|When did you start drawing? What came first - your
love of sketching or your interest in fashion?
2006. Katie saw the movie "The Devil Wears Prada." In fact, as we were
going through these questions, she got the movie and insisted that I
watch it with her.
After watching this
movie, she really seemed to have an interest in fashion and fashion
design. All she talked about was going to New York City. She wanted to
design her own clothing and walk the runway. I shared this story with a
friend and she said, "Let's make it happen." Her sorority was doing a
professional Fashion Show with models from Chicago. Katie designed an
outfit. We searched for fabric and she assisted in sewing it. She walked
the Runway with pride.. I cried with joy when the audience gave her a
standing ovation. Katie's "Passion for Fashion" introduced her to her
love of drawing.
What is it about
fashion that you find most inspiring as an
Clothes and movement of clothing. Models
pose. Katie's artwork is known for the unique poses she draws her
ladies. The accessories of her ladies have movement. She has a drawing
we call "The Necklace." The Necklace appears to be floating in the air.
"Blanche" is wearing a red scarf which appears to be caught by the
wind--flowing in the air as her lady walks swiftly. A number of her
ladies dresses appear to be in layers. Several artist and fans have
compared her to Picasso. She breaks her drawings up in to small pieces
resulting in a layering of her ladies clothing. She spends hours drawing
her ladies doing one small section at a
Apart from fashion, where do
you draw your inspiration from?
Under the direction
of Lynne Barletta, Director of the Visionary School of Arts in Stuart,
FL, Katie has begun experimenting in other sources. She drew an angel
for her grandmother to watch over her. She did a mermaid in watercolor
and recently, experimented with pastels drawing a butterfly. She also
drew a vase. Prior to going to the Visionary School if you asked her to
draw something besides her fashion ladies she would say “That’s not my
thing.” Ms. Lynne inspires Katie to attempt other
subjects.Who is your favorite artist?
Picasso. she wants to try and draw one of his ladies. She
likes the colors used in his work and his
And your favorite fashion
I love color and classical styles... We
attended Couture Fashion Week in New York City in 2010. She has used the
program from this week's shows as her inspiration for her "Charmed
Katie names her artwork after her favorite
movie and TV series characters.
Do you think
that having Down syndrome has enriched your outlook in a certain
It is said by other artists and admirers of
Katie's work, that her work demonstrates the innocence of a child. She
doesn't complicate it with over thinking and trying to make it perfect.
It comes naturally and from her heart. Lynne Barletta states, "Katie
does naturally what many artist study a lifetime to
When you ask Katie what do you do? She
states, “I’m an artist.” She doesn't preface it with her disability
(having Down syndrome). To her –she's just and artist who loves fashion
and happens to have Down syndrome. She expresses her love for fashion
art.We all need reassurance when showing your work -
where do you find it?
From her family. Katie loves
her family especially her brothers. She beams with pride when her
brother who lives here in Florida comes to her shows. She takes him
around the room and introduces him to everyone. She tells everyone she
meets about her big brother, Jimmy who lives in Texas with his two
children, Morgan and Gavin. She speaks of his wife, Jessica, as her
How do you imagine the people who
choose to acquire your artworks?
Katie has sold a
number of originals all for over $1,000. Her recent sale was "Sisters"
which sold for $1,200. The buyer recently lost her brother and has been
sadden by his death. She told us that when she looks at Katie's artwork
..."it makes her smile." It is Katie's desire for people to admire her
art and enjoy the whimsical ladies bringing a smile to their faces. It
appears she has done this for at least this one
When sketching, do you have an ideal
viewer in mind?
Yes. Katie’s primary source for her
drawings is paper doll books and pictures of models from fashion
magazines. The drawings inspire her to create her own fashion designs.
She changes the poses, re-designs the clothing, and creates women of
diversity. An interesting aspect of Katie’s art is that she doesn’t
discriminate when it comes to color. While her source documents may be
mostly white, she creates women of color (red, white, yellow, black ---
she has even created women with orange and green skin tones). Her
sources (the paperdoll books) don't have faces. She creates the faces on
her own from something from within her. Each face is different and is
created through her own
visions. Do you pick your daily outfits according
to the mood you are in, or do you always try to look your best,
no matter what?
Katie enjoys dressing to
be comfortable. However, on special occasions she loves to dress up and
After watching “The Devil Wears Prada” tonight
she’s ready to go