KATIE MADE THAT
MAKER: KATIE JOHNSON
I met Katie at craftHer Market a few months back and have loved seeing her business grow as she just recently launched her online shop! Katie creates patterns and designs that genuinely connect with people and fit into their lives in a way that allows them to say something about themselves + their aesthetic that they couldn't say alone. All of Katie's creations are designed in her home studio and printed locally on sustainable paper at an Austin screen printer. She has the sweetest personality that is reflected in each one of her unique designs. Check out the interview below!
BIGGEST DEBATE OF ALL: COFFEE OR TEA, BE SPECIFIC ;)
I've always wanted to be a classy tea person. But alas, I'm straight up addicted to coffee.
Who do you follow for Instagram Inspiration
@NickMisani - letterer
@BeccaClason - tactile lettering & stop motion (I actually got to art direct her for a campaign I worked on for Domain Northside. Maybe you've been there and seen our giant banners?)
@Katharine_Watson - amazing printmake
@KellyVenturaDesign - check her out right now! She paints the most beautiful abstract floral pieces!
Favorite Local food truck
Oh man, it's Saigon Le Vendeur for the BEST Banh Mi you ever had. Although, side note, it does drive me crazy that they'll tell you it's the "best banh mi in Austin" when you order it. I'm always like "YES I KNOW I'm here like every week! Why do you think I'm ordering it!?" Still, go there and listen to them tell you it's the best. Because in all honesty they're right.
Why did you choose to be a maker?
I felt that urge to do something creative for as long as I can remember. I didn't even consider doing anything outside the arts. It's just such a cool way to communicate with people and share who you are in a way that you can't express otherwise. And sometimes you make things that surprise even you and it reveals something new about yourself.
Who has had the most creative influence on your life
My parents definitely got the ball rolling. They're both musicians and I thought initially that I might follow that same professional path. But they let me explore things on my own and I think that plus the right combination of teachers and friends who exposed me to a lot of different forms of creativity got me to where I am now.
How important is shopping local to you
Honestly, I hadn't really realized how important it is until I started getting into selling my own work. I feel bad that I had to be personally invested to really get it, but now I definitely approach shopping differently. I'd much rather support a local artisan and get something truly unique than just shell out for something generic that's not really doing anyone much good.
Where can supporters find your creations
what had been the Most exciting moment of your craft
Any time I hear about how people are connecting to my work or bringing new meaning to it from their own lives. I recently sold my Charles Darwin Finches print to man who wanted to give it as a gift. He said it was for the doctor who saved his wife's life and was heading out to the Galapagos. It's like, oh yeah, that's what this is about!
Why do you call Austin home?
I'm actually a real life Austinite, born and raised! I did grow up in the burbs to be honest, but I think it still counts. I've only lived briefly in one other city (Denton, when I was going to school at the University of North Texas) and I immediately came back home after. Austin is beautiful and creative and did I mention the FOOD here? I can't stay away too long.
Favorite song/album/artist for inspiration
I'm a huge fan of Little Dragon and Kimbra!
Favorite local boutique
Supply Showroom is amazing. If I had one million dollars I would probably go there are just deck out my whole home.
go to Mid day snack or creative fuel
I'm actually really bad about skipping meals when I'm working. I get way too in the zone and it's hard to pull myself away. I am much more healthy about working when I have some sort of accountability partner with me to say "Hey, you haven't moved in 5 hours. You should probably do that."
Where do you create best
I do like working in my home office, but I can tell when I need to mix it up and go to a coffee shop and be near other humans. As long as I get that balance right, I'm happy to make things anywhere.
As a small business, how do you make sure your brand stands out
I focus on pattern, symmetry & balance to tie my work together. There aren't a lot of patterned art prints out there, or shops that really seem to hone in on that as their central theme. So I try to fill that niche.
what is One thing you wish people knew about your designs
I really consider where my prints will end up—I picture my customer's home and what color the walls might be or what kind of accent pieces they would have, and I adapt my work to fit into my picture of their life. I think that helps make sure I'm not just designing for me alone and it usually pushes my work even further.
Must see recommendation for those traveling to Austin
Well, you've got to cover your food bases. If you make it to Uchiko, Peached Tortilla, Odd Duck, Lazarus, Veracruz, or Kome you're doing great. And get your food with a view at Mozarts or Tillery!