As a new feature of our blog, we'll be sharing some of our favorite artists and makers with our readers! We'll get to know a little bit more about these artisans, their work, and what makes them unique. We're starting with Katie King, friend and artist living in Nashville, TN. Katie's pieces are fresh, modern and a little whimsical. Let's get to know a little more about this talented gal!
Hi Katie! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! I grew up in Jackson, Missouri, a small town south of St. Louis. I’ve lived in Nashville for the last 3 years, and it definitely feels like home! Specifically East Nashville, where you can typically find me walking my dog on the Shelby Greenway or eating a burger at Dino’s.
Have you always wanted to be an artist and how did you decide to turn that into a career?
I’ve always, always known that I wanted to be an artist. I have really vivid memories of bringing home art projects from kindergarten and just being so proud to show them to my mom. Somewhere along the way I kind of convinced myself that art wasn’t a viable career (there aren’t a ton of self-sufficient artists in the place where I grew up) so I eventually went to college and studied something completely different- Fashion Merchandising with an emphasis in marketing.
I graduated and moved to New York to pursue a career in fashion, but was instantly much more interested in the street art and galleries that were around me. I think that was the first time that I truly realized that there are a million different ways to make a living, and I felt that pursuing a career in something like art could actually be possible.
Describe your style as an artist.
My style is really rooted in nature- my main sources of inspiration are animals, plants, rocks and minerals, etc. I think that naturally occurring things are the most beautiful of all.
What is your favorite medium to work with?
Watercolors are my go-to, because I love how organically they flow on paper and canvas. I also use pen and ink for more detailed drawings, and recently I’ve been using more colored pencils and acrylic paints. I try to keep an open mind and experiment regularly with all sorts of mediums & canvases.
What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't an artist?
I would probably be working in the realm of social media/marketing. I’m a huge social media nerd, and I think that creating content & the way that social media allows us to connect with individuals is fascinating. A ton of my success as an artist can be traced back to connections that I originally made online.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I mostly derive inspiration from nature- animals, plants, etc. Traveling often is also key. If I stay in one place for too long I’ll get stuck in a creative rut, but as soon as I change my surroundings I have a million new ideas.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
There are so many! A few of my very favorites are Faring Perth, Tristan Eaton, Heather Day, and Van Gogh. I’m always really drawn to artists with a presence in street art and murals, and that’s an area that I want to explore more.
What does success mean to you?
There’s a quote by Maya Angelou that I repeat to myself a lot: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” If I can check off all three of those boxes, I’m good.
What's the biggest thing you’ve learned from owning your own business?
That’s tough to answer, because owning your own business is a constant learning process. I feel like I learn something new and valuable every single day! One lesson that’s really stuck with me so far is that I need to enjoy the process in order to appreciate my goals when I reach them. For me, it’s so easy to become anxious and stressed, and to just relentlessly try to reach an end goal. Lately I’ve tried to relax a bit more and actually enjoy the steps along the way.
What motivates you? AND Where do you see yourself going with your life and career? Dream scenario... give it to us!
The success of others motivates me. I love meeting people who are passionate and successful in their own endeavors and life, because I see that as proof that it’s possible in my own. I try to remind myself often that I have my health, the internet, coffee, and great friends. Living a life that is anything short of what I want would be my own choice.
In life, I’d love to continue to just grow this art thing as big as I can. I’m always open to new opportunities and possibilities. As long as I can continue to travel, have new experiences, and be inspired by others, I’ll be very happy.
What's a typical work day like for you? Describe your process.
A typical work day starts by getting all my ducks in a row before starting on any projects (like eating breakfast, walking my dog, doing any errands, cleaning up my house) so that my mind is completely focused on what I’m doing. I keep a crazy complicated to-do list on my iPhone notes app, so I’ll check that and edit it all day. The joy that I feel when I add a little emoji ✔️ next to something cannot be described. I’ll go through this list basically all day—whether it’s painting a commission, running by a store to drop off pieces, buying more supplies—and then unwind at night.
Where can we see your art around Nashville?
You can find my art at the Germantown Art Crawl every month, Porter Flea June 16 and 17, Smith & Lents on June 25th, and you can always see/purchase it at Apple and Oak in East and Alexis + Bolt in Germantown!
--Thanks so much Katie King for being our first artist feature on the blog! We absolutely love your work! Be sure to follow Katie on Instagram @heykatieking and buy originals or prints through her Etsy shop. Come back and check out the pieces we've commissioned from Katie for a bedroom that will be revealed on the blog soon!!