This week is a really exciting week on The Design Files- we are having our first ever Kids Week and we couldn’t have dreamed of more perfect Guest Bloggers than Isobel Knowles and Cat Rabbit! The talented duo have just released their first kids book, Owl Know How, published by Thames and Hudson and it is FANTASTIC! This week they will be sharing how this book came together with lots of behind the scenes details and even a tutorial to make your very own Owl Know How Owl! Thanks so much Cat and Isobel! -Jenny x

Owl Know How by Cat Rabbit & Isobel Knowles

Isobel playing trumpet for Architecture In Helsinki, and her short film I Fell Off My Bike playing at Fed Square

Isobel is an animator and musician. She decided on animation as a career in high school, studied it further at RMIT Media Arts and has been making short films, animated art installations and commissioned work professionally ever since. She also spent several years touring the world, playing trumpet for Architecture In Helsinki and as a result found herself making music videos for bands she met along the way. She works collaboratively with many different people. Her work with artist, Van Sowerwine has won several awards including a Special Distinction at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and the 2010 Premier of QLD’s National New Media Art Award.

Cat and her solo exhibition, Secret Animal Realms (For You to See)

Cat Rabbit, the label, was born out of a compulsion to sew, an appreciation of anthropomorphism and animals, and unexpected colour combinations. Cat, the person, studied a Bachelor of Arts and Fine Arts, Honours and Masters at the University of Tasmania, at the same time as drawing and making plush characters for various stores in Tasmania and interstate, as well as exhibition work with other artists such as Ghostpatrol, Tom O’hern and Tara Badcock. In 2010 Cat moved from Hobart to Melbourne to concentrate on making plush full time. With a little help from an Australian Arts Council grant she set up a studio, bought a whole lot of felt and got to work.

The filming of Owl Know How film- watch it below!

Owl Know How happened when Isobel and Cat met through their mutual friend Andrea Innocent (who shares a studio with Cat and once lived with Isobel). They saw each other’s work and were enthralled.

Cat’s debut solo exhibition, Secret Animal Realms (For You to See), at No Vacancy Project Space presented itself as the perfect opportunity to work together. They met in Cat’s studio one day and Isobel had the amazing idea of Cat’s rabbits creating owls in a big cardboard factory. To Cat’s mind, this was the most excellent thing she could imagine and they set to work. They constructed the factory together, Cat supplied the characters and Isobel made the animation. They filmed it over a weekend with the help of coffee and cupcakes and before they knew it, they were exhibiting their first collaborative work.

Owl Know How the movie!

- Isobel and Cat x