How I Get Ideas: Designer Kate Dawkins

Kate Dawkins Studio specialises in the creation of inventive and distinctive digital content for live shows and brand events. Here she talks about finding inspiration on the streets of east London, and why it pays to have a tidy desk

The variation in the work produced by Kate Dawkins Studios is huge. Dawkins has worked with pop acts including Elton John, Primal Scream and Robbie Williams, and brands such as adidas, Ford and Heineken. She was also behind the striking 360–degree ‘audience pixels’ display featured in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Not all Dawkins’ work is blockbuster entertainment, however. She has also created subtle and respectful visual sequences to accompany the Royal British Legion’s annual Festival of Remembrance in 2018, which marked the centenary of the end of the First World War. Her work accompanied poems, readings and music, and was broadcast live on BBC One. Dawkins tends to begin working on a project alone, or alongside a creative producer, before bringing in a bespoke team of talent to make it come to life.

One of her biggest challenges in coming up with ideas is time. “I have to fight for time,” she says. “You can’t just come up with ideas when you’re dipping in and out of things. I, like most people, need a good space in mind, and in duration, to have the time to think things through properly. I think ideas are all the richer for having proper research time and thought rather than being fly-by-night. I do most of the design work, so the beginning of jobs tends to be just me and a producer, just to get the project off the ground. Then we tend to bring in a team of animators who will bring it to life.”