This summer, we teamed up with the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York City for their exhibition, “Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die.” The exhibition explores the visual language of punk, showcasing hundreds of punk’s most memorable graphics. To celebrate the DIY spirit of the Punk movement, MAD is hosting a series of artists to live-customize Docs at the gallery. This month, Brooklyn artist Cat Willett brightened up a pair of White Jadons. Keep reading to see her final design and learn more about the illustrator.
I’m Cat Willett, an illustrator living and working in Brooklyn, NY.
How did you get started doing illustration?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember but just started to pursue illustration professionally in the last few years. I just finished up my Illustration MFA at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and this focused experience was so inspiring in helping me find my voice.
One of the first works I was really proud of was a mural I put up in my neighborhood – Bed-Stuy. I made portraits of five women from the area who changed the world and installed them on a local cafe.
What are recurring or important themes in your work lately?
Female empowerment, sharing unknown stories, using art as a means to celebrate extraordinary individuals and groups who fight for a better world. You can also usually find lots of flowers in my work 🙂
Tell us about the designs you created for the Dr. Martens x MAD event.
When I found out that the Docs I painted in advance would be donated, I wanted to create soothing and colorful patterns that could be universally inspiring. Being Pride Month, I also included a few rainbow interpretations that can be worn to celebrate inclusivity year-round.
Have you always lived in Brooklyn?
I’ve lived in Brooklyn for about five years. I came to NYC in search of creative opportunity and I’m glad to say that I found it.
What do you love most about New York City?
The diversity, the energy, and the history, all of which influence my work on a daily basis.
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens.
I think I got my first pair in high-school, and I wish I could say I knew where they were now! However, I got a brand new pair last winter on a trip upstate. White Jadons, I wear them almost every day.
What do you do when you’re not working? Do you have any other hobbies or talents?
I love plants, animals, and traveling as often as I can. I just got a puppy, so I’ll be busy for the next year!