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Check Out Katie Chapman’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Chapman.

Hi Katie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always been interested in art, but there have been times where I’d find myself walking away from it or putting other things first. I love to draw, paint and create in general, but it wasn’t until recently that I really felt comfortable and confident in my career path and with my work. Attending the Savannah College of Art and Design was a difficult decision for me, and I’m extremely grateful for the journey I’ve been on since I made that decision.

Becoming an illustrator wasn’t easy for me. I changed my major a few times, thought about leaving art school, and put my work through drastic changes. But, I’m glad to say being here in Savannah surrounded by so many other creatives, I’ve been able to discover my love for surface design and repeat patterns. I’ve discovered what I really love to do.

I’m always thinking about what my work could be applied to. I find joy in creating things that make me smile, and my biggest goal as an illustrator is to make things that people are proud to display in their homes, on their clothes, or even send to a friend.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My journey to where I am now hasn’t been straightforward. After my freshman year at art school, I almost didn’t return. Being around so many other artists all the time can be inspiring, but it can also be intimidating and stressful.

I was always comparing my work to people who were better than me, and while learning and trying to improve your own art, that can be discouraging. I’m very grateful to my family who encouraged me to return to school my sophomore year and decide from there if I wanted to continue after that.

It was in my sophomore year where I discovered what I really loved to create, and it was also where I made some of my closest friends and favorite memories.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m an illustrator that specializes in surface design and repeat patterns. This area of illustration is for creating artwork that goes on anything from coffee mugs to tablecloths, or kids’ pajamas to beach towels, and more. It’s an area of illustration that is often overlooked but is present in everyday life, and that is what I find so interesting about it. I’m most proud of some of the repeat patterns I’ve created to represent Savannah.

There are so many interesting people that I’ve met in Savannah, and these patterns are the result of me being inspired by them and their city. I think the mix of subject matter and technique is what makes my work unique. I don’t make myself stick to a certain way of doing things either, and I find that freeing and a way to keep learning new things.

Some of my work is playful and aimed towards children, while other work is aimed more towards adults. For me, not limiting myself is a way I stay inspired and a way to avoid burnout.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I’m from a very small town in Massachusetts, and there aren’t many places to go out to eat. So, my favorite thing about Savannah is all the cafes and restaurants to visit. I love going to new ones and trying out new food.

Something I miss about the back home that Savannah doesn’t have is clean, quiet places outside to go to. I grew up in a wooded area on a back road, so there is almost no noise from cars, trains, or boats like there is in Savannah. I also miss the stars!

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