Kathryn Colvig is an American born fine artist that has been painting professionally for more than 35 years. In 2004 she moved to Costa Rica and enjoys a life filled with travel, particularly between the two countries. Her balanced life style includes days spent surfing, gardening, cooking, doing yoga and art.
Her love of the ocean and the outdoors is reflected in her art work and coloring books.
Let’s Get to Know Kathryn Colvig
Do you remember the first thing that you drew and if so what was it?
I have been drawing for as long as I remember. At 3, I remember drawing on the backsides of my father’s blue line drawings (he is an architect) When I was a kid it was animals and people.
Do you have any formal art training or are you self taught?
I completed my MFA degree in Painting with a minor in education from the University of Iowa in 1982.
What are your favorite things/topics to draw/illustrate?
I love intricately woven patterns. Maze like designs with insects and animals intertwined. I recently completed my first Mandala book (Vagabond Mandala Om), inspired by Moroccan architecture. That was very fun and intense. I hand draw all my work, rather than creating in a computer program.
Colored by Kathryn from her Vagabond Gypsy Coloring Book
Where do you create your drawings? Can you describe what your work space looks like?
When I am home in Nosara, Costa Rica, I draw after a 6am surf, at the beach. I sit under the same little palm tree on Playa Guiones with my dog, Mango, beside me. We head home and I work in my studio there until around 3:00.
When I am in TX, I create my drawings at a drafting table I added to my studio/gallery there. It is located on the mezzanine level of the Enterprise building. in Abilene. I am in my studio from 7:30-5:00, 6 days a week. The studio and gallery have enabled me to ship my oil paintings to customers quickly, create large commissions, and upload my books to the publisher with fast, reliable internet.
What is your drawing process like? Do you prefer to finish a drawing in one sitting, work on it over a number of sittings or do you switch between drawings that you are working on? Or do you do something else?
I am always sketching new designs in pencil. When I get an idea for a book’s theme, I focus and draw in ink. I create almost twice as many pages as I need. I generally complete the page I am inking before going onto the next. I work daily for several hours at a time, take a tea break, or have lunch, then get back to it. I have always had a schedule that I work within. I don’t think you can be a successful artist unless you treat it like a job. Show up, do your best and stick with it until you are satisfied and proud of it.
Do you listen to music while you illustrate, if so, what are your musical tastes?
Not often. I do love music, and when I’m home in Nosara working, there is often a soft, meditative, background music playing in the studio.
Does your work space/environment influence your art work at all?
Absolutely. My books are heavily influenced by the ocean and rainforest I live in. My paintings are pretty much all waves and water. My lifestyle has an effect on my work as well, I am a Yogi. I practice daily, meditate, grow a lot of what I eat organically, surf, and watch the sunset every evening at the beach. My Vagabond coloring books reflect my lifestyle and my surroundings.
When I am in TX, I still feel the ocean and rainforest inside me.
Colored by Kathryn Colvig from her coloring book Vagabond Mermaid
You have published a coloring book/s please tell us what drew you to the coloring book market and a bit about your book and your inspiration for it
I heard about adult coloring books in Sept. 2015, from a man that was coloring to relieve his PTSD symptoms. I was encouraged by friends to give it a try. I did some research and began Vagabond Gypsy on Oct 9, 2015, it was published on Nov. 12, 2015 and was very successful. I committed to creating a book every 2 months. Vagabond Mermaid, Vagabond Botanist, and the Vagabond Sudoku Coloring followed.
I also created a bilingual coloring book that teaches the UK principles of the “5 Freedoms for Animals” for a local animal welfare organization in Nosara, Costa Rica. When they sell a book, they donate one to a local child and have some money left for vet bills, food, medicine and castration clinics. (sadly, puppies and kittens are tossed into the river and old sick dogs are dumped in the jungle when they are no longer wanted) The book’s purpose is to teach kids to love their pets as family members. It is available on Amazon and teaches a little Spanish too, as well as raising awareness and offering a place for people world wide to make a donation to the organization. “Ama a tu Mascota ~ Love Your Pet” was a labor of love. I recently published Vagabond Mandala Om and am on track to continue creating a new book every two months. I love creating them and getting to know the people that love coloring them.
What do you look forward to doing in the next 6 months in the coloring world?
I will continue to create new books. I have a website and offer individual page downloads for sale and links to my books on Amazon. Over 350 people have signed up to receive free pages, video tutorials about how I color and shade with Prismacolors and share their work in the gallery of colored images.
I reply to all emails personally and love to connect with colorists that dig the type of book I create.
In 6 months, I hope to have some of my email automation campaign glitches figured out and be able to reach more colorists. They give me inspiration and fabulous ideas for new books.
Colored by Kathryn from her coloring book Vagabond Botanist
What was the feeling like when you first seen your art work published in a coloring book?
My first book was, Vagabond Gypsy. I was very proud of it and couldn’t wait to complete Vagabond Mermaid!
What did it feel like to see your art work colored in by someone else?
I am humbled that they chose my book from the gazillions of books available. I am also blown away by the creativity! They come up with so many color combinations I never thought of and see things in the patterns I didn’t see when I drew them! How cool is that?!
Do you color as well illustrate/draw/publish books?
YES! I love to color. I color at the car wash in Nosara, and at the bank where it takes 2 hours to make a deposit of withdrawal….I color in airports during layovers, and I color while watching sports (I love the Cubs and Dallas Cowboys)
Colored by Kathryn Colvig from her coloring book, Vagabond Gypsy
It can be very difficult managing day to day life as well as publishing a coloring book. Can you tell us about your daily routine and how you manage your time?
I get up at 5am without an alarm. I make coffee and do my daily 20-30 minute yoga practice. (it’s a habit like brushing my teeth) I have rheumatoid arthritis and must move and stretch to live. In Costa Rica, I go surfing at day break then draw or sketch a painting under my little palm tree. I head home for a shower, light breakfast and work another 3-5 hours.
I take a nap every day.I grab a cold beer and go to sunset, come home or go out for dinner and go to bed around 8 pm. then repeat the next day. Less is more, simple is better.
In TX, I am also up at 5am, make coffee, and practice my yoga every single day. I go to the Studio with Mango and work till I run home for lunch. Back to the studio to work until around 4:30-5 and head to the YMCA for a swim and light workout. I go home or out to dinner and get to bed about 9. (Repeat the next day.)
I work most effectively being organized and on a flexible schedule.
Mango is always by my side.
Publishing can be a creative and a chaotic experience with a lot of learning curves along the way. Tell us the best and worst experiences that you have had creating your coloring book
Worst experiences have been learning book formatting software and email automation campaigns. I don’t like technology much, yet, understand that I need it and it is useful. If I could afford to hire someone to do all of that I would in a heartbeat.
Colored by Kathryn from her coloring book Vagabond Botanist
What is your favorite treat/reward for a job well done?
When I have had a really awesome month of book sales I put that money into the travel fund. I love to travel. I love to see and experience different cultures, foods, and arts. I reward myself with travel and occasionally a killer pair of shoes I’ll rarely wear….;)
Connect with Kathryn on Social Media
|Facebook Vagabond Group||Google Plus|