A quick word with ... designer/illustrator Evie Kemp

A quick word with ... designer/illustrator Evie Kemp

One-woman-band Evie Kemp keeps her days full with drawing, tweeting and coffee consumption.

Evie Kemp

My first job was… After I completed my Bachelor of Design at AUT I worked as a Mac operator in the ad department of the NZ Herald. It wasn't what I wanted to be doing but I learnt a lot from my time there and I know I'm a faster, if not better, designer for it.

And now the title on my business card is… I have no title, just my name in HUGE letters.

Which really means… I'm a one man band. I'm an illustrator, graphic and product designer. My drawing has to come first in the list but I'm always striving to up skill, expand and get ahead of the game.

My day starts with… feeding and fussing over my two dogs, Bonnie and Jasper and cat, Eddie while eating Weetbix and catching up on emails and Twitter from bed.

And ends with… reading a really trashy crime novel. If I don't read before I go to bed I would never sleep, ideas just keep whirring around in my head and some of them are very questionable (I write them down to cringe at the next day).

And in between, I… draw crazy animals, make patterns, source new products and ways of manufacture (this has been dominating a lot lately), chase accounts, talk to nice shops & nice people, have big ideas, try and increase my reach, try and maintain my social media thingies, drink coffee and the occasional margarita.

My first artistic memory is… going to the University of Cambridge Museum of Zoology for afternoons sketching with my Mum or Dad. I think sitting in the empty museum drawing taxidermy and skeletons had more of an impact on me that I ever realised. It's a resource I really wish I had now. Auckland Museum needs more natural history!

If I wasn't doing this, I'd… probably be discontented. Seriously though, I'd love to study fashion. I just don't think a 9-5 will ever be on the cards for me.

I'm inspired by… emotion, animals, death, decay and colour. Roar.

I can't live without… the amazing creative community, especially my close circle of friends who are full of inspiration, business advice and provide me with a very trustworthy and honest sounding board for new ideas. I truly never feel like I'm working on my own. I think this has been how I've been able to stick at it so far.

True 'style' is… trusting your instincts and taking a risk. Don't fake it 'til you make it, just make it.

My work in three words is… Vibrant. Emotive. Changeable.

Evie Kemp is a designer and illustrator. You can find her clothing, prints and homewares at or follow her on Twitter: @eviekemp

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).