La Marseillaise', which makes for a wonderful finale!" Watch the video.



Owls are in the Air

Thursday, January 30, 2014

logo for Little Owl Urns

ad for Rockwood and Perry

Kathryn Rathke completes two beautiful owl commissions using her confident and stylish line.
Custom-designed urns maker 'Little Owl Urns' asked Kathryn to create a logo for the bottom of their ceramic and wooden pots; made for beloved pets. The second was for the wine merchant Rookwood and Perry in the Hudson River Valley to use as an advertisement for their shop. With the image of the nocturnal bird being used quite widely right now, Kathryn says "Owls are in the air!"



Wendy's Hidden Message

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Kathryn Rathke enlightens us on the talk recently of a hidden message in the Wendy's logo.
The Huffington Post observed that the word 'Mom' was written in the collar of the girl in the new Wendy's logo, which Kathryn created with the team at Tesser agency. She says "Although it was not indeed intentional, my mother noticed and remarked on it, way back at the unveiling last fall,.....when she pointed it out to me, I did let her think that I did it just for her."


The word 'Mom' can be seen clearer here





Wendy's Logo

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kathryn Rathke has been keeping a secret for over 3 years! But now with the unveiling of the new Wendy’s logo, she can finally reveal her part in the project.
Back in 2009 Kathryn was approached by Tesser to aid them in re-designing the Wendy's logo. She worked with them very closely; sketching, getting feedback and revising over a period of months. Tesser were very happy with the animation and expression that Kathryn was able to distil into a few elegant lines, and Kathryn was honoured to be a part of such an iconic job working with such a great design team.


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