The story of Katie Cleveland Art
Do you have moments in your life that are truly simple in nature, but stick out so clearly in your mind? Well, this is how my art started. I was working in a bike shop one day, standing at the retail counter, when I had the idea to draw these free-flowing colorful lines intertwined with circles. It’s so crazy when such a simple thought with absolutely no intentions could become so much to me. But I guess that’s how it happens, right?
Four years prior to this moment, I went to art school for my first year of college. This is where I really developed my hardworking ethic and I can remember in orientation, one of the teachers saying if we could compare how rigorous our program is we would compare it to medical school. 18 year old me was like, say what? I did not sign up for this. So needless to say I did artwork around the clock, Monday-Sunday. Art school was fun, I learned a lot of the basics to be a great artist but I wasn’t passionate at the time. This led to an art burn out and wanting to do something different.
Good Ole Radford University
So I left that year, and long story short made my way to Radford University where I graduated in interior merchandising. I can remember being in a keg party right before I graduated from college and thinking to myself, man I spent a lot of money going to art school and it never really amounted to anything. I guess I’ll never do that again.
So fast forward back to the bike shop. I thought, hey maybe I’ll try creating this idea and see what I can come up with. So I grabbed my old colored pencils and Bristol paper and below is what happened. I let the painting be whatever it wanted to be and focused solely on letting my energy pour onto the canvas. When I finished, I thought, hey that was kind of fun ?! I think I might keep doing this.
For the love of Snowboarding
When I went to Radford, one of the best decisions I ever made was to join the Radford Snowboard & Ski Club. It was there, that I fell in love with snowboarding and met some of my most cherished friendships. Snowboarding is where I feel the happiest and where I can escape the demands of life. When I was little, I skied with my grandfather and family. It has always been something I have been truly connected too. I believe I had to find my way back to my first passion (skiing/snowboarding), in order to discover my art and style. Skiing with my grandfather were some of the most cherished and earliest memories that I have. I stopped for a really long time between skiing with my family and picking it back up in Radford. Snowboarding and art go hand in hand for me. I can’t do one without the other.
So over time, my passion for art became stronger and stronger to where it became as important as the air that I breathe. So yeah, that painting happened then multiple other paintings happened. Then I wanted to sell my art which led to the business and all the products I offer today. It’s funny looking back now and seeing the progression and how it continues to be a vital part of my life even though at one time it meant nothing to me.