What Inspires Katie O'Brien Denton - Calligrapher & Artist

Posted by Marcea

(Images courtesy of Katieobrien.co)

Katie O'Brien Denton is an artist, designer and calligrapher who is passionate about all types of art. Learn more about how Katie got into calligraphy, how music and nature inspire her and how her OttLite lamps help her get creative. 

How long have you been an artist?  I was always doodling as a kid. Every time we went places I’d be constantly be asking my mom for a pen and paper out of her purse. When I’d go to my grandma’s she would give me ideas of things to draw – she’s say “okay draw two birds and that tree over there and we’ll look at it again tomorrow!” And I just grew to love it!

What medium do you like best for your art? That’s a big topic for me because I don’t specifically like one thing. I (used) pencil and charcoal in high school and loved that. When I got to college I got introduced to watercolors and gouache. I was really drawn to painting a little bit more. It’s kind of a mixed bag. 

 How did you get into calligraphy? About 3 years ago a friend of mine asked if I would help out a little with her friend’s wedding invitations. I had just had our first child and I thought it might be kind of nice to work from home. After I said yes it turned into doing her whole invitation so I got to do some watercolor, some computer design and the calligraphy. And it went from there.

If someone wants to learn calligraphy, do they need to be an artist or have special skills? A lot of people do kind of fall into it. Some people go to school to study calligraphy. But I’ve noticed a lot of people have enjoyed picking it up as a hobby and going to workshops to get practice. That’s kind of the route I’ve gone.

How does your art background help you with other aspects of your work like designing logos and working with businesses? It’s helped out a lot with color composition, layout and overall aesthetics. A lot of my teachers in school were strict about reviewing things over and over again to make sure your end product was pleasing. For me with my marketing, I’m constantly playing with it and moving stuff around to make it a little better than the last. 

What inspires you when you’re creating? I get inspired just by being outdoors with God and nature and spending time with family. But while I’m working, music is a big drive for me. I’ll listen to a full genre – it could be anything from alternative to punk to rock to country! (laughs) I’m kind of all over depending on what I’m working on. 

You have two OttLite 13w Task Lamps – how do they help you create? They help me a lot. Since I have two kids I don’t usually get around to doing my work until 9pm. I typically work really late into the middle of the night so they’re a huge help!

Do you have any advice for anyone who thinks they don’t have time to be creative? That’s a good question because after having two kids I felt like I didn’t have an outlet and felt like ‘just a mom’ chasing after them all the time. My husband said that I needed some time to myself so I took time at night. I think that you can find time almost anywhere and it’s amazing how much time I have found in the past few years. If anyone is looking to be creative, please do! You’ll feel so much better about yourself and you create kind of a snowball effect to push yourself and you don’t even know it. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? We love to go camping, go hiking or go to Tahoe and go to the lake. 

For more information about Katie visit her website or follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Etsy


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