I had the pleasure of talking with Kati’s mom, Beth Ripaldi, about her daughter’s talents and aspirations. Here are some things she had to say:
“As Kati’s Mom, all I can say is where ever Kati’s journey ends up taking her, there will be a lot of happy people surrounding her. She has a natural, creative gift of living life through a child’s eye, it’s no wonder that her favorite movies are Peter Pan and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! She lives life in such a colorful and enthusiastic way that people love to be around her and she loves including everyone in her fun life style, the more the merrier! She has always loved coloring, doodling, fingerpainting, you name it, anything relating to art and color, she absorbs. She’s always enjoyed playing sports with her friends and has done very well with her academics. Being the oldest, there are times when she takes herself and life a little too serious, so having this artistic side to her nature is in my opinion, a great release and excuse, if you will, to let her guard down and “just be”.
Kati has always wanted to design houses, and has been putting a lot of thought into being an architectural engineer. I’m not sure if this field will enable her to use her artistic side as much as she would like, but she’s still young enough to explore her options.“
Leanne: How long have you been drawing?
Kati: I have been drawing ever since I can remember. My Mom said that I have been coloring ever since I could hold a crayon.
Leanne: Out of all of the art your have done do you have a favorite? If so, describe it.
Kati: My favorite piece of art that I made would probably be a drawing I did in my art class last year. I had to start withsquares of paper that were parts of other pictures and expand them in my own way to create multiple squares of a picture. Mine ended up being a bunch of random doodles all together like a search and find. I had a really fun time making that, I even added more squares then the teacher required.
Leanne: Who or what inspires you to draw?
Kati: I draw because I love to. I really like the expression of surprise on people’s faces when they see my drawings. My Mom’s mom is a really great artist and I admire all of her work, especially her sketches and pen and ink drawings. My Nono had a hidden artistic talent as well and it was more abstract than my Grammy’s so that has also given me an open mind to art.
Leanne: What is your favorite style of illustration?
Kati: One of my favorite types of illustration is pen and ink drawings. I like drawing detailed things as well as cartoon-like pictures. I also like sketching things with pencils or coloring with colored pencils.
Leanne: Where would you like your work to lead you?
Kati: I would love to find a career where I can use my artistic talent frequently in a way to help others. I have looked into Architecture but I don’t know if it would be too serious of a job for me. Any input or suggestions about artistic careers would be very helpful!
Leanne: What is your favorite thing to draw?
Kati: I like drawing many things. I tend to doodle flowers a lot, often on the corners of my homework or class notes. I also like drawing animals.
Leanne: You illustrated a book called Jealous Ellis, how did you come to be the illustrator for the book?
Kati: My neighbor Sandi Stallings (also a second mother to me) came to me one day and said she was going to write a children’s book about a duck and she wanted me to illustrate it. I immediately said yes and began thinking of ways to draw the duck. There will be additional books to this series that I will illustrate as well.
Leanne: Do you have other books that you are working on right now?
Kati: Currently I am not illustrating anything. Besides Jealous Ellis I have only illustrated one other children’s book. The other book I illustrated was an assignment my friend Michaela and I had to do for our 8th grade English class and is not published.
Leanne: When I was 17 I had my first children’s book published, you are 16 right now and already published. How would you describe the experience of having a book published? Has it affected you in school or with your peers? Has he attitude of your peers been positive or negative?
Kati: Being a published illustrator doesn’t really seem like a big deal to me and not too many people at school know I’ve illustrated a book. The friends that do know have been very supportive though.
Leanne: Are you able to take art classes at school?
Kati: I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to take art classes at school. Last year I took a basic art class and it covered many different types of art. This coming year I plan on taking a drawing class. I am very excited about it and have been looking forward to it all summer!
Leanne: What is your favorite children’s book? Why?
Kati: My favorite children’s book is called “Need A House? Call Ms. Mouse!”, By George Mendoza and Illustrated by Doris Susan Smith. I love this book because of all the details in the illustrations and the creative spin they put on Architecture. Although it is about homes for animals, this book is one of the things that made me start looking into Architecture.
A person that is truly skilled in their craft doesn’t see it as a talent. It is natural to them and it is clear that Kati thinks of her talent as part of who she is. The fact that she is so humble in saying her publications aren’t a big deal show me that she is a truly special and unique individual. I can not express enough how happy I am that I chose to review Jealous Ellis so that I can share Kati’s talent with you. If you are interested in having Kati illustrate for you I would be happy to pass the information on to her. Please leave a comment or email me directly.
- Jealous Ellis (ahgooreview.com)