I turned 23 this weekend and just like that I was a freelance illustrator. Kidding, that’s not exactly how it went.

This weekend was my birthday so I didn’t work. I actually hadn’t worked on my business for a good week and a half. I was dealing with some other things. I thought about my work everyday like I have for the past seven months. It’s constantly on my mind, not in a bad way, but I just needed to put it down for awhile. Mainly because I knew I was going to be full time soon and I wanted to be refreshed and excited for the first week.

My birthday came and went and it was fine. It wasn’t a big deal which is a different style for me. I spent a large chunk of the day by myself, something I would’ve never done a year ago. I spent the other part of my day with fabulous people that have helped me become who I am. I reflected on the growth I have made as a person in the last year because it was a huge year for me. Sometimes I wish I could take my former self out to lunch and slap her in the face, give her a hug and buy her a cup of coffee because she needed all of those things badly but what she needed most was her art. Art was not a part of my life a year ago and I am fairly certain that is what my soul was desperately searching for. To this day, I still get confused, lonely and experience deeply sad moments just like everyone else. But I have found that if I channel that energy into art, I can create beautiful things from life’s saddest moments and that is something I will always treasure.

I hope I never get so caught up in what other people are doing that I don’t do what my soul needs.

1// Morning research. First day freelancing and it was a success. added 3 new products here, here and here

2// Winter. I’m done.

3// Breakfast in bed will be a thing for me from now on. I am choosing to start my work day around 1pm and end it at 1am.

4// Always dreaming about my farm. someday…

5// Cozy coffee and cake break.

6// My gals are in store at The Paper Hat on 50th and Penn.

7// Weekend birthday shopping at Free People.

8// Happy Birthday donuts delivered to my apartment. The best.

9// Brunch at Wise Acres Eatery and catching up with a best friend.

10// My old ballet shoes and a tie dyed poncho on display.

11// Stumbled upon pictures from my adventure to Japan while searching for inspiration.

I hope you will follow along with me as I navigate my first few weeks of freelancing. If you have any tips for me on how to stay organized, focused or inspired please let me know. I am currently reading The Freelancer’s Bible…any other suggestions?


  1. Gloria Grieger says:

    Hi Katie, congrats on your new dedicated direction.a big decision but one that I am sure will be successful. I was wondering if you might be coming down to Fort Meyers at all this season. I found this new shop at Bell Tower that I think would be perfect for your paper products and perhaps other items. The name of the shop is Well Read and the shop is adorable! Sort of high end. I talked to the owner about you and I think if she could see some if your work she would be interested in talking with you. I heard that your mom might be coming down so maybe I could talk to her or show her the shop and see what she thinks. Anyway, best of luck and perhaps we will be in touch.
    Gloria Grieger Sent from my iPhone


    • ryanmkatie says:

      At this point, I’m not coming down. I wish I could but I have too much work in March. I’m hoping to maybe make it down sometime later though! I would love to see the shop you’re talking about and bring some of my work in to show them. Thanks for thinking of me!! I hope all is well.

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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