Exclusively representing

Kathryn Rathke

Kathryn Rathke - WA, USA based illustrator

WA, USA
Looking at one of Kathryn Rathke’s line-based illustrations can be a bit like working out a puzzle – was it created using one fluid and continuous line, or many? According to the Seattle-based artist she owes her drawing skills to family connections. Her grandmother taught her to draw and supplied her with books by Arthur Rackham, Maurice Sendak, and William Steig, while her father was president of an advertising agency and used to bring home reams of paper for her to practice on. She has lots of other creative interests too. She learned to make leather masks in Italy, enjoys German experimental theatre, and sometimes throws parties where her friends must act out vignettes found in a 1912 children’s book called Entertainments for All the Year.

Training

Kathryn did an MFA in Set Design at the University of Wisconsin but was always drawing on the side, sometimes accepting commissions from newspapers and magazines. Eventually she flipped things around and made her illustration work a full-time profession and set design became her hobby.

Approach

Kathryn does everything digitally in Photoshop and Illustrator using a Cintiq screen by Wacom. If she’s doing portraiture work, she draws her subject many times over from different angles. This way she learns about the most important features of their face and can draw it in a way that makes it instantly recognisable.

Style

The line is core to Kathryn’s style and her work is very fluid. Expressive and calligraphic, there’s a unique sense of gesture in her illustrations. She also uses crosshatching to develop surfaces in her images, using layers of lines of varying thickness to build up a texture.

Awards

AI-AP Award 2005 Communication Arts Award of Excellence 2010 AI-AP Award 2012

Client list

The Guardian The Economist Intelligent Life Wendy's Leo Burnett Warner Bros Newsweek Time Out The Boston Globe Vanity Fair The Evening Standard The Financial Times The New York Observer Food and Wine magazine USA Today Esquire Oprah magazine
Billie Ellish Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Musician Patti Smith  Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Post Malone Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Ben Whishaw
Kathryn Rathke
line drawing of silly dog
Kathryn Rathke
Pencil sketch of a girl
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Strawberries painting
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Hugh Laurie
Kathryn Rathke
Portraiture of Margaret Atwood
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Gene Wilder
Kathryn Rathke
Gertrude Stein portraiture
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Martin Amis
Kathryn Rathke
Wally Olins portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Canvas painting of Prince
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Romulu adn Remus with Ma
Kathryn Rathke
Young man vector art
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Food illustration of bread
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Alice and Caterpillar watercolor painting
Kathryn Rathke
Graphic art image of rabbit
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Ms Seal Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Thom Yorke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Roald Dahl Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Samuel Beckett playing chess
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait painting of Yiddish comedian
Kathryn Rathke
Owl logo design by Kathryn Rathke illustrator
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Black and white portrait of Joan Didion
Kathryn Rathke
Martin Amis & Tom Wolfe Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
P.G. Wodehouse holding pipe
Kathryn Rathke
Male ballet dancing sketch
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Avatars
Kathryn Rathke
Medical illustration of spinal
Kathryn Rathke
Rem koolhaas portrait art
Kathryn Rathke
Engaged couple line art
Kathryn Rathke
Line art portrait of Shel Silverstein
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Tom Waits
Kathryn Rathke
Intelligent Life Bob Dylan Digital portrait
Kathryn Rathke
George Michael Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Shouting Rooster
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
T. S. Eliot vector graphic design
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Coin with dog face
Kathryn Rathke
Black & White Portrait of Seamus Heaney
Kathryn Rathke
Caitlin Moran Illustration For TAP! Magazine
Kathryn Rathke
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Animal in forest
Kathryn Rathke
Pope ratzinger sketch by Seattle based illustrator
Kathryn Rathke
American Express digital animals Thanks Bird
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Graphic drawing picture of cat and mouse
Kathryn Rathke
"It was our first time working with Kathryn and we're so glad we found her. The assignment went very smooth and easy. Kathryn got the direction from the beginning and sent sketches even before we were expecting them. She also communicated every step until the end and kept us in the loop. The job come out beautiful and it's exactly what we wanted our readers to see. Kathryn did a great job illustrating the story. And as always, it's been a pleasure working with Karen and her team at illustration x."
Monica Simon, Wine Enthusiast
"That was fast! Kathryn, you are an absolute gem."
Stan Lim, Imaginary Forces (for illustrations for titles of 2007's Charlotte's Web)
This woman is a genius! From architects to authors, actors to musicians, Kathryn not only captures likeness but personality – and all with a well considered flick of the wrist. She is a joy to work with and has become, in the nicest possible way, part of the furniture of Intelligent Life.
Intelligent Life Magazine, Martin Lovelock - Deputy Art Director
Kathryn's portraits strike the right balance between caricature and portraiture. Her likenesses are always spot-on--she interprets, but never over-exaggerates the subject's features. I'm always impressed with the gesture and beauty of her calligraphic line work and the fun she has with the details in her illustrations.
Donald Partyka, Americas Quarterly
Kathryn has illustrated dozens of head shots for us. Her illustrations are spot-on and the employees LOVE the drawings of themselves. And to top it off - she is easy and fun to work with!
Tessa Sussner - Art Director, Sussner Design Company - Minneapolis
"We'll all be cheering when we see this in the theatres at the resolution it was meant to be viewed at! Your drawings are beautiful on the computer screen and i'm sure it'll only be more breathtaking on a giant screen!"
Gary Tam, Imaginary Forces (for illustrations for titles of 2007's Charlotte's Web)
Kathryn’s work is wonderful for its specificity captured in a minimum of graceful fluid lines. She adds such energy and joy to every project.
Angela Riechers - Freelance Art Director, O the Oprah Magazine
It's stunning Kathryn! I don't know how you do it. And I love the way you have combined the slick lines with the smudgy charcoal too. I have no changes or tweaks. Fantastic! And Paul, the Editor, loves it also. (Plus you got it in early which is an enormous treat for me, it helps me out later in the week, when things get esp hectic.) Thank you so much!
Sarah Habershon - Art Director, The Guardian
I love my owl illustration. Your line work is beautiful, everything I'd hoped for and more. I'll be sure to send you the advertisement that will be put together by my designer.
Peter Rockwood, Rockwood and Perry
"I am a huge admirer of your work. I have been looking for an artist with your kind of deft line for months. Then found you! I would love you to be our signature artist"
Tina Brown, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
"Thank you so much for your wonderful work and patience, You have been great to work with."
Ben Brannan, The Evening Standard
The client is very excited. We are receiving very positive press. Thanks again for your contribution (to the Wendy's logo).
Young-Sun Kim, Big Picture Branding