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17 September 2020

Kate of @kateillustrate talks bringing brands to life with video illustrations on Instagram

BY: Instagram Business Team

London, UK

Head of studio @kateillustrate, Kate is sought out by brands for her unique creative style. As part of Instagram Deconstructed, she explains how a new approach helped her adapt when the creative for a Malibu campaign had to be changed in light of COVID-19.

“I usually work in mixed media, meaning I combine illustrations and photographs,” says Kate of Kateillustrate.

With a background in fashion illustration, Kate realised that drawing people didn’t give her a lot of satisfaction—even though at the time it was a popular trend among creators.

Combining photos with illustrations in flatlays gave her a perfect way to help her Instagram profile stand out; but it was only when a fashion magazine invited her to bring the two together that she realised this could be a new way of working with brands.


Making a splash

Her fun, playful designs are what made her the perfect creative partner to work with Malibu.

As an alcohol brand, Malibu is regulated on Instagram but can share content with over-18s. When it came to creating a campaign to promote their pre-mixed Splash drinks, the iconic rum brand chose Kate to help them nail the perfect design.

Kate explains how she was asked to create bright and colourful animations for Malibu’s Instagram feed, as well as images to share on Instagram stories.

The brief involved four different flavours: Lime, Passion Fruit, Pineapple and Strawberry. Each flavour is mixed with coconut and, of course, Malibu Rum.

Bringing summer inside

“The initial idea was to portray the usual setting where Malibu Rum could be enjoyed,” Kate says. But when COVID-19 meant that bars were forced to close and group gatherings were not possible in many places, the context changed.

The solution was to create illustrations to “bring the summer inside.”

The strawberry flavour became the inspiration for a flirty, romantic drink shared by the window overlooking a city skyline, while the lime flavour was shown being toasted on a balcony.

Watch Kate’s creative journey with Instagram Deconstructed

Deconstructed is a series where creators and brands break down their work, step-by-step, to show us how it's done.

Each short video focusses on a single piece of work, with its creator walking us through the process of building it.

Watch now and discover Kate’s journey to bring the summer inside for Malibu.

Kate discusses her creative process.Play Icon


Adding detail

With this new idea, Kate was able to begin her process, which starts with a pencil sketch before she builds out in the images in black and white using Adobe Illustrator.

After colouring and shading the illustrations, she turns to the photographs which she incorporates into each design.

“I always use colour filters to recreate the lighting of the illustration,” Kate explains—an effect visible in her animation for the Lime Splash Malibu drink, which shows lights flashing from orange to (naturally) lime green.


True teamwork

To create the final images, Kate then layers the photographs on top of her illustrations.

“I usually go frame by frame [in Photoshop], confirming with the client that everything looks good.”

They are then able to turn the finished product into posts on Instagram.

“It’s teamwork, and it’s really important to give the space to the creator,” Kate says.

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Learn more with Deconstructed

Get inspired by learning how Mate Steinforth uses AR to put the customer at the center on Instagram.

BY: Instagram Business Team

London, UK