NOT YOURS, NEVER WAS / Artwork by Kat Kennedy
Kat Kennedy is a Leeds University student with a penchant for feminist thinking and digital art. In her latest work, she combines the two vibrantly, tackling issues such as period poverty and ownership of the female body. We caught up with Kat to talk about her influences, future plans and to discuss how activism has grown to play a huge part in her work since becoming a feminist.
How long have you been creating digital art for, Kat?
I've always been an artist, but I've been focusing on digital art since about 2016. Due to the lack of education about feminism at school, I didn't really know what the term meant until I started university. There, I became infatuated with artists who use their talent and platforms for speaking out about things that matter. I decided that it was what I wanted to demonstrate with my art — I think that that's also when I started to focus on issues close to my own heart such as period poverty.
What's the inspiration behind the bright colours and bold motifs of your artwork?
I've always loved cartoons and the bold colours in comic books, that's probably it subconsciously came from. When I first started to draw, I'd draw manga and anime characters and my bold style kind of developed from there. There's something almost fantasy-like about the thick outlines and vibrant colours that I use in my work, almost without realising; I love the effect they create.
A lot of my art is inspired by protests for women's rights in recent years, and my period related art is in reference to the statistics about period poverty that have surfaced over the past year or so in the UK.
What kind of reaction do you want from your artwork?
The aim of my art is definitely to make people think and inspire them to learn more about matters they might not know a lot about. I also hope that my art empowers, as I personally love art that makes you proud to stand up and say "we need to do more about this".
I'd love to create a brand that uses my art as prints for t-shirts and other kind of merchandise and raise money for charity.
And finally, what's in the future for you as a digital artist?
I still need to develop and settle on my style; I see myself in the near future still creating art about the subjects I am passionate about to achieve this. But I've got so many illustrations in the works that I'm still yet to finish and I'd definitely like to expand my work into a brand one day.
Opinions and Images by Kat Kennedy
Edited by Hannah Crosbie and Lydia Ibrahim