Katherine McDonald illustrator and designer based in Belfast, UK


What is it that you're doing exclusively on a Sunday

Sundays are for waking with the magical feeling that you don’t have to answer to an alarm clock, even if I still rise early. Relaxed, I throw open the windows and stretch, listening to the simple pleasure of the birds singing their morning song. I’ll cook and enjoy a long, slow breakfast that morphs into a brunch, reading a book while I eat with good music murmuring in the background.

It’s also the day for exploring. Sunday’s are filled with curiosity. I’ll always have something in mind but not set in stone. It’s the freedom and spontaneity of a Sunday that I love. A day to get lost, just go with the flow and see where it takes me. Whether that be a ramble in the countryside, enjoying coffee in new places to eat or catching up with friends on the latest happenings, a day to just be, with no pressure to do is just glorious.

If not that, I’ll be finding some creative output to give my energy to, such as baking. I find it therapeutic and I love to share and enjoy good food. I truly treasure time spent in fine company with my family. A sort of Sunday evening ritual, everyone gathers at the home house to enjoy homemade scones and copious amounts of tea, where we chat and laugh the worries of the week away, usually proceeded by a nap. Is it any wonder that it just so happens to be my favourite day of the week?

Being an illustrator and designer, you probably spend a lot of time at home. Would I be right by saying that on Sundays you'd like to break free into nature?

Yes! Having grown up in the countryside, I’ll always be a huge fan of the outdoors. I literally run for the hills come the weekend – a sort of addiction that I need to refuel for the week ahead. I’ll ramble a new lake or mountain I’ve discovered or simply roam the garden or fields back home with my camera in hand of course. My dog Jack is never too far away either. I suppose it’s my day of inspiration, to gather my thoughts and ideas and figure out how I’m going to materialise them. Nature grounds and inspires me, which is pretty obviously portrayed in my work. It brings a sense of contentment for me and I love it!

Tell us about your most memorable Sunday.

There’s been many memorable ones, but one particular Sunday that sticks in mind was a dreamy Autumn evening spent with a friend who rowed his boat out to a little island on the shore of Lough Neagh, where we gathered sticks for a fire and cooked fresh fish and potatoes and enjoyed hot whiskeys until three in the morning, surrounded by nature and watching the full moon and making a wish on the one shooting star that caught my eye that night. It really is the simple things that bring a smile to my face.

Photography: Katherine McDonald @_katherine_mcdonald