02 July 2010

A Conversation with Katherine Quinn (Sleep and her sisters)

Welcome to our first in a series of conversations with New Zealand artists, designers, crafters, and people who make things!  And breaking the ice is our very own Katherine Quinn of Sleep and her sisters.  She makes wonderful collages and paintings and sells high quality art prints of them on Etsy.

Who is Katherine Quinn?
I am a part time artist under the name Sleep and her sisters… I have two children, a 17 year old and a nearly 5 year old.  Collecting apple lollies makes me happy.
What’s your “handmade groove ?”
I paint and collage, I like to sew and draw.  And I am also obsessed with paper, and stationery. 

What’s on your bedside table right now?
My light, clock, a Jodi Picoult book,  half an Incrediable Hulk (where the other half is I am not sure)?  A pencil, a pair of pliers (needed for a quick repair job on a necklace before work last week).
Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images, poetry spark your creative fire?
I have a long list of creative role models, children’s book illustrators, fellow artists, graphic designers… I love them all.  I am inspired by Frou Frou, Badly Drawn boy, The Beautiful SouthKate Rusby… just to name a few musicians.  I love this poem by Dorothy Parker:
Travel, trouble, music, art,
A kiss, a frock, a rhyme-
I never said they feed my heart,
But still they pass my time.

What could you talk late into the night about with like minded people?
Anything art related…

If you could go to three workshops/creative events this year which ones would they be? What are they about?
Squamit will be an experience that will open you up to your best self and reconnect you with what makes you most happy.
An Artful Journey… awaken your senses, nourish your soul, replenish your spirit, learn, share, connect.
Be Present Retreat… An invitation to pause in your life and gather in an intimate, creative community to explore, create, discover, and soak up the world around you. Each retreat includes creative workshops paired with exercises to remind you to open your eyes and heart and be present on your path. Each retreat also encourages a balance of time spent in community with time to reconnect with you.

How do you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?
I think of life like it’s a 50 cent mix bag of lollies, make sure your week has a bit of everything in it.

What is your favourite creative screw-up?
I have a whole folder full of these…

Kitchen table or studio?
I would love it to be a studio one day but for now it is my Kitchen table.
Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us what’s on it?
Write and publish a series of children's books with a wonderful and supportive publisher.
To have a licencing deal and produce a beautiful range of stationery and products.
Work full time as an artist earning a good living doing what makes me happy.
Earn enough to be able to travel and visit my new friends around the world.
Be involved in the creative community in Hawke's Bay and New Zealand.
Develop a stunning website with a clever designer.
Take part in art retreat in the States.
A dream I would like to be a part of would be to have a local art supplies shop that would have a cute little gallery and café attached.


  1. Love it Katherine!! Open the shop Open the shop :)))x

  2. WOW!!! Katherine, what a cool interview,your fascination with paper and collage makes your creations so special, cheers Marie

  3. A great interview Katherine. I think you make a wonderful children's book author and illustrator!


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