Work / Illustration

Illustrator Kate Prior works out “how the hell you draw air” for Wired Japan

Illustrator Kate Prior creates the kind of work we could write about all the time. As a result, she has become a regular contributor to It’s Nice That and has worked on creating Google stickers with our sister agency, Anyways. Quite rightly, Wired Japan are big fans too, and recently commissioned Kate to illustrate a deck of cards for them, unsurprisingly they’re great.

“Super smart Wired Japan editor Shinya Yashiro approached me after I’d worked on a couple of print projects for the magazine over there for the past few years,” Kate tells It’s Nice That. “They asked if I was up for doing the illustration for a deck of cards on the subject of air. I said yes immediately and worried about how the hell you draw air later.”

Kate’s illustration style consistently uses shapely lines to draw all matter of objects for editorial pieces. To display air, her bold shapes were used to communicate it through six categories. “We discussed how to visualise the invisible,” she explains. “How to show the movement, the effects and the presence of air.”

The result, after discussing ideas over two Skype calls with Shinya was to illustrate key words associated with air, from smell to atmosphere and oxygen, on the back of each card. “One of the toughest bits was summarising the project in one image to go on the back of every card,” says the illustrator. “I wanted to show people smelling each other’s farts, but we settled with a nice pattern.” Following initial sketches Kate digitalised these patterns to communicate all elements associated with air. Additionally the illustrator has added a brilliant sense of personality to each card, using a rich colour palette and amiable expressions that give each drawing life.


Kate Prior: Wired Japan


Kate Prior: Works in progress for Wired Japan


Kate Prior: Works in progress for Wired Japan


Kate Prior: Wired Japan


Kate Prior: Wired Japan