If a hot blonde is all your looking for try Playboy Magazine. But if ya wanna meet a beauty with some serious talent, I’ve found the girl for you. Caterina Caliguiuri, a Santa Barbara CA loc, has creatively found ways to join together the world of Fashion, Art and Extreme Sports. Between working at Powell Skateboards, writing on her famous blog (Kitty Cats Mischief) and creating one of a kind pin-up art pieces, there’s not much this girl doesn’t do. I called Cat to ask her some questions about her journey into fashion and art as well as breaking into a career in the skate industry.
How did you get into doing pin-ups and Character based artwork?
I was sort of in a state of depression during my last year of college at the University of Arizona and found a fictional character named Mandy that I really fell in love with. She became my muse and I became infatuated with her and started drawing her over and over. After I came home that year from school, my friend Carly invited me to a party at the Playboy Mansion and when my invite came in the mail from Heff, there was a drawing of a pin-up by artist Olivia De Bernardis. You can see her pin-up's in Playboy Magazine each month. I cherish that invitation now and I’m a devoted fan of Olivia's work. Pin-ups became a way of life for me, I think partially because I was becoming a woman at the time and starting a new life after college where I felt comfortable with my sexuality. They were just there to look beautiful and inspire, nothing more beautiful in life than God's creation of a beautiful woman... in my opinion.
How long have you been painting for?
I have been painting since I was about 7. I could have started earlier but that is about when I can remember. My grandmother lived next to skateboarding's most famous artist, Vernon Courtlandt Johnson, AKA VCJ, during most of my youth. His most famous piece is Powell-Peralta's "Ripper". It was at his house that I really got into painting and drawing.
You were born and raised in Santa Barbara CA how’s the art scene there?
Santa Barbara has a pretty rootsy art scene. It isn't like San Francisco or LA, but I would say that a lot of people in Santa Barbara really appreciate art and encourage it. I also think Santa Barbara's environment produces really, really creative people. So... I guess there is a pretty big art scene for how small SB is.
You also work for Powell Skateboards, has skateboarding inspired any of your past or future art pieces?
Skateboarding has definitely inspired some of my art pieces. For example, my piece "Vampy" was inspired by The Skateboard Mag's Todd Bratrud's series of green lizard pin-ups he did for Volcom and then eventually reproduced something similar for Creature Skateboards. Mike Giant is also a huge source of inspiration to my work and he started his career in the professional art scene at Think Skateboards. As I mentioned before, Court Johnson is one of my biggest sources of inspiration. VCJ and I recently reunited and reconnected, and he is probably the main reason I work at Powell right now. He is a rad dude, full of life and soul. The thing that I learned about skateboard graphics through Sean Cliver's book Disposable is that skateboarding graphics don't have to mean anything at all, they're just cool to look at. It's kind of like pin-ups in an odd way.
Do you get down with the skate scene; any tricks your trying to tackle?
I like to think that I get down on the skate scene but I have lots of work and time to put in. I started messing around at the park and I’m working on dropping in and rolling backwards. I have all the equipment and tools at my fingertips; I just need to put in the time and mental concentration. My goal is to be able to skate pools and ramps. I really enjoy the feeling of skating little bowls right now.
You have a blog; http://kittycatsmischief.blogspot.com/ that has received a substantial amount of traffic. What’s in your blog that has people coming back for more?
Hot chics and skateboarding! Ha! Not really, I just cover a variety of topics and most of all I really try to communicate what inspires me with the hopes of inspiring my readers. I really try to do this through visual reminders of the lifestyle that I live and I feel as though my blog is a niche in a saturated market of fashion & lifestyle blogs. I really, really enjoy fashion & art but I can't ignore action sports and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It all meshes together anyways in this industry (art, fashion, music, moto, snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing that is). I hope that there is inspiration to others in my blog and that is why people come back for more, but I really have no idea what I'm doing most of the time.
If there’s one piece of advice you can give to aspiring female artists what would it be?
Surround yourself with what inspires you, whatever or whoever that may be... stay focused and get your work done (this is still hard for me). Start a tumblr blog and tag the shit out of your work.