We first found Kate through our founder Alexandria, and we were thrilled to have her on board for issue one. Kate did our cover and one of our favorite segments in the magazine called "I see you, You see me" she also just did our beautiful holiday village scene which was a newsletter gift.
Kate has been such a pleasure to collaborate with. She is incredibly talented and has such a talent for transforming our vision and words into beautiful illustrations that brought every page she created to vibrant life.
Below you can read a little more about Kate, how she came to illustration, and what she'd like to see more of in the world:
Without further ado...here is Kate!
Kate Meldau Cummings
Silver Spring, MD, right outside Washington DC
Ditto Kids: When did you first know illustration is what you were called to?
Kate Meldau Cummings: In school, I always wanted to learn everything. I would cram my schedule to bursting like Hermione and then run around trying to keep up with way too much homework. I found that no matter the subject, my notebooks were constantly filling up with drawings. It was so fun to visually explore ideas. I began to notice that drawings were great teachers, and images could communicate and even persuade in unique and powerful ways. I fell in love with posters from the early twentieth century and saw how they had affected people's ideas about everything from breakfast cereal to political movements like women's suffrage. So I decided to learn to illustrate, hoping that I could have a positive effect too.
When I got a little older, I learned that I come from a line of determined women-artists on my mother's side. They worked hard at careers and juggled work and family life long before that was accepted. So I take pride in thinking that I'm keeping up the tradition they started to do creative work and make change and work for a better, more inclusive world.
DK: What is your favorite part of illustrating?
KMC: Every illustration I do, I get to learn something new or in a deeper way, then share what I learn with the world. It was through illustration work that I first learned about the talented mathematician-poet Wang Zhenyi or had the chance to study the newspaper reports of the young Civil Rights pioneer Claudette Colvin. Of all the amazing stories that have happened in this world, the half has never been told. I love having the opportunity to show what has been overlooked or bring attention to what should be seen and celebrated."
DK: What is one value we could all do well to learn from?
KMC: Curiosity, greeting what is different and unfamiliar with a sense of wonder and joy instead of fear and anger."
DK: What is one thing you would wish to see in a more inclusive world?
KMC: It's so hard to pick one thing, but I'm going to say more stories! We love our once upon a time and happily ever afters, but I want to see a more inclusive world that tells stories with heroes that are capable healers, inventive problem solvers, and kind friends instead of great fighters or conquerors. I want to hear stories that I have never heard before that make me see the world in new ways and show me how I can change."
You can find Kate on Instagram here go check her out!
Photo by Amy Hashimoto for Ditto Kids Magazine
Thank you so much to Kate for helping us kick this series off, and stay tuned for next month's illustrator feature!
We hope your day is full of peace and joy
- The Ditto Kid's Team