We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Nowikow and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I never thought I’d wind up following a call as an artist, or creative entrepreneur. Growing up, it wasn’t something that came naturally to me.
I have tried so many different paths over the years, from corporate jobs, to health coaching, to art. What brought me back to this creative outlet was the feeling of limitlessness when creating. There are not many rules that need to be followed, if I get an idea to create something, there will be countless ways a project could unfold. I’m constantly surprised in the ways different ideas actually play out into a finished project. Sometimes they go exactly as I imagined and other times it takes on an entirely different life.
The magical element of creating is the the best part, sure the finished pieces are wonderful but being in the moment of putting ink on paper, mixing resin, or clicking my camera, I’m in a moment of time and space where everything is possible or available.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is wide and varied. I am self taught in all that I do, and I consider myself to be interdisciplinary in that I do a lot of many different kinds of art and creation and that really is what I get most excited about! Because there are so many options, all of which bring their own beauty to the act of creating and expressing my own vision.
I got to where I am today with one step at a time. It is easy to think, “Ok, my shop or website is open, now let the sales begin” and when nothing happens, it can feel like a total let down. You may think this is a sure sign of failure but it isn’t. It is only one step in the long journey of experiences. Ultimately, I had to keep focusing on what brings me joy, which is to create something that someone else will smile at the sight of.
When I get stuck or have gotten overwhelmed and unsure of my path in my business, taking a step back helped me. Sometimes that meant taking a nap or going to bed early. Sometimes it meant taking a break from creating and social media. Or it may have meant to stop the business side of marketing and jump into a creative project. I also remind myself that if I don’t quit my art, it won’t quit me. There will be others who connect with my art, but they can’t connect with something they don’t see, so sharing it is part of my drive to make sure it is able to find those who will love it as much as I’ve loved creating it.
One big lesson I’ve learned along the way is to not discount my work when something takes a while to sell. It does not mean it isn’t good. In our world of having so much at our fingertips it is easy to think it means my art is not good if it isn’t selling out in minutes. Timing has nothing to do with it. That will vary, and change, the most important thing is the connection. Me connecting with another person through the creative process.
My brand or message of “this magical life” is all about connection. To yourself, to others, to the things that make you happy. I find it so amazing I can work on a craft or art project and the creation makes me so happy and then someone sees what I’ve made and connects to it as “mine”. That’s the magic.
My story, my brand, it is all about finding the moments of magic in your life, whatever that means to you. It is about seeing what is around you day in and day out that lights you up, brings peace or joy, and moving in the direction of that feeling as much as possible.
Growing up, I wasn’t artistically inclined or even talented. Nor did I have much of an interest in any of it. Yet, here I am, making art. It all started when I wanted to save a few bucks and create my own wall décor in my first apartment. Don’t think you have to “be” something before you can do something. If you want to follow a call to try or do something new, go for it, and give a try. You don’t know where it will lead you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh my gosh, well I’ve been in the greater St. Louis area most of my life and one of my all time favorite places to visit still to this day would be historic St. Charles. There’s dining, shops, and a beautiful spread of cobblestone streets, historic buildings, pavilions, and the holidays are just amazing there. There’s all kinds of festivals and activities held throughout the year including holiday actors who sing carols and dress in period costumes.
I also love Forest Park, the Zoo, Science Center and Art Museum. There are so many fun things to do at each of these spots in St. Louis, all of which are free entry making it a great and fun family place to visit. The sting ray exhibit at the zoo is by far one of the best experiences, and I’ve done it multiple times and never get sick of it. I recently visited our new aquarium that just opened and this too is another fun place to go!
A few favorite spots to eat, Cheeburger Cheeburger is one of my favorite burger joints. For a sweet treat I really enjoy going to Clementine’s Creamery, they have such unique flavors to offer. And I’d have to say the Old Spaghetti Factory is another spot I really enjoy as well. We also have some great BBQ spots as well, like Sugar Fire, the smoked turkey is ah-mazing!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are probably more than I know to mention of course. My husband first and foremost has been instrumental in everything I’ve done. He always supports me, no matter how many times I’ve changed my mind, or felt unsure, or defeated, he has always been the one to remind me things take time, to keep moving forward and to not try to solve problems when I’m feeling stuck.
My good friend and fellow artist Angie Fromme, she is a sounding board. We also are going through much of the same experiences together while our businesses are both growing and unfolding at the same time.
My friend Cheryl Mazza who has showed so much love and support for my work, from purchases she’s made to sharing on social media, and her kind words, it means a lot!
Norma O’Bryan who referred me to this opportunity here with Shoutout LA to answer questions and share about my story.
Definitely a general thank you to all the artists and creatives out there on social media sharing about your journey, how you do what you do so I can learn.
The RAW Artist organization for giving me an opportunity to showcase my art at an amazing venue and to meet other artists as well.
My parents and family for taking interest in my art every time I have new things to show them whenever they visit my house.
To each and every customer who has ever purchased something from me, and every person who has liked, commented, shared, on social media.
There really is no gesture too small to say “thanks” too because it all helps.