Collaborating with Kim Engwicht

Welcome to another ‘Collaborating with…’ interview!

Woop! We’ve got another delicious collab for you with none other than the brilliant Kim Engwicht from K-Rae Designs.
The inspiration behind this one was the theme “On Vacation” and the places we’ve been or would like to go that feel like home.
Kim and I both chose Melbourne (we have *great* taste) which led us to thinking about coffee (naturally) which led Kim to discovering the heavenly interiors of Higher Ground Melbourne.
I really love this one. It’s different. It’s fun. And it fuels my obsession for high ceilings and exposed brick.
I hope you love it as much as we do!

Who’s That Girl?

Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure can! I’m a 28-year-old mother of two living in Brisvegas. My kidlets are 4 and 1, so my lil biz is a side hustle to being Mum. I love long lunches and could sit at a cafe all day (where coffees would then turn into wine haha).

I’m a sucker for a really good thriller movie/tv show where I can’t predict the ending or a serial killer documentary #notapsycho. On the weekend you can find me grabbing a cappuccino from my local, heading out for a massage and then spending the arvo with the kids at the park. 

How is 2019 going for you?

Great, thanks! I feel like I’ve really come into myself this year.

For the month of June, I set myself a daily challenge – where I would draw something every day for 30 days. I thought I’d give up half way through but I kept at it and discovered a little hidden talent I never knew I had. I dabbled in digital portraits and now they are a part of my online store. I’ve really worked on my own personal style and it’s showing in my work. Also…can we take a moment to realise that there are only four more months left of this year?!?😧

What’s it like living in Brisbane?

I love it here! I’m originally from Darwin, so Brisbane is a big city to me haha. I love the fact that you’re either an hour away from the Sunny Coast or the Gold Coast – and that just makes my travelling soul happy. I love the new cafe culture that has really taken off in the last year and a bit. I’m a big foodie and coffee lover, so finding new fave spots around Brisbane is my absolute fave!

What is home to you?

First thing that comes to mind is my family home back in Darwin. Whenever I’m there, every care or worry seems distant and I feel like I’m back to my teenage self. Wherever my parents and sister are – that’s home. But of course home to me also means my own little family – hubby and I sipping on coldies on the back deck while the kidlets play in the yard.

Rust x K-Rae Designs Collab: Higher Ground Melbourne

Making Magic

What was the path that led you to becoming a digital illustrator?

I needed a creative outlet when I was at home with my first child…and thus K-Rae Designs was born. I’ve always been a ‘doodler’— drawing and writing over my school books and then during meetings at work…so I guess it’s always been in my blood. About four years ago, I started playing around with ink and watercolours. It was pretty much the only I did lettering back then, but once I bought myself an iPad that’s when the real creative juices started flowing. I really just played around with different types of lettering and drawing styles until I found my own special groove.

Is it your full time gig, side hustle, or a hobby that you’re ridiculously good at?

I would say that I’m ridiculously good at both my full time gig of being a mum, and my side hustle, K-Rae Designs. #humblebrag

What made you decide to collaborate with Rust?

I’ve always wanted to sit down and answer these questions haha (I’m a bit of a lover of filling out forms). Nah but in all seriousness, as soon as I seen Viv’s callout on Instagram, there was a fire in my belly and I knew I just needed to take part in her collaboration series. Plus…who wouldn’t want to work with Viv!?

Can you walk us through the collaboration – what was involved, what role you played (aside from being a total creative genius), etc?

So first of all, Viv and I chatted about our favourite place to holiday to in Australia…and funnily enough we both said MELBOURNE! Because we both have a love for aesthetically pleasing cafes, we agreed on illustrating one of Melbourne’s most aesthetically pleasing cafes – ‘Higher Ground’.

What was your process for designing the piece?

I had a look at Higher Ground’s Instagram page and stumble across a photo that really drew me. The clean lines, the colour palate – I knew it was the one. So I illustrated as per the photo and thus this little baby was born.

View this post on Instagram

+ TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE + Happy Friday! To celebrate, have a pic of me with my fave waffles from @micasalecafe 😂 #yourewelcome • So, I was tagged by the lovely Bek from @fromdaydotshop and my girl Yiota from to play #spotthelie. Below are 3 facts about ya gurl and you have to guess which is the lie in the comments below! Have fun • – I bought my first home at the ripe ol' age of 20 – I played professional lawn bowls and just missed out on being picked to represent the NT – I once went to a Micheal Bolton (@michaelboltonpics) concert by myself because no one else would come with me (let alone knew who he was 🤣) • Which one is it? Comment below 👇🏽 • I'm tagging – @vivalabeautynt @msbbanks @___thelatest @bychloejoy @unapolojaetic.illustrations @emily__ing @harmonyorganisers @naz.power @kalaii_creations @the_design_quirk

A post shared by Lettering & Illustrations (@k.rae.designs) on

How did you find collaborating on an artwork compared to doing it solo?

I loved it! It’s great for exposure to different audiences. 

At first, I thought it was difficult because I was given a wide range of ideas to run with. Too much freedom makes my head hurt haha. But once we narrowed it down and settled on the cafe, I was ready for action.

Do you have any advice for those wanting to get started in digital illustration?

Just go for it! Practice, practice and practice. I never went to uni or did any courses for what I do now. Everything is self taught with a bunch load of practice – so just know that you can do anything you put your mind too. I’ve always found that by trawling through Instagram and YouTube you can find numerous tutorials and tips, so make researching your best friend.

What’s something that people don’t see/realise that you do (the nitty gritty, behind the scenes stuff)?

Folding and packaging all my cards, writing thank you notes for every order, counting stock, making trips to the post office almost daily, visiting my printing company, emails, DMs, researching potential new products, loads of practicing, product photography, editing photos…the list goes on and on. I am a one woman band…and I do ALL of that while wiping snot, picking up toys, changing pooey bums, having play dates and dealing with tantrums! Haha.

And of course: what inspires you?

Everyday things, nature, cafes, my husband, my kidlets, my family. 

I’m also constantly inspired by the amazing Girlbosses in my life. I’ve met some awesome women in business on Insta and they all have such different aspects about them that inspire me.

Quick Questions


How do you take your tea (or coffee)?

Cappuccino 1 sugar please and thank you.

Fave coffee shops/cafes at home

Definitely St Cocos (Bondi bowl is a MUST) and Mi Casa (seriously the best waffles in town!).

Go to outfit

In summer: denim shorts, black slogan tee and thongs #straya

In winter: black tights, oversized tee and a jacket tied around the waist

I’m ALL about the comfort babeh!

Proudest Moment

Personal life: Giving birth to my kidlets #obviously

Biz life: Holding a box of 50 diaries that I digitally hand lettered, created, put together and got printed for a college #proudbossqueen

Ideal Sunday

A LONGGGGG lunch out with friends (on the Brisbane river or Southbank #imnotpicky), a sneaky little massage and then down time with my lil fam bam at home perhaps watching a movie.

Fave podcasts/books

Podcast: Startups and Downs – Readcity

Books: Chapter One – Daniel Flynn

Ultimate travel destination

NYC – I’ve been there once and I really truly believe I left a piece of my heart there. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Where can we find you online?

Instagram: @k.rae.designs

Facebook: @kraedesignsau


We hope you’re loving this interview series as much as we are! We are curious in nature, and very much enjoy learning the ins and outs of business and start up stories from other female entrepreneurs.

If you have another wonderful lady in mind that you’d like us to interview, drop a comment below or straight to


Until the next brew,


Team Rust


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