For Kathy Coates, technique is not the most important part of the illustrating process. She considers art above all a unique emotional expression and hopes that each child (or adult) will be blessed by her illustrations. Coates enjoys painting portraits as well as still lifes and plein-air landscapes, using her favorite mediums (oils, pastels, watercolors, and graphite drawings). Coates adopts Hippocrates's famous words, “Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting.” Her work is permanently on display in gallery collections throughout the Southeast.
Coates has always loved art, and she started drawing at a very early age. Born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, she is a “Child of the South,” proud of her deep Southern roots and with a profound love of her Southern homeland. She expresses her sensibility in her illustrations, as well as in her hobbies, which include playing the piano and dressage riding. Her love of nature and animals deeply inspire her art. Illustrating Batty About Texas was a natural way for her to conciliate her love of art, the South, and the natural world.
Coates was selected to attend the North Carolina Governor's School for the Gifted and Talented at Salem College, Winston Salem. She graduated with an associate degree in applied science in commercial art and advertising design from Central Piedmont College, where she worked for five years as an illustrator. She then began intensive study of fine art, developing the skills required to produce quality work. While raising her daughter, she worked as a freelance illustrator. Coates is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, which purchased several of her illustrations for use in their bulletin. She lives and works in her hometown, sharing her studio in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her best friend, a King Charles spaniel named Hopper.