• Artist Editions: Kate Prior X UO

    Designed exclusively for Urban Outfitters, Artist Editions is an ongoing series of limited edition graphic t-shirts created by a rotating roster of artists from around the globe. 

    London illustrator Kate Prior works in-house at UO's UK office. We stop in to chat about her vibrant pieces and what it's like to work at UO.
    Photos by Iona Wolff 

    Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? 
    I grew up in the north of England where I lived and studied (Visual Communication) until I went and interned in New York and Philadelphia in my early twenties. I now live in London and make drawings for UO and anyone else who will let me.

    You work at UO’s UK headquarters. Can you tell us a bit about what you do there? 
    I started off designing emails and coming up with seasonal sale campaigns. Now I mostly take care of anything that needs illustrating from event posters to hand typography. In between I've designed photo booths, tote bags, tee shirts, stickers, badges, animations and a board game.

    What’s your favorite thing about working for UO? 
    How trusting they are of my ideas. I have had so much creative freedom. They let me put the words "Cat Sh*t" into the first sale campaign I did and its been down hill on a snake board since!

    Your works feature a whole host of quirky characters and anthropomorphic objects and animals. Do they all exist in the same universe? 
    They do actually, and some of them are the result of rampant inbreeding! Help!

    What’s the first thing you can ever remember making (in your whole life)? 
    An entire catalogue of elaborate and impossible footwear over a long summer holiday. I've grown up to be that person who wears the same style of Clarks desert boots every year though. 

    Have there been any artists or designers that have been particularly influential to you over the years? 
    I love the worlds created by illustrators like Andy Rementer, Will Sweeney, Jim Stoten, Jim Phillips, Geoff McFetridge and Robert Crumb. 

    What does a normal day in the life look like for you? 
    I begin by rocking up to SnoozeFest 2016. I wash, drink coffee in bed with YouTube then cycle into central London to the UO HQ (after getting dressed of course). There, I crack on with what ever projects I have ongoing, which will see me either sketching, inking, or working digitally. I procrastinate a little bit but try to keep it within the design realm. If its quiet I will start researching and plotting for the next project. I wrap things up around 6pm and then I either do some freelance work, get some exercise, see friends then kick out the ZzZzzs ready to start it all over again.

    Can you tell us a bit about your work for Artist Editions? How did the designs come about? 
    They were ideas lurking around in my notes app. I love the idea of a cat owning the C.R.E.A.M. abbreviation thinking its a celebration of his favourite beverage. What a dumb dumb! Can you believe this guy?

    Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to illustration and design? 
    I don't have much to complain about because I feel very happy and lucky that drawing pictures pays my bills. I use the strength I take from this to fight my demons. 

    What’s so great about a t-shirt anyway? 
    Well, nobody likes picking dried burger sauce out of their chest hair. 

    What’s next for you? 
    I really want to break free from my digital shackles and try things in the real world, before my bum goes 2D! Murals, paintings, more screen printing and more weaving. I want to learn some new skills! I want to move away from the UK.

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