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March’s Illustrator of the Month is Katie Tomlinson. She’s put her own spin on one of our leather satchels and we spoke to her to find out more. 

Katie Tomlinson Illustrated Satchel
Katie Tomlinson Illustrated Satchel
Introduce yourself – who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Katie and I’m a freelance Illustrator originally from Bristol, but I currently live in Birmingham. I also work part time in Dr Martens in the Bullring
Katie Tomlinson with her mural for COW Vintage Birmingham
Katie Tomlinson with her mural for COW Vintage Birmingham
Who or what do you take inspiration from?
I take inspiration from loads of different things! Growing up my family inspired me a lot as I come from a very creative background. My Mum is a ceramicist, and my Papa was an extremely talented artist and technical illustrator. We used to sit and draw together, he would give me tips on perspective even when I was tiny and could barely hold a pencil. Reportage illustration (which basically means recording scenes directly from life) is one of my main sources of inspiration, which means I’m always sketching. If I’m ever struggling for ideas, the best thing I can do is go to a café, drink loads of coffee and draw people around me – I can spend hours doing that. Meeting other passionate creatives always gives me a boost, so I try to get involved with as many different projects that can give me access to learning about different crafts or businesses. I’m involved with an organisation called Project Birmingham, which is basically a group of creatives with various different disciplines who get together to host events and showcase up & coming talent in Birmingham. I also love to travel and read a lot travel & lifestyle magazines/blogs such as Cereal and Vice. I also follow a lot of fashion illustrators and brands on social media. 
Katie Tomlinson Satchel Back
Katie Tomlinson Illustrated Satchel
Do you have an illustration or project you’re most proud of?
I have been doing a personal project based on Birmingham’s growing independent scene, which I have had a lot of fun creating, mainly because I got to meet loads of really interesting people bringing new and innovative ideas to Birmingham. I’m proud of this project in particular, not only because of the positive response I received through doing it, but mostly just to play part in supporting these businesses and the people behind them.
I’m also still working on a project entitled Illustrated People, which is kind of my take on ‘street style’, but instead of using photography I’ve drawn them. I’ve always loved drawing portraits and this project has really allowed me to bring together my interests in illustration, fashion and people. 
liquor store3
Katie Tomlinson Illustration of Liquor Store Interior (Womenswear)
Talk us through your customised Dr. Martens, was it a challenge working on a satchel?
My customised Dr. Martens satchel is all about the Cobbs Lane factory in Northampton. As I work part time for Dr. Martens I got to visit Cobbs Lane where all of the Made In England footwear is created. I found it really interesting to see the whole process from start to finish, and meet the people who work there. I often like to include a narrative in my work, and I thought it was a great story to illustrate, so I took loads of photos to work from and just went from there! I love any project that I can get a kind of ‘behind the scenes’ view on, so the factory tour was perfect for me to transform into an illustration. I’ve not tried to draw onto leather before, so I was unsure how it would work and look, but once I got used to the weird angles I had to work with it was easy and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. 
Katie Tomlinson Satchel Side
Katie Tomlinson Illustrated Satchel
Do you listen to music whilst you work? Name three tracks you can’t hear enough of:
I always listen to music when I work, I can sometimes be listening to an album and not realise because I get really engrossed in what I’m doing! But these songs will always make me stop for a moment or two.
Loyle Carner – Florence
King Krule – Out Getting Ribs
And anything by Mount Kimbie. 
If you could have any super-power for a day, what would it be?
I’ve often dreamt about having a Bernard’s watch style super-power, I always feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day! 
If you could draw anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
Noel Fielding, ideally whilst dressed as Old Gregg. 
Katie Tomlinson Illustrated People
Tell us your favourite thing about the city you live in:
The contrast between different areas that are so close together… you can go to a swanky bar in the Jewellery Quarter for some civilised cocktails, and be in a derelict warehouse in Digbeth listening to underground techno 15 minutes later if you want to. 
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens:
A few years ago when I could finally afford some I ended up buying two; a pair of classic 1461 PW narrow toe polished smooth, which I’ve worn to death but are still going strong. And a pair of Aggy desert boots in black, which are just about hanging in there… but I haven’t bought suede since, I’m not responsible enough to look after it! 
What do you stand for?
I stand for creativity. 
Find out more about Katie Tomlinson on her website, Instagram, and Twitter