Relief and content are two feelings that have been complete strangers to me the past six months. I believe the second I left work today, they greeted me again.

Soon after I started drawing this summer, I was contacted about doing commissions for close family and friends and I could not have been more excited. Somewhere in the summer months, I started to believe that I was becoming a illustrator. I created a collection and opened my shop. It was a lot but it was still doable. Then November rolled around and I had been discovered by several bloggers and it was a dream come true. As of tonight, I finished all of my holiday projects but in the month of December, I was less than thrilled with how things were going for me. They were going well, a bit too well.

I resented my business for the life and passion it was sucking out of me. I was getting very little sleep and then dealing with a three year old all day the next day. I would pump caffeine through my system to try and stay up and finish as much of a drawing as possible, print orders, package orders, ship orders, answer Etsy emails, prepare for shows and the list goes on and it never really stopped. I had no weekends and I spent many late nights drawing and asking myself what the hell I was doing with my life trying to pull this off.

I will tell you exactly what I am doing. I am fueling a dream. I am living out a dream that feeds my creative soul and challenges my mind. Every bone in my body tells me this is right for me and that is the relief part. There is this feeling when you first start a business. No one has to say anything, you can just feel it. It is skeptical, negative energy and it can ruin you if you let it. It creeps up on me some days more than others and those are the days I feel like my business is not doable. It is negative energy that I create for myself that I constantly need to work on. I no longer feel that energy from other people, which means that they have accepted this as a part of me. There is so much relief in that idea. I no longer have to explain or justify what I’m choosing to do with my life like I used to.

Relief and content. I am not a content person. I never will be (also something I need to work on). Even if I were to meet every single goal I have for queenikathleeni, I would not be content with those accomplishments because there is always more, so this is BIG for me. Looking back at the past 6 months I am content and proud with what I have accomplished. I continue to glance up from my computer as I write this post, all settled in my new apartment and there is an illustration of mine in every corner of this place and it gives me a calm that I have never experienced before. Obviously, I have an emotional attachment to this art because it gave my life a new purpose that I believe I’ve been searching for the past four years (that’s another post). It was my missing piece that made my life make sense and nothing is more satisfying than that.

Thank you for reading as always. This week I checked off one of my goals of becoming a published illustrator in Bow and Arrow Magazine. It is a beautiful magazine and I am absolutely honored to be a contributor for the winter issue.




  1. Karilyn says:

    This is so beautifully said. So happy for you little girl!

  2. Yvonne says:

    I checked out Bow and Arrow, Really nice, you are sure moving along with your new business at a very fast speed. Cheers to you.

    • ryanmkatie says:

      Thank you for checking it out!! It’s such a beautiful publication and I was able to meet their team, which means so much to me. Thank you for always following along with my business and being so supportive.

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Meet Your Brand Artist

I’m Katie, the brand strategist, designer, dreamer, and entrepreneur behind Artful Brands. Dreamy typefaces, clean layouts, and soft color palettes are my love language— but more importantly designing strategic brands that book. I believe in creating a life and a business you love, creativity over competition, and designing with equal parts passion and purpose.




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Photos by laura rae photography & grace k beck