That Girl


I created this site a year ago today. I would just like to give that girl a pat on the back. She was a different person than I am. She was so college but I have a soft spot in my heart for her. She was feisty, a challenger and when things didn’t go her way you could bet on a tornado of emotions to show up. I still have some hints of that left in me but I’m different. She was that same person that started my shop. Oh how I loved that summer. It took so much heart to start my shop and I am so proud that I did that. I just wish that I could remember some of that strength now to help pull me through the challenging days.

When you have your own thing, as I do, there is a sense of ownership obviously. I also have this instinct that I need to protect it and myself. Shield it from things that could hurt me and make me want to stop. It sounds like I’m talking about a child here. 

You could say since I started my business I have become overly sensitive to everything regarding it. When I first started, I was careful about who knew about it and now that is out of my control. I had to do the whole speech in the mirror thing before I could talk about it in public. And for those of you who know me, that’s just not me, I can talk about almost anything except this little qk biz.

I hate it when it comes up in conversation with people I haven’t seen in a while and they say something to the extent of “you’re pursuing your art more seriously, good for you.” No. I’m sorry but this literally pays for my toilet paper and it isn’t to be taken lightly in any way. It’s not for fun anymore, although this is my dream and it can be fun a lot of the time. Some days I wake up and I don’t want to go to work, which for me means getting out of bed, walking around the corner and sitting at a desk for 8 hours. It kind of sounds like your job doesn’t it? Other than the fact that I work from home.

I thought I was going to be SO good at this. But the reality is that some days I’m really bad at my job. I didn’t think that was going to happen because I created it. I have set some incredibly high standards for myself and I like that. One thing I’m trying to avoid at all cost is feeling like I’ve failed on a daily basis because I didn’t meet a certain deadline, create enough personal projects or sell enough orders. I’m so tough on myself and it is ridiculous and something I plan to work on because I will not survive working for myself if I can’t learn to appreciate myself.

Back to that girl, fresh out of college. I imagine myself having coffee with her and showing her the illustration at the top of this page and then telling her that she would draw it for a magazine in a year because she works as a fashion illustrator out of her apartment turned part studio. My heart be still. She would be elated. I’m pretty sure she would tip the coffee table over, start screaming and dancing around the shop.

I hope I can get back to that. I think it would set me free.


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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