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Get To Know: Queer Illustrator Sophie Kathleen

The left image shows illustrator Sophie Kathleen sat with her right elbow leaning on her right knee. They are wearing purple trousers and a white strappy top with a heart graphic. Sophie's hair is bluey green in colour and cropped short to their head, she also has sunglasses on top of her head. The right image is of Sophie Kathleen's illustration Queer Here & Nothing to Fear which features depictions of queer couples flying pride flags.

Hi Soph! Please introduce yourself and your work...

Hey Adam! I’m Sophie Kathleen, a queer, freelance illustrator who uses they/ she pronouns.

How did you get into illustrating?

I’ve been drawing since I can remember but became discouraged from art for a few years after finishing my Art Foundation in 2016. I began creating again during lockdown and fell in love with digital illustration! 

What was your first reaction when Adam approached you about collaborating with Rainbow & Co?

I was honestly BUZZING! It’s a cute story actually, I’d literally just been browsing the Rainbow & Co Etsy store for a fun queer Christmas jumper thinking about how I’d love to design clothing one day and not long after Adam messaged me on Instagram asking to collaborate! 


Yellow background with a close up of a hand holding a 30mm round pin between the thumb and fore finger. The pin is silver nickel with a black glittery background and the text QUEER LOVE IS MAGIC. Around the edge of the pin are various leaf and flower shapes in rainbow colours.

 Queer Love is Magic Enamel Pin, £6.99


Is there anything you need to consider before agreeing to collaborate with a brand? Is it important they're diverse/queer/ethical etc?

Oh yes 100%, I hold my values very close and need to feel fully comfortable when working with a client, I’m grateful to have not had many bad experiences with this so far and have only turned down a couple of companies that didn’t align with my values. I love working with other small businesses so I prioritise that and just make sure to ask all the questions I need to before agreeing to the project! 

This was your first time designing for both a pin and a t-shirt, was there anything different about designing for these products compared to your usual process?

Ooh yes, the pin design was interesting for me as I usually love a lot of detail in my work so it was a learning curve to simplify the design and remember it would be smaller than things I’m used to designing! I really enjoyed the process of both though.


Chosen Family is Real Family T Shirt

How did you feel seeing your work brought to life in physical products? Are you happy with how they came out?

It’s such a magical feeling holding something I helped create! Because I print the rest of my work (stickers and prints etc) in my studio it was a different experience having to be patient and wait to see the finished products, they came out even better than I imagined (especially the sparkly pin!)

As a queer artist, how do you think brands can support the LGBTQIA+ community more authentically?

Goooood question! I think the biggest thing for me personally is to work with us all year round, not just during pride month. My email inbox was the busiest it’s ever been in June, but the majority of those brands/ business were definitely just wanting to work with me as a performative act of all allyship which I know is the case for most queer creatives.

Who would be your dream client/brand collaboration?

I love these questions! At the moment, the dream at the front of my mind is to illustrate a queer book and also work with a sustainable period company such as Wuka or a similar brand! 


Sapphic Love is Beautiful | Illustration by Sophie Kathleen


Tell us about any upcoming projects and/or about the work you're most proud of!

I’m actually in the beginning stages of a project with The Body Shop which is SO exciting, I’m looking forward to documenting the process too! And for my personal work have been working on an affirmation card deck for a long time now which I hope to bring to life later this year or early next year! 

Finally, who are your favourite queer artists that we should be following at the moment?

I’m constantly finding new creatives to connect with and be inspired but favourite queer artists that first come to mind would be (I could go on forever though!)


Thanks so much for chatting with us, Soph!

If you'd like to see more of Sophie's work, check out their website and social links below:


Instagram: @sophiekathleenn

Etsy: SophieKathleenShop

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