Committed to Living a Creative Life. An Interview with Katie of Cloudy’s Boutique

Being committed to living a creative life is a core value of Katie’s from Cloudy’s Boutique. I have enjoyed watching her explore new mediums and techniques to make creativity her profession. Being creative is a way of life that she is very committed to living.

I caught Katie from her VERY busy life of kids and homeschooling to learn more about her. I enjoyed my interview with her and I am confident that you will fall in love with her as well.

Becky: Tell us a little about your creative background. Are you formally trained in art?

Katie: As a child I spent a great amount of time outdoors. We lived in upstate NY in the mountains and my imagination and sense of adventure had a place to roam freely. I was born a dreamer and I always heard songs on the wind and I felt at home in the woods. I could listen to a piece of classical music and be carried away into another world. A painting could move my heart and bring tears to my eyes. A dried up leaf, a water droplet, little patches of moss – all the best kind of art in my little girl world.

I was not formally trained in any art, in fact I spent most of my life believing “art” was not one of my strengths. Both my parents were visual artists – excelling in drawing, sewing, design, photography and so much more. I truly believed that perhaps the “art gene” had skipped over me because I struggled to draw a stick man. I didn’t enjoy gluing googly eyes onto pom-poms in my elementary art classes. It was not until December 2015 that I stumbled across my love for making and creating. I wanted to give a gift to a friend but could not find the exact thing I wanted. Why couldn’t I try making it myself, I wondered? So I tried, and a part of my self I never knew existed came alive and started a new adventure.

“I have learned that we are all artists of some type. Creativity is a pathway, not talent or a gift that only a few possess.” – Katie

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Becky: How would you describe a “typical day in the life of Katie”?

Katie: I would describe it as messy, loud, unmanageable yet beautiful. I am a persnickety, perfectionistic introvert living amongst three messy and loud children, one loud-ish husband, two strange cats and a fish that pretends he is dead just so he can cope with living in our family. I have been educating my children at home since 2010 when my first born was in kindergarten. We learn alongside one another – books, paintbrushes and jewelry parts scattered over the table.

Becky: How did you come up with the name Cloudy’s Boutique?

Katie: Cloudy is my imaginary me. She is a bird that was freed from her cage and now takes to the skies singing and helping other birdies get free too. Freedom is my heart’s deepest longing for myself and others. My faith, spirituality and purpose are steeped within this theme.

When I think of myself as Cloudy, I have wings and the sky is the limit.

Becky: When I look at your Instagram feed, you seem to have so many talents. You paint. Create with leather. You do photography. Create jewelry. I see that you are open to trying new things and you do so often. Why do you think that is?

Katie: I believe I was created in the likeness of the Great Creator who painted every sunset and composed the song sung by whales and mockingbirds. My own creativity is a form of worship and gratitude toward this Creator. With every little piece of art I make, I am affirming my identity as a child of God. I am being my truest self.

Becky: Do you have a community of other artisans that you stay connected with?

Katie: Yes, I have friends in the local area who share my enthusiasm about art and the creative process. We actually have weekly conversations about art and all that surrounds the process of it. I am grateful to know a few friends who are also home educators who run art based businesses. We encourage one another to keep going and we laugh and cry together about the common challenges and victories that ebb and flow throughout the journey.

Becky: How has that changed, or has it since Covid-19?

Katie: This season has changed the way we stay in touch, but the heart of it has not changed, in fact we have come to the realization that our need for creative community is all the more important and vital.

Becky: What are your primary forms of selling your jewelry?

Katie: I started off doing craft shows and pop-up markets. The interaction that comes with in-person selling is very educational and fun! My jewelry has been on consignment in a few different shops and that is a very different kind of selling! Right now, most of my sales come through posting on social media. I post, and people message me to buy. I also have an Etsy shop.

Becky: Have you needed to make choices that prioritizes creativity?

Katie: As with anyone pursuing a creative lifestyle, I have had my share of ups and downs including seasons where I feel stuck and blocked and other seasons where I simply cannot keep up with all the ideas that seem to swarm my mind.

“I believe creativity is not merely in the production of pieces – truly it is a process you allow your heart and mind to go through in order to get from one place to another.”   

-Katie

So, some seasons seem barren or fruitless like winter, but the roots are growing stronger and deeper and finding new sources to tap into. I find it is important to nourish my roots first, not just tend to the fruit.

That being said, yes, I have to take necessary time to do whatever that looks like. My family is my first priority, so I have become creative in finding ways to not only nurture my own roots but to teach my children to embrace the creative flow as well. Creativity has become an intentional lifestyle choice for our family. We work at it together, and encourage one another to pursue the unique callings we have.

Becky: Do you make something, photograph it, then look for feedback before you create more?

Katie: For me, ideas pop up in my head and I have a “virtual workshop” where I test out ideas in my mind before my hands ever begin to work on a project. Once it makes it to my hands, it seems to just happen. If I have photographed something, typically it is because I am ready to sell it. I have been trying to share some of the unfinished process with others more often as of lately. I am learning to ask for feedback, and I find it interesting, but it is not a necessary step before I move on. I am learning to be patient enough to learn new techniques that enhance the process significantly! Becky, you have played a major part in my growth as an artist – your tutorials have been so helpful!

Becky: Do you inventory a lot of your finished creations?

Katie: Because I lean toward learning new techniques and trying new things out – most of my pieces are prototypes and I have not yet delved into the world of producing many pieces of one design. I find I sell most of my pieces as I go, so I have limited inventory on hand. If I know I am getting ready to do a show, I usually spend several weeks building that up. If I do have some pieces that are just not selling, I will donate or take them apart and make something new with them.

Becky: I can’t thank you enough for choosing to use Nunn Design Findings. Can you tell us why you trust your jewelry creations to Nunn Design?

Katie: It has been my pleasure! I remember the first time I saw a Nunn Design finding and I thought – “Whoa, where does that artist get those findings??” I admit, I had to do some research to figure it all out! When I found your website I think my brain exploded with all the possibilities that began to form! Since then, I have appreciated the consistency in quality and the unique style that I have come to expect from Nunn Design. Beyond the findings, I have learned so much through your blog and online tutorials. I am so happy to be a part of the nifty little community of artists that all use Nunn Design findings.


Where to learn more about Katie:


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