Cup of Conversation - Meet the artists, Kate

Cup of Conversation - Meet the artists, Kate

Our latest decent Collaboration series, Cup of Conversation, has been created as a way to support local Mental Health Charity I AM HOPE. With all proceeds from the series going towards I AM HOPE’s continued work in our community assisting young people, aged from 5 to 24 years old, in gaining access to fully funded, professional mental health support and counselling. 

Because right now, three families lose a loved one to suicide every two days in New Zealand. These figures can no longer be ignored or swept under the carpet by those who champion the ‘stay silent on suicide’ mantra currently in effect across Aotearoa.

Most of us know from personal experience that one of the worst parts about suffering from depression is the absolute loneliness and helplessness of it all. Cup of Conversation is about generating awareness and encouraging regular conversation about mental health with friends, colleagues and strangers. With the hope of empowering our communities through conversation and education, encouraging others to become an integral part of the solution, driving the intergenerational attitudinal social change needed to reverse the incidence of suicide and depression we’re currently experiencing. 

Because conversations about mental health should be as common as your daily coffee routine.


Meet the artists: Kate

Cup of Conversation artist Kate chats to us about her inspiration behind her cup design, Bob and Baz, focusing on creating fun and lighthearted links between coffee names and how you can sometimes find yourself feeling. Residing in Gisborne Kate is often found out in nature drawing inspiration from the great outdoors to use in her other client jobs.

Hi Kate, tell us a bit about yourself. 

Well rather than officially being an artist I’m actually a graphic designer and my background is branding and packaging. I have an insatiable appetite for design, I find each job starts with a surge of chaotic ideas in my head which then I must filter down to a few appropriate, logical design solutions! I trained in the UK starting out in London design agencies working on household names including Lego. We used to work into the early hours to complete deadlines then hop on a plane, do a design presentation at Lego HQ over in Billand, Denmark and fly back in the same day! 

After 12 years in New Zealand, I’m now based with my family in Gisborne, where I work independently for clients on really interesting brands and create logos for small businesses, I’m constantly inspired by Kiwi innovation and the great products they have to offer. 

How would you describe your artist style in three words: 

Mmm that’s a tricky question as being a designer I’m commissioned by the client to do what they want! Though for every new job I try to be original, creative and open-minded. 

What was the inspiration behind your Cup of Conversation design? 

I wanted to bring a light-hearted and quirky narrative to the design through banter between the characters Bob and Baz, hopefully creating a fun link with coffee names and how the can make you feel. So talking about feelings in an upbeat way. 

The Cup of Conversation is a campaign dedicated to generating awareness and sparking conversation about our mental health and how we are feeling. Why is this important to you?

I think there’s such a stigma about this, starting with the actual term ‘mental illness’ it sounds so heavy and unapproachable. I think being able to talk about issues is a real positive, on whatever level, it can break down barriers and brings things to light, hopefully making issues a lot less dark and scary. 

If someone close to you is down, how would you try to cheer them?

Going for a walk and talk, if that doesn’t work I try cake.  

How would you describe your workspace?

I’m lucky to have a great workspace that I can stick ideas and designs all over the walls. My studio has a long window with a great view of the Gisborne trees and hills, so when I occasionally feel crossed eyed and overcooked I can look out and stretch my eyes!  

Who or what has influenced your style and designs most?

Each job is totally different so my style can vary massively from typographic or illustrative to hand-drawn lettering, patterns, photography or of a combination of all these. So my influences differ too. I try to be unique and not create stuff that looks too computer-generated. In fact, often pull elements of nature into my designs. 

When you’re not designing, what are you doing? 

Hanging out with my family, cycling, paddle boarding or walking the dog.

Somewhere that you’ve never been to in Aotearoa that you’d like to visit? 

Akaroa in the South Island, I love anything Français! 

What’s something that relaxes you when you’re feeling stressed? 

Going on a bike ride somewhere beautiful, I always feel revitalised afterwards.

What’s the last thought that kept you awake at night?

Why am I still awake yet again?

Do you have any strange and completely irrational fears? 

Sometimes I worry that a tree will fall on my house! 

What’s your idea of heaven?

Sharing a sundowner with family or friends ideally by the beach! 

What is something you’re excited about at the moment? 

I’m designing my first ever product… An A1 2021 wall calendar ($1 from each goes to the Foodbank Project) to plan for a more positive year ahead… fingers crossed!


By purchasing from the Cup of Conversation series you'll be directly supporting your vulnerable young community. 


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