As a small business, we love discovering and supporting new up and coming artists, and this is something we’re passionate about continuing as we continue on our KITRI journey.
We were delighted to join forces this season with the incredibly talented Josie Devine. Josie is a is a self-taught artist (impressive!) and her colourful paintings celebrate the female body in all its wonderful forms.
Having discovered Josie via Instagram, we were so inspired by her beautiful use of colour. Together, we've created a capsule collection of bold and breezy separates, reminiscent of dreamy summer days.
Art you can wear! How about that?
“Having discovered Josie on instagram, I was inspired by the way she represents the female form in her illustrations. We love to produce colourful garments at KITRI and Josie's use of the colour in her art inspired us for the summer collection, and we are so excited that Josie was able to create a bespoke print for us.”
— Haeni Kim, KITRI Founder and Creative Director
We sat down (virtually!) with Josie to discuss her inspirations, her aspirations and her journey to becoming a full-time artist…
Hi Josie! How long have you been illustrating and how did you get started?
I’ve been drawing and painting since I was young, but I started selling my art on Instagram as a side-hustle last year, and now (amazingly) it’s my full-time gig!
What drew you to your subject and style? Are you trained or self-taught - and does it matter?
I’ve been going to life drawing sessions for a good few years now, so the figure was quite a natural thing for me to work into my art. I’m more drawn to the female form, firstly because of my own relatability to the subject, but also because I love exploring the ideas of softness and strength, and how these combine to create what we see as ‘feminine.’
My drawing style is often very linear, and I find there is something quite meditative about creating smooth, sweeping lines. At the moment I find it interesting working with negative space, or how a minimal use of line can give the essence of the whole.
I’m very much self-taught, and I hope it doesn’t matter - in the sense that there should be room for everyone to pave their own unique way in their chosen field. That’s not to say my imposter syndrome doesn’t often rear its ugly head, and the art world can be pretty intimidating.
Images courtesy of Josie Devine / www.byjosiedevine.co.uk
Your work represents a range of body types. Do you hope your work will inspire body positivity or acceptance?
I think it’s important to show that there’s beauty in all body types. In fact, my art is a kind of self-therapy for my own body image, it helps me neutralise how I see myself. I really hope that I can show women that we are all ‘works of art’. I take on a lot of portrait commissions, and the feedback from these clients can be so rewarding. If I can help someone see themselves in even a slightly kinder light, I’ve succeeded.
What was your inspiration behind the Sunbathers print?
I wanted to create something that would instantly give off that nostalgic holiday feeling we’ve all been so missing this past year. The mood board for the collection featured lots of sun-drenched summer scenes and vintage photography, so I tried to infuse the same energy into my illustrations. I used looser brushstrokes to give a sense of relaxation and effortlessness.
What is your favourite piece from the Sunbathers capsule?
It’s so difficult to choose! The Mariana shirt with the Farrell dress is a match made in summer heaven, but I’m also obviously biased toward the Josie skirt.