Well-known children's illustrator is working with kids in Cork city on public artwork

Artist and illustrator Kathi ‘Fatti’ Burke is in Cork this summer working on a very interesting project, called Open Road, with children. We catc
Well-known children's illustrator is working with kids in Cork city on public artwork

Illustrator Kathi ‘Fatti’ Burke.

TELL us about yourself;

I’m Kathi ‘Fatti’ Burke, an artist and illustrator known for my work in children’s publishing. I have illustrated over 30 non-fiction kids’ books including the Irelandopedia series which I made with my dad, and What The Dinosaurs Saw, the first book I wrote and illustrated. I also produce work for national campaigns and turn the things that make me smile into prints and t-shirts. I’m currently working with The Glucksman Gallery on a public artwork called Open Road that will be unveiled during Cork Midsummer Festival 2021. This piece will be co-designed with groups of children from diverse communities in Cork city, and I am really excited to bring this artwork from paper to asphalt with them.

Where were you born?

Dunmore East, in Co. Waterford

Where do you live?

Dublin city, as of this year. I had been living abroad for a few years before the pandemic but I’m really delighted to be home.


I have a younger sister, Shauna who’s an English teacher living in Waterford. My parents are both retired in Waterford city now too, and my two half-brothers live in the UK.

Best friend?

Aforementioned sister is always my number one, but I’m lucky to call a shedload of people my best friends, all whom I love equally and abundantly.

Earliest childhood memory?

I remember being wheeled around in my pram with the plastic rain shield down. I could barely see out through the soft window but felt really cosy in there at the same time.

Person you most admire?

Lisa Simpson.

Person who most irritates you?

The male Siri voice on my phone, I keep meaning to change it back to just the default accent.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

Tom Hanks. People seem to trust that man a lot for some reason.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

Tokyo, Japan.

Favourite TV programme?


Favourite radio show?

Tara Stewart on 2fm if we’re talking nighttime, Tubs on RTÉ1 in the morning.

Your signature dish if cooking?

I’m good at a pot luck, I love making loads of sides. Like a bacon mac and cheese or a big creamy dauphinoise and a broccoli slaw.

Favourite restaurant?

In Dublin right now, the restaurants I’m most excited to go back to when they open are Host, Uno Mas and Chimac.

Last book you read?

Peter Pan by J M Barrie.

Best book you read?

I Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan is by far my most re-read if that counts.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Town’s Dead by Kojaque.

Favourite song?

Golden Lady by Stevie Wonder.

One person you would like to see in concert?


Morning person or night owl?

Night owl.

Your proudest moment?

Getting my first book contract.

Spendthrift or saver?

Spendthrift for sure, I’m a bit of a magpie for nice things.

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

Better use of public spaces and improved homeless services.

What makes you happy?


How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who made people smile, think and question with her work.

What else are you up to at the moment?

This summer I’ll be working on the Open Road project down in Cork, continuing workshops and beginning the artwork’s installation. Then I’m starting my Masters degree in Trinity this September, and am working on some more books in the meantime.

Organised by Cork City Council in conjunction with Creative Ireland, over 29 events celebrating creativity in young people are being hosted by 26 cultural venues across the city as part of Cruinniú na nÓg on Saturday June 12.

As part of Cruinniú na nÓg, members of the public are invited to meet Fatti and the young project participants of the public artwork Open Road as they paint their design onto a pedestrianised street in Cork City.

Watch as the artwork comes to life! 

See https://www.corkcity.ie/en/things-to-do/festivals-events/cork-city-cruinniu-na-nog/

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