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Behind the Scenes: Kathy Phantastic

Behind the Scenes: Kathy Phantastic

Today, we’re taking you behind the scenes with Kathy Phan, the creator of Meowdy, the cowboy hat-wearing kitty we consider our official store mascot.

Photo credit: Tanner Garza

The whimsical watercolor prints, stickers, and cards from Kathy Phantastic are always on trend. We love her work a latte, and we can’t wait to take you behind the scenes to learn more about the process of creating waffle-y great art!

Hi Kathy! Thanks for taking us behind the scenes today! Where do you find inspiration for your art?

I find inspiration from travel (not much of that has been happening lately), my Vietnamese heritage, exploring coffee shops and restaurants, food trends, and pets.

Photo credit: Tanner Garza

We love how you draw from your own life to create art that is so very relatable! Do you plan for months before creating a new product, or do you create spontaneously?
I often plan out the types or themes of products I want to create, especially when the products are for a seasonal collection with a timeline, but sometimes I’ll feel very inspired and create spontaneously.

Awesome! That sounds like a great balance. Can you please walk us through a step-by-step process for creating your product?

I usually start off looking for inspiration in person and online. Oftentimes, this means taking a reference image myself. I sketch out my illustrations in pencil and paint them by hand with watercolor paint in my Austin, Texas studio. Afterwards, I scan them in and do light editing digitally for color correction before turning them into stationery, stickers, magnets, tea towels, and other home goods.

Photo credit: Tanner Garza

How cool! Thanks for sharing your process! What does a typical day look like for you?

My days can be pretty different week to week, but each week there are certain things that need to get done. I try to segment days and address different parts of the business on certain days or parts of the day. For example, Tuesdays are for shipping out online orders. During a week where I’m creating new work, I try to dedicate most of the day to painting so that I have many illustrations to work with when making products. I find that it’s easier to continue painting when my art supplies are already set up in the studio. Now that more people are vaccinated I’m starting to meet for coffee with creatives and maker friends again. I hope to make that a weekly occurrence to catch up, help troubleshoot each others’ problems, and stay inspired.

Sounds like you’ve figured out a great process! Dedicating ample time to painting while your supplies are out, instead of spreading it out over several days is a great tip! Who’s the first person you show when you create a new piece?

I usually show my husband because we’ve been quarantining since March 2020 and he’s nearby!

Photo credit: Kelly Zhu

That’s great! We love sneak peeks! Can you let us in on any future products we can look forward to seeing on the shelves?

Look forward to seeing notepads and holiday cards later this year!

We can’t wait to see what you come up with for the holidays! Thanks so much for taking us behind the scenes! We’re so glad you’re a maker at Mosaic Makers Collective!

If you’d like to shop Kathy Phantastic, shop online or visit us in the store!

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