When I first heard of Caitlyn Knepka, and her company Silent K Design, I immediately became infatuated with her illustrations. Caitlyn is a local freelance graphic designer & illustrator based in the Utica area. With a knack for Brand Identity and Print Media, her energetic, whimsical and contemporary style is extremely unique. You may even recognize some of her work around town…
Caitlyn recently illustrated her first book, Little Mouse’s Adventures at Fenway Park. Little Mouse ‘s Adventurers explore the wonders of America’s most beloved ballpark on Opening Day. How could I, as a Red Sox fan, not enjoy everything about this book? It’s a beautifully illustrated children’s book but has appeal to a lot of adults through the incorporation of Fenway Park. Plus the timing couldn’t be any better, The Red Sox are the defending champions, so take that Yankees fans.
How did you get in to all this?
I received my undergraduate degree in 2010 from Nazareth College in Rochester, graduating with a BS in Illustration and Graphic Design.
Since then, I have been working as a graphic designer, and it is only recently that I have started to freelance on mainly illustration work. In 2013 I was connected with Brittany Bang, the author of the Little Mouse’s Adventures at Fenway Park – and the rest is history!
How old were you when you realized you wanted to do this professionally?
Ever since I can remember I have been drawing. When I was in elementary school, I can remember trying to copy the characters on the 101 Dalmatian’s VHS tape, and drawing along while my mother read me The Chronicles of Narnia.
I stopped paying attention to illustration for quite a while, focusing on a graphic design career. It wasn’t until I had my first big freelance illustration job a few years ago that I realized this is something I should be focusing more of my attention on.
How did the opportunity to do the book come about?
A friend of mine from Utica moved to Boston and helped me land an illustration project for the company he works for. Coincidentally, his boss happened to have a daughter who had written a series of children’s books, but had no one to illustrate them. He was very happy with the work I had done for him, and got me in touch with his daughter (the author of the book). It was very accidental and out of the blue, which is why I always stress keeping doors open and not burning any bridges – you never know who may end up helping you out in the future!
Have you ever been to Fenway Park?
I have been to Fenway Park once a few years back, and I am embarrassed to say it was not to see a game, but rather a concert. I don’t know much about Baseball, so Brittany was great with informing me of important details.
It was also very cool to learn about the history of the park when I was drawing. Next time I am in Boston I know I will look at the park with a new perspective.
How long did it take to draw everything?
The whole process from start to finish took about a year – that included copy revisions, finding a printer / publisher, ect. The actual drawing process only took about 3 months. Since this was my first real children’s book, and It has been my dream for so long, it took a while to get everything just the way I wanted it. (I am my biggest critic!)
What was it like working with editors and authors?
The author, Brittany, is amazing! Brittany worked with the Boston Red Sox for many years, so the creation of the book was very close to her heart. She had a clear vision for the overall feel and specifics for a few of the pages, but for the most part she was very open to my ideas and allowed me to do whatever I wanted. We also work incredible well together and are always on the same page.
The publishing company was also very helpful. I had never put together a book before, so they were great when it came to printer and template advice.
How has the response been to Little Mouse’s Adventures at Fenway Park?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive, I couldn’t be happier! In Boston the book can be found in Barnes & Noble and many different independent book stores. Brittany said they have been flying off the shelves! The best part is seeing pictures of kids who have bought the book and love it. I remember my favorite children’s book, and it is so amazing to be able to give someone that same feeling.
Where can we get the book?
Right now you can order the book on the Barnes & Noble website as well as Amazon.com. You can also find updates about the book and where it is being sold on the Little Mouses Adventures Facebook page.
If anyone owns a local book store and would like to stock it in their stores, feel free to email me! There are quite a few independent shops that are currently carrying the book in Boston.
Will there be more books in the series?
Brittany has big plans for Little Mouse and her adventures down in Boston – so you can be sure to see more in the series.
As for my artistic future, I am currently working on another children’s book, and hope to do even more in the future.
What advice do you have for anyone with a similar passion as you?
The best advice I can give is to work really hard and be a good person. I have found the easier you are to work with, the more jobs you will receive. Alot of the industry is word of mouth and contacts you make, and if people speak very highly of you work will come your way. Never burn bridges and always keep an open mind, you never know who can help you in the future!
Little Mouse’s Adventures at Fenway Park
Buy The Book: Little Mouse’s Adventures at Fenway Park
Visit Website: silentkdesign.com
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Buy Art Prints: Society6.com and Etsy (just search Silent K Design!)