Katie is the latest artist chosen for Visit Bend’s Pillars of Art program, which features one local artist every six months. The chosen artist creates unique chalk drawings on the cement pillars in the lobby, and her framed work displayed and sold in the Bend Visitor Center.
Katie Daisy has lived in Bend for less than a year, but she’s no stranger to the art scene. Her clients include Target, American Greetings, Pottery Barn, Papyrus, Walkers, Madison Park Greetings, and more. She also has a line of home and garden products for Demdaco, a stationery line with teNeues Publishing Group, and a series of drawings featured in a book by bestselling self-help author Louise Hay.
Visit Bend is lucky to have her artwork gracing our pillars and walls, and even luckier for the chance to ask some questions about her life, art, and what it’s like to be a young creative professional in Bend.
Visit Bend: Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Bend?
Katie: I grew up on a farm in Northern Illinois. As much as I loved it, I knew there was more of the world to see. I’ve lived in eight states so far and have always had a desire to explore the Pacific Northwest, so the move was inevitable!
Visit Bend: Tell us about your artistic training.
Katie: Art has been my passion since I can remember. Right after high school I attended the Minneapolis College of Art & Design and graduated with a BFA in Illustration. Since then I’ve sustained myself by running an Etsy shop and licensing my creations out for a variety of different items.
Visit Bend: How would you describe your artistic style?
Katie: My creations come from a deep appreciation for my rural upbringing. The beauty I find in nature is something that holds a wealth of inspiration for me. Much of my work reflects the open spaces and wild beauty I’m so familiar with. When I paint I’m trying to recreate a profound sense of those things for others: the peace of a meandering creek, the wonder of a starlit field, or the bubbling anticipation of early summer. To achieve this, I mix a vintage illustration style with modern techniques. I also use a lot of hand lettering, specifically in a Tuscan/Western style.
Visit Bend: What’s your favorite medium?
Katie: I find the combination of watercolor and acrylic paints to be flexible enough that I can achieve both transparency and bold, velvety textures. I always mix them.
Katie: Frida Kahlo, Olaf Hajek, Nathalie Lete, Grady McFerrin, Kandinsky, and Matisse.
Visit Bend: What do you like best about living in Bend, and how does it influence your artistic style?
Katie: I have an amazing community of friends here that encompass everything from writers and musicians, to other painters. It’s incredibly close-knit, and we’re able to share our ideas freely with one another. We also offer feedback on each others’ work, despite our differing media. When you experience those sorts of relationships it creates a powerful sense of self discovery, which is something I find essential to furthering my creativity.
Visit Bend: What do you enjoy doing in Bend when you’re not creating art?
Katie: I love having rooftop parties or creative gatherings that involve music, visual art, and poetry. It’s important to me to create an experience where everyone present can be in their element and find something to appreciate. I also love browsing the antique shops and local boutiques for inspiration on a regular basis. I frequent the many coffee shops in Bend (chiefly Lone Pine!) to reply to e-mails or sketch out new projects. In the warmer months, I enjoy taking my hammock to Drake Park and lounging by the river with my sketchbook.
Visit Bend: Tell us your impression of the Bend art scene, and how do you think the Pillars of Art program fits with that?
Katie: The Bend art scene is incredible. It’s small, and very close-knit. I feel privileged to be within in a group of such diversely talented individuals. I think Bend is very proud of its artists and creatives. By creating the Pillars of Art program, it’s made that evident to anyone who comes here to experience our community.
Thanks to Katie for taking the time to chat with us, and for making the Bend Visitor Center look so very lovely right now. Want to come check out Katie’s work? Her pillars and other artwork will be on display now through June 1. The Bend Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop by and check it out!