Choose it.


I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very excited about 2014. Mainly because I still had projects from 2013 that weren’t finished and I was running a bit low on motivation after a relaxing Christmas break. The Monday back to nannying was a tough day because I was back to working three jobs and I saved almost all of my illustrating for the very last second. Self doubt was creeping back into my mind, as always. Over Christmas and New Years, I thought about illustrating and I did some sketches, but more often than not I was thinking that I’m not sure if I could keep up the pace I had been or if I even wanted to. Moral of the story is that I wasn’t looking forward to a long year of working three jobs and dreaming of being a full-time illustrator someday. I hate it that I have to talk myself into this illustrating thing more often than not but it’s not easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. When you have your own business, you’re it. I’m the illustrator, the communicator, the blogger, the photographer, the designer. I order the supplies, I print, I package, I’m the social media manager, I make ads, I manage the budget, I respond to comments…you get the point. Basically you’ve gotta have it all, all of the time or you’re going to sink.

Thankfully for me, today, I woke up on the right side of the bed and I allowed things to fall into place in my mind. I took inspiration from this quote, slapped myself in the face and told myself I’m doing it.

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that-that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something that’s really special, and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something and now you know something about yourself.” -Amy Poehler

So I found something that I’m beyond passionate about and I would be so lucky to wake up and get to do this for the rest of my life. I wish I didn’t have the negative thoughts but it’s really something that I must choose not to be. Today I chose positivity. Negative thoughts will overtake you, if you let them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about staying positive.

Here is what I have coming up//

1// Feature on Beauty Glam Now (i’m not sure of the exact day) but stay tuned. It will be announced on my social media.

2// Feature on Twin Cities Live on this Friday at 3pm on channel 5 (KSTP). I would love it if you all would tune in if you’re local. One of my illustrations is being featured in a pregnancy segment on cute ways to announce you’re expecting.

3// Branding projects for a few of my favorite people. Illustrating logos and coming up with a comprehensive idea for a client’s brand is really what I want to move towards.

4// Hired a designer for a redo of my whole website. Ironic eh?

5// Lots of custom illustrations for clients, as always.

6// Dreaming up a new line of notecards. Hint: handwriting and Minnesota love. I have no idea when this will happen because of all of the custom work that I’m being hired for. I’ll sneak it in soon.





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.


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  1. Hayley Schnell says:

    Life is full of highs and lows, but the lows help us appreciate the highs. Whenever I start feeling down about work or personal stuff, I think of how much I’ve overcome since my diagnosis. Honestly, that was the saddest day of my life, but I never talk about it like that. It was the first day I truly started to appreciate all the good in my life.

    Here are some quotes that bring my positivity back:

    “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Peale

    “An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality.” – Brian Tracy

    “Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Francesca Reigler

    Just remember, positive thoughts = positive outcomes. And don’t forget, your friends are always here for you.


  2. Yvonne says:

    Keep Smiling Katie, you are so talented, and fun. All your illustrations make me smile just to see them. Now who else can accomplish that? Hope to see you soon.

    • ryanmkatie says:

      I’m trying to work on a positive attitude. It’s very hard for me to keep a clear mind when I have so much going on. Thanks for always finding the words to encourage me. I have a show on January 25th at the Paper Hat by Tim and Tara’s house and I would love to see you there!! Katie

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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