Morning Mug Series: Kate Worum

Before most people are awake, there are those who are up brewing coffee and thriving. Those who seize the day and do something unique with their mornings. In this series, we’ll be introducing you to some of these people, what their mornings look like, and what motivates them. 

Minneapolis Illustrator, Kate Worum takes inspiration from all around her and creates rich designs for all seasons. In our interview with her she describes how coffee triggers her creative process and how keeping her mug full helps with her productivity. Read the full interview below for insights into Kate’s color trend predictions and more!

How did you begin illustrating and when did you know you would make a career out of it?

Growing up my mom noticed I loved painting and drawing – she kept nurturing my skill by encouraging me to take class after class!

It quickly became my super power in school when I realized I was not a mathematician or scientist. I began illustrating seriously after studying illustration at MCAD and started to take on freelance projects. When I started to get recurring clients, I thought, Okay! this is real, I am doing it!

Tell us a bit about your journey? What are some of the favorite projects you have worked on?  

The journey to where I am today as an illustrator has been a long road! But I’d have to say the most relevant experiences that have helped shape me as an illustration professional have been…

Studying illustration at MCAD, continuing education to study print + pattern design, editorial illustration freelance for magazines, working on the print + pattern team at Target,
Creating for myself when I have the time and inspiration, and building She She with my business partner Jennifer Jorgenson.

Are you a morning person?

I am a slow morning person! I love sleeping in – to 8 or 9 and having a slow morning to myself. I think it is a true luxury to have time to sit with your thoughts… It also is great for ideating. No interruptions allow for my ideas to meander into the wrong and right places. I think if you let an idea run free for a while – it’s able to fully work itself out and get to the finish line.

What does your typical morning routine look like?

Wake up, turn on the coffee, feel out which nook of my house I want to settle into to work, line up my beverage brigade, put on a few podcasts and browse my to-do list to see what is most important and realistic to accomplish!

Walk us through a morning creating a pattern or illustrating? How do you get yourself in the creative flow?

I am a creature of comfort, so I like to really get set up in a spot that feels good. When I sit down to work on an illustration or pattern I know it’s going to take hours or sometimes all day.

What is your favorite way to prepare coffee at home?

I have used a Mr. Coffee most of my life and upgraded to a moccamaster a few years ago… and for Christmas this year my guy got me a fancy coffee grinder. I love the smell of freshly ground beans. It romanticizes and makes the coffee experience more sensorial!

Is coffee a part of your creative process typically?

In a way, my hot coffee sitting next to me triggers this feeling of, “Ok, Kate, let’s go!”

The hardest part is always starting the work…so, the answer has to be yes! Coffee is my wingman.

Why and what does it mean to you?

FIKA! (AKA a Swedish concept that refers to a moment to slow down and appreciate the good things in life such as “Coffee with Friends”).

How do you choose the rich colors you use?

A creative prompt or assignment usually inspires what colors I choose. After that I just layer in any color combinations that feel fresh and are relevant to the project at hand! I always file away things that inspire me including color to save for a rainy day or when I am stumped.

What is your color matching process? Do you take inspiration from nature or somewhere else?

Honestly, everywhere! Fashion, Vintage textiles, Screen grabbing interesting color combinations, the grocery store… always keeping my eyes open to fun ideas for future projects!

What would you say is your favorite color right now?

Blushy terracotta – I’m tempted to paint my kitchen this color! 

Interested in learning more about Kate? Check out her Website and Instagram! For more on our Morning Mug series, head here!

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