Katherine Hansen / Graphic Design

Katherine Hansen, Watkins College of Art

What’s your ritual to get prepared, or in the zone, to create?  

I clean and organize my space. If I am working with physical mediums, my studio needs to be spotless. Every blade, every pencil, tool, whatever I need for the project—they must all be lined up on the left-hand side of my desk. All of my personal tools to keep me going through the night are on the right-hand side: music, cup of coffee, etc. When working digitally it’s the same procedure. I set up all of my work on the left side or just on my desktop and all of my personal stuff on the right. Keeping my space as organized and minimalistic as possible allows for more proficient and clean work.

Tell us about a time you failed.

Every work I create is constantly failing my own expectations; however, that only drives me to progress.

Favorite addiction or guilty pleasure that keeps you inspired?

Caffeine, sometimes up to 1,500 mg of it. You can never justify not completing your work on time and fully realizing what you set out to do. I’m always in need of that extra push to get it done.

Stop being so nice, be constructive to yourself and others. Compliments don’t improve a work.

What implement or tool in your “toolbox” as an artist do you love or depend on most? 

Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, and InDesign. Design relies heavily on these programs. I wouldn’t be able to work without them.

As an artist, what keeps you up at night?

Imperfections, constantly working. Never fully being satiated by my obsession with a fully realized, flawless design.

What does success look like to you?

Traveling the world, kicking back in my underwear, working through digital means as a career.

What advice do you most often give yourself or other artists?

 Stop being so nice, be constructive to yourself and others. Compliments don’t improve a work.

Where in the world have you gone where you feel most at home as an artist?

My own studio. It is the only place where I can relax, with every material at hand, and knock out all of my work without ever having to put clothing on.


Katherine Hansen, Watkins College of Art

When do you know a piece is finished?

Nothing ever feels like perfection. But the deadline is typically a good indication of when to throw in the towel. However, there are some occasions in which a project is worth picking up again at a later date to polish and review any mistakes and make it a more well-rounded piece.

Which has been your favorite course at Watkins?

Web design. I never ventured in to the world of web building and design previously. I have now found that coding can be much more rewarding and productive than any artistic expression. I find myself increasingly more interested in the field of web than any other form of design or art.

Which one quality do you think the world most needs from artists?

How to sell themselves. Regardless of how impressive the work is, if you can’t sell yourself and clearly and pervasively communicate your ideas, they are practically worthless. Learning to market yourself on social media, being clear and straightforward with clients, and being a compatible personality that people want to work with will get you far in any professional field.