I unabashedly love being a tourist when I travel. So, even though I have lived in and have traveled to Hawaii before, I dig walking around Waikiki. A lot has changed in the last three years, particularly down Kalakaua Avenue (a main street in Waikiki). Lots of shops, both recognizable brand names and smaller businesses, have popped up, and it was in one such shop that I discovered the work of Kat Reeder.
I’ve seen her work before, but had no idea who the artist was. So, it was exciting to be able to put a name to a print, you know?
Kat is a self-taught illustrator who was born in Florida and is now living and working in Hawaii. Her work focuses on island life with a stylistic hand and lush colors (a lady after my own heart), and what I love most about it is that it celebrates Hawaii without being kitschy. There’s a lot of kitsch to be had, especially in tourist areas like Waikiki, so you kind of expect it. But Kat’s work takes it up several levels and makes the subject matter beautiful and lovely. And that’s so refreshing to see, frankly.
My favorite, and the print that caught my eye in that little shop’s window? Hawaiian Girls, naturally.