Editor Rob Carney interviews a brilliant illustrator whose success makes a mockery of her age.
"I suppose I would describe my visual style as a combination of structured modular geometric graphics and organic psychedelic illustration," says Kate Moross, a 22-year-old designer/ illustrator/photographer who can do no wrong at the moment. Though Moross started out creating flyers for the likes of Klaxons and Mystery Jets, her client list now reads like that of someone well beyond her years: Lynx, Pepsi, Cadbury, Sony and Topshop all make an appearance. Not only that, she's also launched her own record label, Isomorph Records, for which she takes current music and repackages it as limited edition art vinyl. She claims it's the world's first art-driven record label.
Earlier this year, Topshop invited Moross to create a limited-edition range of clothing' a project where 'structured spatial shapes intertwine with astrophysical typography', according to the brand. "It was pretty free," Kate says of the brief. "I was left to my own devices. Naturally there were some restrictions and guidelines for what I could and couldn't do, but all in all it was excellent. It was incredibly strange seeing my designs in store - I don't think I'll ever get used to stuff like that."
When asked about her influences, Moross makes it clear that this just isn't the way she thinks. "I hate this question, as I never have a proper answer for it," she says. Does she have any inspirations, then? "Inspiration is a horrible word! It's not big enough to represent the thousands of visual messages and influences one is bombarded with every day. For me it's things like sweet wrappers, streetwear, shop fronts, packaging, science, theory, television, the internet - all these things are inescapable, and have a subconscious effect on everything I do. I love economics, sociology, social sciences, mathematics, psychology, geometry, stuff like that. These subjects make me want to create work, using them as a way to generate interesting concepts or visual patterns."
"Creativity has never been something quantitative for me," muses Moross, on the topic of finding ideas. "I guess it's just there, but it never over- or underwhelms me. I'd like to think that this kind of stuff was what I was born to do, so my ability to do it is naturally there in my system for whenever I need it."
It soon becomes obvious that Moross lives for work and works for life. She explains, "My social life and my work life blend seamlessly. In fact, most of the time, I forget I'm even working." How does a typical project take shape, then? "I spend time discussing the idea with the client, and then I usually get stuck in straightaway, sending them ideas and visuals within the first few days. I like to work intensely on something and get it done quickly."
And Moross is certainly keeping herself busy: she's currently rebranding a New York record label, building some levels for a new PlayStation 3 game and designing fabric for a handbag company. So is there a five-year plan? "I hope to have my consultancy up and running, and be behind some really exciting creative happenings in the music industry. I'd like to have a massive studio to work in and a bit more free time! Though, by the sounds of it, it will be the complete opposite."