The Illustrator Interviews: Catherine Chialton

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SOPHIE MACKINTOSH: Last up in our illustrator interview series is Catherine Chialton. Catherine’s work is clean, elegant, and never dull – as you would expect from a graphic designer who works in mediums as diverse as tattoo and ceramic transfer. From pared-down images of birds to  geometric patterns, this is understated work that punches you when you’re not expecting it. She graduated from Leeds College of Art in 2010, and currently works with United Creatives.

Sum up your aesthetic in 3 words:

Friendly, linear and miscellaneous(!)

If you were an artistic medium, what would you be?

That’s too hard to choose! Pencil or ink: they’re basic, but versatile.

What drew you to designing a book cover?

In this digital age, I’m really keen on keeping books alive. Also book cover design is quite challenging; the design must give an insight into what’s in the book, but must also leave room for the book to be interpreted by the reader. There are lots of routes you could go down and it’s a good way of leaving your personal mark on a design. It’s a really exciting project to work on.

Tell us about your creative workspace?

Most of the time my working space is at my desk. It is an old retro office desk with a little bucket full of pens and a small plant on top. Next to the desk is a small brown filing cabinet full of more pens, pencils and paper with another plant and a large Cognac bottle lamp on top. I keep a small stack of books nearby too in case I need inspiration.

And finally, describe your perfect map:

The perfect map would have a lot of detail, but be well-designed so it is easy to read. I like maps from the imagination – sea monsters are always good! But I love modernist design, so both ends of the spectrum sound perfect in different ways.

Catherine is based in Manchester, UK. To contact her, visit:



  1. [...] narrowed it down to five finalists; Levi Bunyan, Emily Chappell, Joanna Lisowiec, Alexis Dirks and Catherine Chialton. Each illustrator/artist/graphic designer then submitted draft design ideas and featured in our [...]