We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Osika and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katie, what are you inspired by?
Oh gosh so many things. The world is so full of amazing possibilities. Natural wonders, amazing people, unique animals… what isn’t there to be inspired by? I think I’m most drawn to the feeling or “vibe” of things. The tranquil wonder of a hike in a forest, the chill of a spooky old photo, or the way even the simplest animals can make us laugh. When I create art, I want to showcase the coolest parts of our world.

Because yeah, the world can also be a scary place sometimes. But if I can make someone smile by capturing the silliness of a cute animal or the coziness of a campfire, then I feel like I’ve made a difference.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been drawing basically since I could hold a pencil. Doing something with my hands helps me focus and I think I always knew I would work in a creative field. I spent a few years working in the toy industry, but a combination of the work environment and the pandemic made me take a step back and look at what I really enjoyed about art. I found that I experienced the most joy when I got to make art not for a big company, but for individual people. There’s something so personal about creating work for someone and tailoring it to their specific vision.

I’ve learned that it’s ok to say no for my own mental health, and to follow my instincts even when the path might be scary. I’m just a small artist trying to make a difference in her little corner of the internet, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been while doing it. I know I can still grow and learn, and my goal is to continue spreading smiles with my work. And if people wanna pick up a print or a sticker along the way?

That’s rad too.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love to be outside! Visiting the local zoo is an absolute MUST. Despite their size, the Lehigh Valley zoo has a lot of really unique animals. I love visiting with my niece and saying hi to the penguins!

There’s also a lot of nice fossil dig sites in this area. Swatara state park has a really nice shale outcrop that’s right by a river. It’s so peaceful and I could spend all day sitting on the bank of the river cracking open shale and looking for trilobites! And if my friend isn’t into that kind of thing? That’s ok! There’s a few really nice hiking trails around here too!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom and dad, for sure. They’ve always encouraged my sister and I to follow our dreams, no matter how difficult that path might seem. When I was at my lowest, they opened their doors to me and gave me a safe place to land. Their love and support was the reason I was able to get back on my feet and really get back in touch with what I love so much about life.

I’d also like to shout out the folks who support me on social media. I’ve met some of my closest friends through our shared love of art and I don’t know where I would be without the community I’ve cultivated. I know they’ve changed my life, and I can only hope that in some small way, I’ve changed theirs.

Can we shout out pets? Because boy does my axolotl deserve one. He’s been with me through everything. He’s ancient as far as axolotls go, but he never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Website: https://theartsyaxolotl.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArtsyAxolotl

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