We first featured the 500 square foot Central Park apartment of artist Katie Rodgers in our June 2014 issue, and as the summer has wore on… her home has maintained its place among our favorites. More than the beautiful apartment – which is filled with family heirlooms and has an unapologetic pink bedroom – we’re inspired by Katie herself. The artist has defined what it means to carve out a niche for yourself and to nurture your talents into a career. We wanted to learn more about her creative process, and find out what’s next:
Thanks for having us over! Tell us, what’s your favorite part about your home?
The windows and the view. I love how tall the windows in my apartment are! It completely changes the feel of the space. With smaller windows and lower ceilings I think my apartment would feel very cramped. Also, seeing a courtyard full of trees and flowers is a breath of fresh air in New York City- literally. It’s the most wonderful thing to watch the seasons change from the window.
We have to admit, we’re totally envious of the high windows! Do you live alone?
Yes, I’m an introvert, and while I absolutely love socializing, I also cherish my alone time and space equally as much. I can surround myself with things that I love and recharge my mind.
There really is something special about living on your own- at least once in your life. Is there a spot in your apartment where you feel most yourself?
At my painting table. It’s the place I can forget everything and anything and just let my mind wander into pure imagination! Somewhere all my own.
Let’s talk about that! When did you first know you had a talent for art?
I’m not sure there was a particular moment when I realized I had a ‘talent,’ it was more so something that felt right, something that I couldn’t ignore. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had this creative drive inside of me; drawing and painting is the route I have chosen to express it…for the moment! That drive led me to study and practice it endlessly.
Sounds like you’ve mastered the art of following your bliss! Was there a moment when you truly began believing in yourself?
You know, I think there were different stages to achieving that confidence. I remember a moment when I started believing in my technical skills – I was studying at an intensive two month summer drawing program during high school, in Interlochen, MI. There was one particular piece I remember putting everything I had into, and something clicked – color, perspective…it felt like a personal breakthrough, in a sense. From there, it’s taken me years to fully believe in my work, conceptually. It takes time to develop your style, and add depth to your work. I didn’t study art in college, so it also took me a while to feel comfortable even calling myself an artist. Over the past four years I’ve grown much more confident in my work, yet I believe there will be a never-ending desire to continue growing.
We love that positive attitude of continual evolution and growth. Do you ever feel fearful?
Truthfully, I sometimes fear that I spend too much time focused on my work and forget to balance my life equally with my work…although sometimes I have trouble drawing a line between them.
That seems to be a battle we all know too well. What are you most grateful for?
I’m grateful for having discovered a way to live my passion… and having the right people in my life to support those dreams.
You really couldn’t ask for more than that! Speaking of having good people around you, what is the trait you most admire in a person?
I admire ambition. Some of the best people I’ve met are the most ambitious. I’m not talking about being ambitious for only something they’re passionate about either, I mean being ambitious from the start… from the very bottom. I admire people who put their all into whatever it is that they do – whether others think it’s important or not. I admire the pride someone has in their work, and in themselves.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Keeping a positive mind. No matter what happens, I can always trick my mind into finding the silver lining. I hope I’m able to achieve this mindset for the rest of my life.
We have a feeling you won’t have a problem with that. Is there any advice you’d share with someone just starting out in the art world?
Never stop learning. Humble curiosity is good for the soul.
Last but not least, what is your life motto?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Einstein
Isn’t that the truth! Thank you for letting us into your world today, Katie. We’re truly inspired!