Illustration – Leopards Lunch Interview Blog

November 7, 2014

Art has the capacity to inspire us all. This week’s blog focuses on illustration and features art and an interview from the amazingly talented Kate Philipson, the brain child and illustration artist behind Leopards Lunch.

We caught up with Kate on a blustery November morning over a coffee to discuss art, Leopards Lunch, zoology, kettles and more.

Where did the name Leopards Lunch come from?

Haha good question! I had wanted to come up with a name apart from my own for my “brand” and was looking for something fairly random. I am a bit obsessed with leopards and leopard print and quite liked the sound of the two words together. I should probably come up with a more profound, creative reason than that really…


No Fish No Nowt

How would you describe your illustration style?

I have a bold graphic illustration style with simple lines, block shadows and patterned textures. My style lends itself to fashion and beauty because I tend to draw a lot of beautiful woman. But whoever I draw, I always try to capture something more in their faces – an emotion or feeling. I produce my work digitally using vectors as I love the clean finish they give, and I can change the colours as much as I like. Everything starts with paper and pencil though – the initial illustrations and sketching are my favourite parts of the process.


Paloma Faith

Which artists do you aspire to or love?

I take so much inspiration from the photographer Miles Aldridge. You can see a lot of his influence in my work. Also pop art and specifically Roy Lichtenstein. I have played around with some really Lichtenstein-esque illustration ideas lately. I’m also super inspired by Wes Anderson films. They are beautiful and creepy in equal measure.


Stranger than Fiction

What are the main challenges you face when starting a new piece?

I get a lot of creative block. I’ll think of a great idea for an illustration when I’m doing something completely different like walking the dog, or when I’m frantically working to a deadline on something else. Then when I sit down to ‘create’ it’s gone. Even writing notes doesn’t always help because the feeling for this ‘great idea’ has gone.


Amy Winehouse

What was your 1st piece and has your work & style developed as an artist?

My first illustration was all done in pencil – so really different to my style now. They did have a similar thread though because they were human faces pulling the same expressions as big cats roaring. At the same time I did a series of illustrations called zoomanity which had animals heads on human bodies. The animalistic expressions are hopefully still present in my work now but I’ve changed medium and think my style is more commercial now. I also have more confidence in my work, which has come over time.



What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?

I would hate to live without my pencils and paper but really do spend most of my time on my MacBook using a Wacom tablet and pen. Really though, I’d get no work done without regular cups of tea, so the most indispensable item is my kettle.


Hearts & Flowers

What was the last art exhibition that surprised you and why?

It’s not strictly an art exhibition but I really enjoyed the recent exhibition of cover images by Stylist magazine at Proud Central. It was really interesting to see the creative process behind some of their most iconic covers. I’m also really impressed with how often they use illustration and artists to create bespoke pieces for their covers. One of my favourites was a stained glass window they commissioned – an effect that could have easily been produced using photoshop but seeing the real glass artwork was so much more satisfying. I would LOVE to see my work on a Stylist magazine cover so it gave me a little insight into how I might make it happen.



What’s your vision for Leopards Lunch & do you have any exciting projects coming up?

My main aim at this stage is to get as many people to see my work as possible. I would love to get commercial jobs with large clients or agencies as I really enjoy working with other creative minds to produce beautiful things that ultimately lots of people will see. I’m also keen to put out an illustrated product range, but finding the time to develop this has been tricky lately. That’s definitely one for my New Year’s resolution list!I am working on lots of projects at the moment but am keen to make time to work on developing my illustrations into large scale murals. I think they’d work well in huge format.


Kenzo Face

Which would win out of a leopard and a shark?

That’s a tricky one. It depends on the type of shark *refers to zoology background* but I’d like to think a leopard would win because they are badass on land, climb trees and can swim too. Sharks are pretty much restricted to water. Losers.


Kate Philipson

You can see all of Kate’s artwork on her Leopards Lunch website and more here:


HH Colette



HH Packet Face


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