Kate Moross: Make Your Own Luck

Art director and illustrator Kate Moross has published a book offering advice for aspiring creatives and a look at her impressive career so far…

Art director and illustrator Kate Moross has published a book offering advice for aspiring creatives and a look at her impressive career so far…

By the time Kate Moross was 21, she had set up a record label, designed a clothing range for Topshop and created work for Cadbury’s, Sony, Vice and Dazed & Confused.

We first featured Moross as one to watch in 2008, when she was in her final year of a graphic design course at Camberwell College of Arts. In the six years since, she has set up a successful studio and produced record sleeves, music promos and campaigns for an impressive range of clients, including MTV, Jessie Ware, Disclosure, Paul Smith and Ray Ban.

As someone with a career that many twice her age would be proud of, Moross is well-placed to advise future generations on achieving success – which is what her forthcoming book, Make Your Own Luck: A DIY Attitude to Design & Illustration, aims to do.

As its title suggests, Make Your Own Luck is a guide to creating your own opportunities – something Moross has done since her teens, when she designed the school magazine and sets for school plays. She also made flyers for local gigs and club nights, designed Myspace profiles for bands and created logos and avatars for anyone and everyone she could.

“I followed a simple DIY ethos inspired by the riot grrrl and punk music culture that I had been absorbing…through pirated music, gigs, zines and, more importantly, the Internet,” she says in her introduction. “I didn’t emerge into the world with a fully formed style or approach. Rather, I’ve worked hard for years,” she adds.

The book stresses the importance of self promotion throughout, offering advice on setting up your own website and selling your own prints. It also provides a guide to agreeing fees and rates, being sensitive to clients’ wishes without compromising your style and sticking to your creative vision even if your tutor doesn’t ‘get’ it.

But while she offers plenty of tips for students hoping to make the most of art school, Moross also stresses that having a degree isn’t everything. “When I read a job application I don’t look at the CV until after I’ve looked at (and liked) the portfolio,” she says. “Having a Bachelor of Arts doesn’t make you employable. Experience is just as important,” she says.

As well as being full of practical information, Make Your Own Luck is a hugely enjoyable read. It’s littered with examples of personal and commissioned projects – from t-shirt designs and large scale murals to music videos and packaging – and the thoughtful commentary provides a fascinating insight into how Moross works. Designed by Praline, it features doodles by Moross throughout and the cover image, a collection of objects showing her range of work, was shot by photographer John Short.

For anyone interested in starting a career in a fiercely competitive industry, Make Your Own Luck is an essential read. It’s also an inspiring book for fans of Moross’ fun, varied and colourful style. As Neville Brody says in a foreword to the book, “Kate Moross is…brilliant, creative, fun and unique. And obsessed. You have to be. To not only survive but prosper in this industry requires all the driven craziness you can muster.”

Make Your Own Luck: A DIY Attitude to Design & Illustration is available to pre-order and will be published by Prestel Publishing on March 24. For details, click here.

Images courtesy of Ed Park.

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