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Katie Rodger’s advice for artists on connecting with their inner voice

Watch & Listen to this podcast Episode.

In the latest episode of Arts to Hearts Podcast, Charuka Arora sits down with the fantastic Katie Rodgers. In the world of fashion, Katie has made a name for herself because of her paper fashion and use of watercolors. Now, she is reconnecting to her roots by solely focusing on her imaginative play with the natural world.

Katie started as a fashion illustrator in New York and created the website Paper Fashion in 2009. From working with renowned brands like Estée Lauder, Samsung, and Clé de Peau Beauté to working with Alicia Keys, the Boston Ballet, and the Screen Actors Guild, she has built an extensive portfolio. Her work has also been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Magazine, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times.

Katie has worked in a variety of mediums including 3D installations, illustrative pastels, and animation for commercial projects as well as fine art. She spent around 9 years in New York before she realized that the life she had built was too fast-paced.

In this episode, Katie talks about all her accomplishments the work she has done over the past decade, and what prompted her to change directions. It’s not easy to build a successful life and then pack it all up to start all over again, but Katie did it! While Katie’s art brought her clients and created a stable life for her in New York, she has always felt more connected with nature. Camping and traveling are some of the things where she feels free, and deep down, she always longed for that slow, mindful life.

For Katie, it’s important to listen to her inner voice as she talks about the challenges she faced when she made the decision to move to the countryside. In Katie, every artist can find that inspiration to keep evolving, even if it means leaving behind everything they have ever known.

To find out more, tune in to this week’s podcast and listen to the unstoppable Katie Rodgers talk about how she constantly challenges herself and why it’s important for artists to push their limits. 

TimestampSummary
00:00.00Introduction and excitement about the guest’s work
01:30.40Guest’s childhood fascination with fashion
03:30.47Transition from hobby to business
04:40.50Personal growth and changes in artistic journey
06:03.40Rediscovering creativity and moving away from a certain style
07:04.56Moving work out of home and starting a garden
08:16.27Shift in focus from fashion to nature
09:01.44Challenges faced with agency and changing numbers
09:59.61Agency suggests going back to previous style
10:00.00End of conversation
09:59.61Introduction
10:06.68Katie’s decision to leave New York
10:28.46The courage it took to make the change
11:05.99Charu’s childhood creativity
11:25.33Embracing cultural aspects in their work
12:14.20Katie’s search for belonging
13:08.15Charu’s struggle with embracing her culture
14:02.13Katie’s mixed upbringing
15:10.91Breaking barriers and evolving as artists
17:21.93Katie’s fear of abandoning her previous work
18:11.30Questioning the meaning of their work
19:37.86Feeling burnt out and shifting focus
19:50.53Finding balance as an artist
20:40.54Struggling with creative satisfaction and commercial success
21:51.10Figuring out the balance and direction as an artist
22:29.60Dealing with the impact of personal life on creativity
24:03.36Losing people from the past due to artistic evolution
25:41.43Katie Rodgers’ journey as an artist on the internet
26:17.31Early adoption of social media and setting up a website
28:14.46Overcoming fear and figuring out technology on her own
29:00.77Embracing new things and playing with technology
29:48.77Unexpected success and job opportunities as an artist
29:48.77Introduction
30:07.36First job and working overseas
31:21.29Working with major brands
32:33.87Transitioning to full-time artist
33:41.76Navigating the world of agencies and clients
34:05.90Terrifying experiences and figuring things out
35:05.40Pushing creative boundaries and challenging oneself
37:14.41Dealing with self-criticism and creative struggles
38:48.45Pursuing more and embracing discomfort
40:16.53Creating new worlds in creative projects
40:22.92Creating new worlds as creatives
40:32.70Transition from paper fashion to a more grounded world
41:27.59Feeling the same when working in different worlds
42:24.64Seeking a deeper connection to work
43:10.31Feeling calm and at peace in nature
44:21.98Starting over and injecting energy back into work
45:22.10Different seasons in life and work
46:13.95Insecurity about sharing work online
46:56.50Typical quiet days working at home
48:34.97Feeling connected to nature as a luxury
49:28.54Advice for those navigating change and finding themselves
50:18.36Authenticity and self-expression
50:37.20Going with your instincts
51:09.75Upcoming campaign
51:45.69Support on social media and website
51:49.10Enjoyed the conversation
51:52.86Thank you

00:00.00
charukaarora
Great. So we’re recording now welcome to the podcast Kitie god I cannot tell you how excited I am and I was holding off for this story because I really wanted to record this.

00:04.36
Katie Rodgers
Um, okay thank you for having me I’m so excited to talk to you.

00:12.85
Katie Rodgers
And.

00:17.30
charukaarora
You know how I found I just mentioned before we started recording I was I was um I recently you know, enrolled myself into my fashion course and we had this one of the earliest assignments that we had to go and see the internet find an artist. We really love and copy her work or his work. So I quickly went onto the internet I quickly. Ah, ah you know went on Pinterest and I searched and made a few searches and I found your work at that point it wasn’t Katie Rogers and it was paper fashion illustrations and oh my goodness and I copied one of your works I’m going to send that dit to you.

00:38.36
Katie Rodgers
Um.

00:49.99
Katie Rodgers
Right? yeah.

00:55.99
Katie Rodgers
Please do.

00:56.19
charukaarora
And I’m going to also link it here and it was this red I remember you you were making these beautiful linked drawings and these runway fashion drawings and I was doing fashion and oh my god I was so obsessed I still am. But my god you were one of the first real person like as an artist when I felt like okay this is an artist I want to follow I want to love and you were one of those early people. So I for me this is very special because I found you? Ah, you were 1 of my inking to my passion. So Thank you so much for coming.

01:30.40
Katie Rodgers
Oh that’s so nice. Yeah, you’re welcome I’m so happy to be here and hear that story it like brings me back to something that feels like another life to me which I’m sure we’ll get into.

01:42.12
charukaarora
Oh my god and that is where I want to actually pick in this kind of thing. Ah yes, you know you’ve had so from being paper fashions and I remember that was I think early years of your work but you really took off you were doing these amazing shoes live paintings.

01:48.33
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, ah.

01:55.28
Katie Rodgers
You.

01:59.47
charukaarora
And I think it was early years of internet. Also I think very few artists were on the internet let alone like you know have a website you had a website I remember because I was doing a thorough research on you and you were all over pinterest and there was so much article in press and media from then to here you’ve had.

02:04.35
Katie Rodgers
I.

02:16.60
charukaarora
You know so many new changes and evolutions and you evolved so much as an artist. What do you have to say about it. How does that change and this journey feels.

02:18.29
Katie Rodgers
I.

02:28.60
Katie Rodgers
I mean it’s such a big question. Ah um, I’ve been thinking a lot about it the past few years especially um I think it’s just you know I started everything when I was in my early 20 s and I just it was something that came from. My my childhood really is that I grew up in sort of a countryside area in Georgia and I would just dream about fashion I was like this is so opposite from where I live I grew up with 3 brothers. We would just like play outside in the dirt all day.

02:49.61
charukaarora
Okay.

03:04.50
Katie Rodgers
And I loved that but I was like what is this other world I see in magazines and you know on Tv and I was mesmerized by that and I was just determined like I always knew I would leave where I was from and I just wanted to like see what that world was and I became obsessed with it. And I started drawing fashion because of that and I think over the years you know I I loved it and it it became a business at a certain point and um and all of those things change things.

03:30.47
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

03:38.71
Katie Rodgers
I mean it just shifts a little bit as you go from Hobby Dream World to business and also at this seems. Yeah, yeah, exactly I was not prepared for it because I didn’t set out necessarily to make that happen.

03:40.74
charukaarora
To yeah and you’re not prepared for it because we look at it very differently.

03:58.36
Katie Rodgers
But as it started happening I think it continued to happen because I did love it and I loved the business side of things and I still do I find it really? yeah I found it fascinating and it was like I love solving problems and figuring things out so it was sort of like diving into.

04:05.50
charukaarora
Oh you did? well. Ah.

04:17.57
Katie Rodgers
Okay I love art cool but like what do I do with this and you know I would just like spend all night like thank god for the internet and I would just Google on that long and try to figure things out and how to make it work. Um, but I think over the years you know I started to grow up.

04:22.53
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

04:28.18
charukaarora
Wow.

04:37.13
Katie Rodgers
And you start to become yourself and get to know yourself and I think over those years I started to change a bit and you know I was so young when I started and like how could you know like I just I wasn’t ready to or not that I wasn’t ready but I.

04:40.50
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

04:56.14
Katie Rodgers
Just beginning my journey I think into that world and I think it’s like crazy to me that I would just stop there. You know like I’m going to keep keep going and keep digging in.

05:03.43
charukaarora
Absolutely absolutely absolutely you know? Also I think did you feel at that point you know you you have evolved so much as an artist and I you know it’s so exciting for me for someone who you know who’s following your work. And you know and also when you follow someone for with me the pack and the you know I’ve found you I was obsessed by you and somewhere in between life happened of course for all of us and you know and I missed and I didn’t know who where you were what was happening and one day I found you back on Instagram. And it was like oh when it was so exciting for me to see your work because at that point it looked different and it then it looked different but um I I just don’t know there is always this as that I don’t know if sometimes you just don’t love someone just because of that there’s something more than just the. Way someone makes a work or something and I was so intrigued and I was so excited to see you know how this is another thing that um, it opened up a new world. Let’s say because I knew that part of your work and um, this excited me more? Um, but what really.

06:03.40
Katie Rodgers
Business.

06:13.10
Katie Rodgers
A.

06:20.40
charukaarora
Tickled me was you know I loved but because not very like a lot of artists have felt feel caged including myself and you know, um and we go through these phases of we feel like we know we need to be known for a certain style. Ah, certain thing and we need to keep doing this which feels very contrary to creative instincts our creative ambition our own designer desires. Did you feel that when did you start to feel this shift that you were moving away and you wanted to move forward.

06:45.50
Katie Rodgers
Yes.

06:55.87
Katie Rodgers
Um I.

06:57.15
charukaarora
In fact, I think.

06:58.50
Katie Rodgers
Yeah I think it was 2018 it was like the moment I moved my work outside of my home and I had worked out of my home and my home being like a tiny New York apartment but I had worked out of my home forever and.

07:04.56
charukaarora
Um, who.

07:09.71
charukaarora
Apartment.

07:17.20
Katie Rodgers
I was just like I can’t do it anymore like I’m going crazy because it’s like you know your work is in in such a small space too your work sort of infiltrates traits your life and you can only use certain mediums because it just it gets messy and so I moved my work out of my home and.

07:22.89
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

07:34.15
charukaarora
This was a New York itself

07:35.11
Katie Rodgers
From that point I think everything changed and yes I think 2018 so I had been doing it for um around 10 years at that point probably 9 years working um but

07:50.42
charukaarora
Wow.

07:54.64
Katie Rodgers
I I just felt a shift in myself and I I already knew that like something was changing and I was like maybe I’ll just get a studio I’ll ah try something else like something just didn’t feel right and so I did that. And then I started a garden because I had like a little outdoor space at my studio and that really shifted my mind. It was just like the most incredible thing to me. It was like like planting a seed and watching it grow and it’s so simple but it just it really like.

08:16.27
charukaarora
Um, ah.

08:29.65
Katie Rodgers
Pulled me away from fashion and I just stopped and it was almost like I reconnected with my childhood of how I grew up and.

08:30.46
charukaarora
Well.

08:35.93
charukaarora
Oh I was about to say that? yeah.

08:42.87
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, it pulled me back to that and I suddenly was like snapped out of this fantasy of the fashion world because I I didn’t necessarily connect to that world I enjoyed it for a while for sure but it didn’t truly feel like me at the end of the day and um.

08:50.78
charukaarora
Yeah. Him.

09:01.44
Katie Rodgers
And so that point I started to shift and I started to like incorporate more nature into my work and and it was a really hard 2 years because I had been with an agency in New York for 10 years and they had helped.

09:13.83
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

09:18.70
Katie Rodgers
Build my career and they weren’t happy because my numbers started to go down which is what they measure like social media and you know my my work was shifting some clients that I was working with.

09:19.66
charukaarora
Of course.

09:32.20
charukaarora
Um, clients were not a good fit animal.

09:35.93
Katie Rodgers
You know they were a little confused. Yeah, and so like financially your numbers go down and I met with my agency in 2019 and they were like okay, something’s not working like you need to figure it out. And they asked me they said you need to go back to what you were doing and I just remember thinking like how can I go I can’t go back like that’s crazy and like part of me was like should I go back am I am I throwing everything away. Um, so i.

09:59.61
charukaarora
Yeah, that.

10:06.68
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

10:11.43
Katie Rodgers
I had like a ah very confused 2019 and that’s when I was like I just I can’t something it just didn’t feel right. Everything about it and so I was like I need to change something so I decided to pack everything up and leave New York

10:28.46
charukaarora
My goodness that must have taken extreme courage for you I mean you know there is 1 thing I feel like a lot of artists. There’s 1 thing about finding your style but I think another really hard face is when you found something and.

10:30.46
Katie Rodgers
And just go on an adventure. Yeah.

10:48.35
charukaarora
Then you reach your point when you know it is time to let go and you know like you know now it’s another chapter and I think we all as artists know that and I feel like and you know I also resonate with the idea I feel like something like this in my own self I grew up in a smaller town I wasn’t.

10:51.68
Katie Rodgers
A.

11:05.99
charukaarora
I wasn’t interested in fashion per se in that sense. What I was really but I thought I was interested in fashion. Um, but what I was as know as as a person interested in was because I grew up in a smaller town I Would you know I just when we were speaking you know I would go with my mom and I would thrift those clothes and I would you know.

11:11.90
Katie Rodgers
Um.

11:25.33
charukaarora
Um, patch up things and embroidery materials for me that was creativity I think that was my first form of expression I learned as a child so I would even before I picked up pings I picked up, you know my mom’s um, my mom’s things and heard. Ah, patches and her embroideries and I would sit with her on a Telo shop as she would piece things together so that for me was my creativity but then um I was intrigued because when I saw the oh there’s this whole world of fashion and.

11:50.72
Katie Rodgers
In the name.

12:01.62
charukaarora
I Remember um when I when I I was you know, being an artist like you know, being a designer and my mom used to tell me what is what is in fashion right now and I would tell her I don’t know I don’t care and I I figured that I didn’t like you know something didn’t feel right.

12:14.20
Katie Rodgers
And.

12:20.22
charukaarora
But I’ve also started to notice even my own work as an artist. Um as I aged I feel like I’m going back to where I came from even my own work as an artist and I started painting and then I started now I’m going again, resonating back to materials that felt home to me that that I think both. First materials that I resonated with.

12:39.40
Katie Rodgers
Um, yeah, it’s It’s funny how that happens like you sort of rediscover it like you’re running away from it and then suddenly you rediscover it down the line and it’s like this magical thing.

12:50.68
charukaarora
Yeah, are you not proud of it. Okay, done with something were you so you know were you? um proud of um, growing up in a countryside while all those years while you were working in fashion because for me I think I have this journey.

12:55.43
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, yeah.

13:08.15
charukaarora
But I felt like I wasn’t very proud I never I would always say this I don’t want to make these indian paintings I don’t want to include this like I want to make more western in work and like you know all of that and today I feel like I have become so much more like every day I want to embrace more of my culture embrace more of handicraft embrace all of those aspects.

13:18.22
Katie Rodgers
Man.

13:27.29
charukaarora
At one point I Absolutely didn’t want I feel I I felt like I wasn’t enough if I wasn’t doing if I was doing that did you feel any of that.

13:38.21
Katie Rodgers
Um I I don’t know if I necessarily felt that I know what you mean because I’ve had moments of that. But I think my family was sort of from all over like my mom grew up in Asia my dad grew up in the northeast and my grandparents were all over and. I think because of that I didn’t necessarily like I was born and raised in the south but I never really felt southern like I I don’t feel it in my bones. So I almost felt like I was trying to find the place that I belonged and I haven’t I don’t feel that.

14:02.13
charukaarora
Um, hello. Yeah.

14:14.86
Katie Rodgers
Where I grew up necessarily. There are aspects to it that feel like home to me and really beautiful, but it doesn’t necessarily feel like my home if that makes sense I don’t know why. But yeah, um, but I can see.

14:16.52
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

14:22.47
charukaarora
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

14:33.78
Katie Rodgers
I think I was always sort of like looking for the place or I was looking for something to make me feel like this is my place and I still I don’t know if like I love really I feel like ah.

14:38.12
charukaarora
The place I resonate with that feeling for sure. Yeah, hundred percent hundred percent

14:51.64
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, it’s like I love everywhere I go and for different reasons and I just enjoy the adventure of it and I mean I could land here for the rest of my life and be happy. Um, but I think I have discovered that which to your point before is that.

14:51.92
charukaarora
Yeah.

15:10.91
Katie Rodgers
Grew up sort of countryside. So maybe that’s why I’m more drawn to those worlds now but it doesn’t necessarily need to be where I grew up.

15:18.21
charukaarora
Yeah, makes Sense. No I think Also I think one of the hardest things about this is on the contrary as artists I think we both like like you know I’m sure anyone who’s listened to this episode who’s an artist would resonate. Oh you know a lot of our people you know say oh I Want to. Um I Remember when I entered into the arts and I saved this a lot of time on the Podcast. So I didn’t come from an art school so I was at ideal ideally am I’m a train designer not a trained artist if that makes if if that counts anywhere. So I remember when I started working in a shared studio space.

15:55.70
Katie Rodgers
Um, it does.

15:57.39
charukaarora
So there was this um there were few people and they would you know? oh you are oh you are a designer This is an artist. This is an illustrator. This is the so I felt like you know I felt like there was so much caging and so much limiting like um, even though as you know as.

16:06.24
Katie Rodgers
Um.

16:15.17
charukaarora
As creativesu ourselves. We know what we want like even if someone who’s trained as and as ah I think even if you see the field of graphic design to today. It’s so fluid. Um, you know form and functions have changed creativity has expanded versus artists are making making their own merge lines. We are making our own products. I think the lines of blood so much because we all understand that our desires and our creative ambitions we know we don’t feel good being in 1 place. Let’s say it like that get to the contrary belief. You know we’re always set the notion of you have to evolve in one style you have to ah a lot of you know we sold the idea that.

16:43.26
Katie Rodgers
Um.

16:52.77
charukaarora
For the rest of your life. You’d be making this. You’d be known for this. You want to be known for something How how does that? How how did that feel breaking that barrier for yourself. How hard was that to break it for yourself specifically for someone like you had tremendous success with what you were doing I think it’s much easier to change.

16:57.47
Katie Rodgers
By.

17:11.88
charukaarora
But you know things are not working. But once you have everything you needed. You know this is your success and then knowing that you have to walk away and start afresh.

17:13.86
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, yeah.

17:21.93
Katie Rodgers
Yeah I think that was like the hardest thing for me to deal with and it took me a couple of years to really work through it because I exactly it came off of that and I was sort of like at the height of everything and I was just like wait. No. And then I’m like do I have an issue where I’m like running away from something good because it’s good. You know like is this some sort of like deep rooted problem and and and I think that’s a real thing.

17:41.59
charukaarora
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely.

17:55.67
Katie Rodgers
I Don’t necessarily think that was why I wanted to change though and I think for me, it was scary because you know I eventually I parted ways with my agency and like it was all just like a lot of change at once it was moving. It was.

18:06.60
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

18:11.30
Katie Rodgers
You know, not having my agency anymore. It was changing my work and being really confused about everything and it was just and you know I get messages all the time that are like why don’t you draw your dancers anymore and I’m like did I make like a terrible mistake like did I give up too soon and it’s. Not necessarily that I gave up but did I abandon those ideas too soon and but I think the thing that really got to me was that a lot of that work I was building over a decade was built around commercial. Businesses and built like you know with a lot of the work I was doing It was incredible and I loved it and I will never say I didn’t love it because I did but it was all very fast and it was very like we have to sell this and that and this and it was um.

18:48.87
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

19:07.45
Katie Rodgers
It was all really great. But I think I got burnt out on it and I got to a point where I was like what is sorry.

19:08.96
charukaarora
I I think yeah, no, no go ahead.

19:18.50
Katie Rodgers
No I think I was just questioning it at some point and I was like what does any of this mean like you know you have start to have those deeper thoughts where you’re like is this all just meaningless because I’m touching the surface and I never have time to go an inch deeper or a foot deeper.

19:35.62
charukaarora
Um, know a 2 but um.

19:37.86
Katie Rodgers
It’s always just like it’s got to be quick and I have like two weeks to do a project or I don’t know it just always felt like I never had a chance to like die then and it started to feel very very meaningless to me and that’s when I started to like shift.

19:50.53
charukaarora
Yeah, and I think you know I think that’s so strange. Um, you know how as artists we it’s It’s like finding a balance like sometimes um if you have um.

20:06.98
charukaarora
It’s like you know how do I say it? Um, you had everything that you needed everything an artist wore any creative desires. You know you had best of the clients you had someone who was representing you. You had you know, an incredible work. But I think what you were missing was. Your creative satisfaction because as as a creative if we do not as an artist if you if your heart desires to go in a certain direction even if it fails even if it does not make sense even if it’s a mess you want to go down that road and I think a lot of artists on the contrary struggle with a lot of.

20:40.54
Katie Rodgers
Right.

20:44.10
charukaarora
Artists on the comments struggle with you know they make what they want but they don’t have you know, let’s say the financial success the commercial success. You know the representation. It’s like we’re always striking for this balance which is how to be balanced having that you know, um.

20:54.26
Katie Rodgers
Um.

20:57.13
Katie Rodgers
And.

21:02.67
charukaarora
Following your creativity following those ideas and yet having that stability yet having those credibility yet not feeling boxed and being tied into one ah form you know.

21:10.81
Katie Rodgers
The.

21:17.40
Katie Rodgers
Right? Yeah, it’s It’s a really hard thing to figure out because of course like for me I had set up a few things that gave me passive income. So I gave myself some time.

21:26.10
charukaarora
Yeah.

21:32.64
Katie Rodgers
You know and I had like left New York and cut back on my expenses and things like that and that was all part of the plan of like I need to go see what more there is and just go on an adventure see what happens and explore. Because I I didn’t have time to explore anymore and I just felt like I was repeating the same thing over and over which is when you do find a style and you do find you know your thing people come to you for that thing.

21:51.10
charukaarora
Um, constanting. Yeah yeah, but happens.

22:03.11
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

22:05.52
Katie Rodgers
And it’s completely understandable and and it can be an amazing thing. But I think figuring out the balance now like I’m dealing with that Currently, it’s like well where what direction am I going in and where do I see this going in terms of like living you know, stably and and. Bringing in enough financially and building success around it in a way that feels authentic to me but also doesn’t totally lose people from my past I mean.

22:29.60
charukaarora
Yeah.

22:36.43
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

22:37.81
Katie Rodgers
Well I will and I have lost a lot of people from my past and it’s not necessarily that it’s like like sort of bridging everything. Um.

22:41.40
charukaarora
Um, of course.

22:44.38
charukaarora
Yeah, and I think it’s evolution I think sometimes I think the notion that we have to be a certain person a certain artist throughout all our lives I think it is too too much to ask ourselves I think.

23:01.52
Katie Rodgers
Yeah.

23:01.69
charukaarora
And also I feel like our art is an extension of who we are um I remember my work shifted I feel this current shift again in my work but I also felt that and I think I as a person my work has changed so much like ah in a couple of years and I think we have that freedom when you’re.

23:15.47
Katie Rodgers
And.

23:19.22
charukaarora
You know you don’t have so many eyes on you. So um, when my mom passed away I think I felt a major major shift because I as a person went into a very different place I have changed and that has impacted my thoughts.

23:26.89
Katie Rodgers
New.

23:37.27
charukaarora
That has impacted what I’m looking now for and that has impacted my art and it changed drastically and and I think it’s not changing from there I think it’s evolving as I am evolving as my experiences are evolving and I’m sure like you know, um.

23:49.70
Katie Rodgers
Um, yeah.

23:53.95
charukaarora
If we do not find and embrace that and it feels like it’s very suffocating to be honest.

24:03.36
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, you have to I think it’s just part of being human and like ah so often you see people’s work online but there’s so much going on in a human’s personal life as well that you may not ever see and. Those things can really shift somebody and change how they think how they act or not how they how they think and like what they want to create and just like their overall passion for something you know so like a big shift like your mom passing is just.

24:18.95
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

24:32.00
charukaarora
Um, and.

24:38.30
Katie Rodgers
It sort of like puts you on a trajectory. That’s a little bit different than you experience the fore I’m sure.

24:43.88
charukaarora
Absolutely um, kitty I also want to you know you one of the earliest like how Instagram has become and social media and online business. Everything has become mainstream today. We all know that you know everybody now knows okay, being on Instagram can bring you our business.

24:55.60
Katie Rodgers
From me.

25:01.68
charukaarora
You know, being ah being online is important and having like having to make as an artist on the internet. But I think you were one of the first earliest people who did that you did not only do that but also found success for the work that you were doing I want to talk about you know, um, from then to now. A lot of people who rose like you know who found a lot more attention. Um, the good and bad of both the internet like you know how it impacts you positively. But how it also impacts you creatively and that may not be the best case scenario I really want to talk to you about your journey. Finding your way like you know can you take me through um, how did you find your way and found success in New York you know doing these dancing cars and paper fashion and how it also impacted you you know being ah, an artist on the internet.

25:41.43
Katie Rodgers
And.

25:58.42
charukaarora
Also impacted you as an as an artist. Let’s say.

26:03.95
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, um I think for me in the beginning I’ve always liked my entire life I love experimenting with anything and everything and when I saw you know these apps started and I think Twitter was first and then Instagram.

26:17.31
charukaarora
Um, you were on Twitter first. Oh wow.

26:20.30
Katie Rodgers
And I just yeah I was on Twitter and I remember I got my first job and I only had Twitter um and which feels so weird to me because you couldn’t even post pictures back then but I would post links to my website and it was new and.

26:25.45
charukaarora
Really. Yeah, and at that time having of that site was also as in common like you know, putting up a website as as ah as a illustrator designer artist I think you were like pretty much you.

26:42.71
Katie Rodgers
Um, yeah.

26:49.39
charukaarora
You are way faster than a lot of people getting on the grip on internet.

26:51.74
Katie Rodgers
Yeah I just felt drawn to it I was like that’s cool like the internet’s cool and I remember when I got my first like really I got like a hand-me-down laptop and I was like this is so amazing. This is cool. And I would just like stay up all night and at that time I had just gotten my first real job outside of college and I felt like I suddenly had all this free time because I was used to. You know when you’re in school you’re you’re in school all day you’d like do stuff all night and.

27:20.97
charukaarora
Busy.

27:27.36
charukaarora
You know.

27:28.23
Katie Rodgers
You know you’re in a different place and then when I started working it was like okay I have after work like all this time. So I just wanted to paint I just felt like like oh I Just want to keep painting for fun because I wasn’t doing that at work really and um. And I was like I just want a place to put everything So That’s when I started the website and it was all just for fun and I just I remember sitting on the.

27:51.76
charukaarora
But how did you figure the tech. How did you like even I think even today artist topic with I don’t know how to set up a website I don’t know how to use social media were you scared of social media. Did you feel like oh my god disaster this because you know, um, when anything is new. We feel like oh is this weird is. Does this make sense. Um, you know did you have those questions and how did you find these things I don’t know ah how many resources were there like you know for artists at that point.

28:14.46
Katie Rodgers
Yeah.

28:23.16
Katie Rodgers
I don’t know I I think I’ve always been sort of driven to do things on my own like um, yeah, or like using Google or just like trying it. You know playing with things like I love doing that and like figuring it out.

28:26.15
charukaarora
Um, so you figured all by yourself.

28:33.79
charukaarora
Yeah, ah.

28:40.46
Katie Rodgers
So that was all part of it for me and it’s still very much as even with Ai and all of this like I play with it quite often and I don’t like share any of that. But um I do like playing with it because I don’t think.

28:43.92
charukaarora
Oh Wow Oh Wow yeah.

28:57.23
Katie Rodgers
The best way to go into new things is to say that’s stupid or that’s nothing like because look at like the history of ever everything. Yeah you know people people have reactions when new things come around and I’m just like why Not just.

29:00.77
charukaarora
Um, yeah, absolutely you have to put your hands into it.

29:16.20
Katie Rodgers
Try and play with it and see what happens it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to stick or it’s going to work for me. Um, but like Ai doesn’t like sing to me in the same way. But I do enjoy certain aspects of it. So it’s just like playing with things and. And then it like started to build from there and then it’s like you know all of those things were new and I started playing with it and then I started to like get people were like what looking at things I did and I was like what’s happening. And then I remember I started to get jobs and I was like what’s happening. This is so weird. Ah so I was working as a I was in Boston and I was working as a designer at Reebok um, the shoe company.

29:48.77
charukaarora
What what were you doing at that point where were you in your life.

30:01.82
charukaarora
Ah, okay, yeah.

30:07.36
Katie Rodgers
And so that was like my first job and I loved it. Um, but that’s when everything started and I just um, yeah, it just all happened from there and then you know at a certain point I took a job with them overseas and Spain.

30:08.15
charukaarora
Um, okay.

30:22.81
charukaarora
Okay, so you sound a lot.

30:26.21
Katie Rodgers
And long story short I I did yeah um and I I loved that because I didn’t travel much growing up at all and so like being able to do that on my own and my adult life was so fun.

30:34.40
charukaarora
Um, okay.

30:41.84
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

30:43.73
Katie Rodgers
And just like exploring things and it terrified my parents they were like you’re moving where you’re moving to Spain like why? Um, but I was like that’s so fun. Um, and you know in the long run I ended up quitting that job and because I couldn’t do my. Art and that job so that’s what led me to doing it full time. Basically I was like I need to choose between the two jobs so I be it.

31:08.29
charukaarora
And how did you grow paper fashions at that point. Yeah, absolutely for sure and specifically when you were getting attention.

31:21.29
Katie Rodgers
Yeah I think because I was early on there. Um I started to get jobs and then I started to get really creative with the platforms and I remember like coach hired me the um fashion brand and then I got it? yeah.

31:32.77
charukaarora
The brat.

31:39.14
Katie Rodgers
And then I got a job with um, Alicia keys the singer and it was like blew me away and I was like I don’t like how do I do both of these jobs and I was charging nothing and it was but they were like the most wonderful people and I was just like there’s this whole other world out there.

31:48.10
charukaarora
Oh wow.

31:58.30
Katie Rodgers
And like what would it be like if I was doing it with all of my time versus just my nights and my mornings before work and so that’s when I was like weighing you know I had been doing it I think for a year or two before I decided to go full time with it. So I had sort of saved the extra money. Um, and I was like I remember my dad said to me and he was an entrepreneur and he said like you have no children you have savings like you’ll like why not try it and see what happens.

32:33.87
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

32:35.86
Katie Rodgers
And so I did um and I’m really happy I did but it just sort of snowballed I think like working with big brand and names at that time and social media was so early that things started to just accumulate.

32:37.99
charukaarora
Oh wow.

32:55.11
Katie Rodgers
Fast, um and it doesn’t quite happen that way. Yeah.

32:55.89
charukaarora
Yeah, and you were working with all major brands. Yeah, you were working with all major fashion brands you were doing these fake fashion Runway shows I remember and you know, um I feel like um, how. What I’m interested in is as someone you know early in your early 20 s getting that kind of success. Um, getting you know, having your creative dreams come true at that point you know I think not from even reaching that point a lot of people even don’t go go that Far. They’re not able to find that kind of success also with the you know a lot of people want to have all of those things in their own creative queries and a lot of them them don’t have that but you found it Pretty young and early. Um, what was the hardest thing for you navigating all of this you know.

33:41.76
Katie Rodgers
And.

33:51.31
charukaarora
Also the world of you know the agencies then working with clients and then understanding what being an artist means and you know how how were you navigating all of this.

34:05.90
Katie Rodgers
It was terrifying like completely terrifying and I think I’m like I’m very introverted and so it was really scary for me to like go to New York city and meet with an agent and like go meet with a client that was like I remember I met with Nebisco. Like 1 of the first people and it terrified me and they asked me to do an animated video commercial sort of thing and I used my brother my brother and I worked on it together and he did the music for it and I was just like I have no idea how to make an animation I have no idea how to make ah an.

34:32.70
charukaarora
Um, okay.

34:38.71
charukaarora
Um, wow.

34:45.95
Katie Rodgers
Illustrated video at all. But I never said that I was just like of course I can do that and I think like that is one of the key things to a lot of success in general with anything is to just figure things out and like take things when you get an opportunity take it and try it.

34:48.24
charukaarora
2 is that.

35:05.40
Katie Rodgers
I could have failed but like it. It worked out I figured it out and I learned so much so quickly having to figure that out. You know, um I sort of discovered new ways to work and and having to use new software um to create it. And like looking back. It’s like a kind of a funny video to me because it feels so like you know, weird, but it worked at the time and it was and it was fine but those things are all really terrifying and anything that you do I think that’s.

35:28.50
charukaarora
Um, like the yeah.

35:43.16
Katie Rodgers
Awesome. It’s terrifying like everything I’ve done. It’s terrifying is amazing like I enjoy it so much.

35:48.11
charukaarora
Yeah, and also I think um I think what I love the thrill of doing these things is like I feel like I keep challenging and I you know I have I have a very simple large look like I would sign up for things just because I feel like oh this is interesting. How do I do this.

35:57.97
Katie Rodgers
Okay.

36:05.87
charukaarora
But also like how far can I push myself like um, you know what is possible What is possible creatively like what is possible like can I do this and when I do I’m like oh my God I didn’t know that I had it in me I didn’t know like I didn’t think I could.

36:10.79
Katie Rodgers
So.

36:25.17
charukaarora
I could have the cuts to you know, take up a project like this push myself and I think that just that learning curve is just it’s like it’s like a creative adventure.

36:25.42
Katie Rodgers
Um, yeah.

36:35.80
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, exactly and I think everything in life is like that and if you just approach things like when terrible things happen to me I try to approach it in that way where it’s like okay like this happened like what do I do with it and it helps me a lot. Like you know it’s helped me like get over things and figure things out, but it’s just you have to approach things of like pushing yourself beyond it and like finding like methods to do new things and. Like you never know what you can do until you try or until you challenge yourself and um, that’s like a great part of being creative or just human in general.

37:14.41
charukaarora
That is true. Yeah, and I think it as Creative. We are naturally risk takers I think this is the work that we do if we start believing on our instincts we are falling out. You know. So Why not take a bigger leap. Why not rather fail than regret.

37:39.86
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, exactly and I think I really let that go the past two or three years and I didn’t I was like stuck because I was so confused with everything I left behind and like I wanted something else and. I think I I became so critical of myself and my own work and everything that I kind of went to like a dark place and that became debilitating where I couldn’t create anything and I just felt like everything was terrible and and like I didn’t even want to do.

37:59.65
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

38:14.91
charukaarora
I Hate those stages. Yeah.

38:17.80
Katie Rodgers
Like create anything new or push myself. Yeah, it’s hard and they do happen and um and I learned a lot from that. But I think like the best way to get through that is to work through it and it took me a really long time to figure that out.

38:28.40
charukaarora
To it and also being I think embracing these because I think the most growth is also when during these periods while we are pushing ourselves is because I think that is also a sign of.

38:36.41
Katie Rodgers
Unfortunately.

38:48.45
charukaarora
Um, knowing that you’re pushing the envelope we could have settled you could have settled um, not that people don’t settle. But um, once you know that you want more I think it takes a lot more conviction and courage to I think wanting we all want.

38:53.67
Katie Rodgers
Um.

39:07.30
charukaarora
But chasing it risking for it and putting in the work for it is something that really you know really makes things happen and going through these ugly uncomfortable lost phases.

39:19.58
Katie Rodgers
Um.

39:24.97
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, it’s exactly that. Um, but it’s all just yeah, go ahead.

39:25.65
charukaarora
Tell Yeah, go it? great. No no I was asking another question but I want to finish you to finish this fast.

39:36.14
Katie Rodgers
But I don’t even but remember what I was going to say.

39:39.73
charukaarora
Ah I’m you know what I was about to ask was now you’ve crafted this whole new life. Whole new work. whole new creative world so starkly different and so interesting. Um I feel like you’re you’re like. I think people who challenge themselves I feel like having a creative one creative life is fortunate enough but then also living multiple I think but as creatives recreate our own worlds and you know once you’re doing a project and like you like I’m this person who would do 1 project and I have a phase and then I obsess and then everything around me looks like that.

40:09.73
Katie Rodgers
Um.

40:16.53
charukaarora
Everything is that part of that story and 1 day I’m over with it I feel like okay I’m done with this tapto I want another story so I feel like as creatives. We have this magical power of creating this new worlds whenever we want and then live in them.

40:22.92
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, so.

40:32.70
charukaarora
You created the first world. It was paper fashion. You lived it in 10 years um, being on every ah show and you know a lot of um, a lot of people that today desire like you on the age of social media. Everybody’s going to runway shows and having photographed and like you know all this. Fancy and charm and now you’ve created completely opposite ah more um, grounding and more creative. You know I there 2 different enarchess. How do you feel? how do do these.

41:06.29
Katie Rodgers
When.

41:10.57
charukaarora
Both worlds feel differently to you and what you you know? what are you? um, seeking it in this one. What is your heart is what is your heart is iron now. First let’s talk about how does it feel different even as an artist itself.

41:27.59
Katie Rodgers
Um.

41:30.37
charukaarora
Being in 2 different words like these.

41:30.49
Katie Rodgers
I mean it feels very much like the same in some sense to me like when I’m alone in my workspace and just it feels the same way. It felt when I sat at my little desk in my apartment in New York and

41:34.71
charukaarora
Oh.

41:48.98
Katie Rodgers
It’s just kind of like exactly what you said where you sort of like channel vision into your own world and you start to like create things and to me it’s the Same. It’s the same application. It’s just a different outcome that our output I guess and um for me now. It’s like. I Just want to feel more connected to my work and exactly what you said like the fashion stuff it kind of comes with you know going to events and like which I love like it was so cool to see that from somebody who never experienced any of that growing Up. Um.

42:24.64
charukaarora
Yeah.

42:24.94
Katie Rodgers
But I quickly realized it wasn’t me. It wasn’t my world and it wasn’t a place that really inspired me and so I just felt like drawn to this other world and I didn’t necessarily say like I’m going to move to New Mexico and like build my life there. I just came here because I I felt good here and I enjoyed being in this place before I moved and I was like I’m just going to go there and I’m going to try and see what happens with the with the idea of it being temporary and it just felt good and it felt like creating.

42:50.97
charukaarora
Okay, okay.

43:02.20
Katie Rodgers
Here felt good. Um, and so in terms of like what do I want from that it’s just I want like a little bit deeper of a connection like to my own work like I remember thinking in New York I was like I would never put this work on my wall my own walls and like I felt.

43:10.31
charukaarora
Mark.

43:21.00
Katie Rodgers
Weird about that I was like is this a weird thing like is this okay that I um and I know I wasn’t necessarily creating fine art back then I was doing a lot of commercial work. But.

43:31.63
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

43:36.71
Katie Rodgers
I think I was drawn to create things that felt like me and felt grounded and connected with nature and I just I always feel like my best self just when I’m like on adventures or like I’m like camping or.

43:39.56
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

43:52.70
Katie Rodgers
You know, driving across the US or just somewhere like out where I can just like see everything and I’m in nature or experiencing something and I feel free and I think that is something I seek to like bring to my work and just find this like calm like.

43:56.44
charukaarora
Um, and.

44:10.48
Katie Rodgers
Those places just make me feel so calm and good and they bring me a lot of peace and I think I So I want to bring that into my work. Um, but that is where I am right now and I feel like I’m starting over and.

44:21.98
charukaarora
Died but are you we have because I think that you know the notion it does feel like that. But ideally I don’t think it. It truly is necessary that way because you for me, let’s say you know.

44:28.66
Katie Rodgers
I Feel like I’m just beginning I mean in some sense.

44:42.80
charukaarora
I’ve been following you for so long for me it. It feels like I have been following you on this adventure and for me, it’s like you know it’s just the same you. It’s um, it’s like it’s like it. It still feels the same I don’t know if that makes sense.

44:58.15
Katie Rodgers
Good.

44:59.45
charukaarora
And I think even as a person. Um I think we think that as creatives are starting move but you know you’ve brought a ton of experiences that you’ve learned and um and I think also like Pit stops I see my journey I often see this. You know we’re on a journey where sometimes we we have to go faster and that necessarially mean like you know the work we’re doing the life. You’re living and then there are days that you want to just slow down and you don’t want to work and you just want to go in and you know so it’s like there are seasons in life where um.

45:22.10
Katie Rodgers
And then.

45:30.91
Katie Rodgers
Um.

45:36.75
charukaarora
Where you’re doing the work That’s Ri risk as fast and that you know that requires you to be out and then there are faces that you would want to rest and regeneratnovate and find yourself and connect with yourself and when you feel ready you’re going to be out there back and and then you’ll come back again in so I think it’s like a it’s like a toss.

45:53.00
Katie Rodgers
Um, yeah, yeah, it it is and I feel like I’m just coming back in terms of like sharing things like.

45:56.12
charukaarora
That keeps happening at least I feel that way.

46:06.32
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

46:07.98
Katie Rodgers
For a long time I felt like very insecure about sharing the past few years on anything online because I I was so confused myself like I didn’t feel good about I kind of stopped posting much and I mean here and there I would but I just.

46:13.95
charukaarora
Um, did you disappear.

46:26.39
charukaarora
Um, yeah, finding us. Ah, yeah.

46:27.27
Katie Rodgers
Needed to like retreat and that’s when I started working on farms and just like doing different things. Yeah, and now I feel like I I’m ready to like inject some energy back into it again. So that feels good.

46:41.47
charukaarora
I Love that I’ve loved I’ve loved your travels I Love your stories. Oh my God The scenery it is so gorgeous. What does a typical day look like for you now and I love you studio. It’s it looks like ah all all the chemistry lab.

46:45.57
Katie Rodgers
Thanks! Thank you.

46:56.50
Katie Rodgers
Oh thanks, Oh I Love that oh cool. Yeah, um, my typical day now I mean my days are pretty quiet. Um.

46:59.25
charukaarora
Totally I can see those bottles I might.

47:12.38
Katie Rodgers
You know now and then I will I’m outside a lot and then I I tend to work like certain times of day and then you know once or twice a week I work on a flower farm. Um, and I don’t know like my days are so.

47:14.64
charukaarora
Well.

47:32.00
Katie Rodgers
Whatever needs to be done. It changes a lot So but I work at home and it’s just different. It’s different than like the lot the past life I’ve had working in cities and like I just have a little bit more space and it just feels more free like.

47:32.13
charukaarora
Ah, can.

47:43.37
charukaarora
Yeah, being in gardens. Ah, for sure you know I I moved a wave to my parents’ house when I was 18 I spent 10 years

47:51.10
Katie Rodgers
Yes.

47:58.43
charukaarora
Living by myself in the capital in delhi and growing up in a smaller town I always enjoyed the smallest space we used to have a garden. You know we would play outside. We would walk outside and it felt so natural even though not like it’s not the same as that.

48:10.10
Katie Rodgers
Um, but.

48:17.50
charukaarora
But even I even today I whenever I’m here in Agra and I’ve been staying here for the past two years I feel like I feel so much more connected to nature I feel like I have the liberty like to be in just to be outside just to be and it it feels like the biggest luxury.

48:34.97
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, it is and I’m like I love to be barefoot so much and so I love being somewhere where I can Yeah, it’s so nice and I can just like open the door and walk outside and like that is like I.

48:39.87
charukaarora
Ah, well same year same.

48:52.15
Katie Rodgers
Gift to me like I don’t know if I can not have that again in my life like I can’t not have it.

48:54.35
charukaarora
Lovely. Okay, 1 last question for anyone who’s in a similar state of life. Let’s say who feels who’s still either finding themselves or refining themselves and I’m going to take this advice because I feel like. I’m also right? Where at that point, what advice would you have from your own experience. What? What would you say for people who are navigating that part in their own lives artist women.

49:28.54
Katie Rodgers
Um, I think that like for me once I get a seed in my head and it’s like the seed of like you’re thinking of something else or you want to change or something’s not right I can ignore that and so I think.

49:46.41
Katie Rodgers
It’s easy to want to ignore it and stay comfortable but to me I see no difference between the uncomfortableness of changing and the uncomfortableness of not changing So It’s like which one propels you forward. You’re going to change if you don’t change I think you’ll just get you will be so like uninspired people around you will feel that and it will just radiate from you that.

50:17.56
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

50:18.36
Katie Rodgers
That’s not what you’re it doesn’t feel authentic to you. So like if you feel the need to change or find yourself keep going and like it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks it’s all about what you want to create because like how do you know? what? you can create until you keep.

50:33.97
charukaarora
Key doing I love yes god that is wonderful. Thank you so much Katie I am so so grateful for your time. Thank you for sharing with us I know it’s been.

50:37.20
Katie Rodgers
Going with where your mind’s leading you or your gut.

50:47.52
Katie Rodgers
Um, thanks for having me me too. Yeah.

50:53.44
charukaarora
Um, it’s been our pleasure to have you here and before I let you go for everyone who’s listening How can we support you where can we find your work. How can we support your work and if you have anything upcoming would you like to share with us.

51:09.75
Katie Rodgers
Um I do I have um, a campaign coming out that is sort of linked to my password and it’s coming out very soon. Um I did a holiday campaign and it will come out in the next few weeks

51:17.30
charukaarora
Um, oh Wow Okay, okay, just.

51:27.50
Katie Rodgers
And I’m excited to share that and um, but yeah, just any support is always welcome on social media or my website if you find interest in my work. Um, but yeah I’ve really enjoyed talking to you and.

51:45.69
Katie Rodgers
It’s nice to talk across the world.

51:49.10
charukaarora
Ah, damir Thank you so much I’ll just stop.

51:52.86
Katie Rodgers
Um, thank you.

About The Guest(s):
Katie Rodgers is an artist known for her paper fashion illustrations. She started her career in her early 20s and quickly gained success, working with major fashion brands and celebrities. However, she felt a shift in herself and her work, leading her to explore new creative avenues. Katie is passionate about nature and incorporates it into her artwork.

Summary:
Katie Rodgers discusses her journey as an artist, from her early success with paper fashion illustrations to her current focus on nature-inspired artwork. She shares how she navigated the challenges of being an artist on the internet and the pressure to maintain a certain style. Katie emphasizes the importance of following your creative instincts and embracing change in order to find true fulfillment in your work. She also talks about the connection she feels with nature and the luxury of being able to be outside and barefoot.

Key Takeaways:

  • Katie Rodgers started her career as an artist in her early 20s and quickly gained success with her paper fashion illustrations.
  • She felt a shift in herself and her work, leading her to explore new creative avenues and incorporate more nature into her artwork.
  • Katie faced challenges as an artist on the internet, including the pressure to maintain a certain style and the need to balance creativity with commercial success.
  • She emphasizes the importance of following your creative instincts and embracing change in order to find true fulfillment in your work.
  • Katie feels a strong connection with nature and values the luxury of being able to be outside and barefoot.

Quotes:

  • “I started drawing fashion because I was mesmerized by that world.” – Katie Rodgers
  • “I started to grow up and become myself and get to know myself.” – Katie Rodgers
  • “I was drawn to create things that felt like me and felt grounded and connected with nature.” – Katie Rodgers
  • “It’s easy to want to ignore [the need for change] and stay comfortable, but to me, I see no difference between the uncomfortableness of changing and the uncomfortableness of not changing.” – Katie Rodgers
  • “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, it’s all about what you want to create because how do you know what you can create until you keep going?” – Katie Rodgers

Charuka Arora is the founder of the Arts to Hearts Project and Host of the Arts to Hearts Podcast. She is also an acclaimed Indian artist known for her contemporary embellished paintings. Her unique blend of gouache, collage, embroidery, painting, and drawing explores the intersection of art, culture, heritage, and womanhood. Through her work, she tells stories of female strength and encapsulates them in pieces that can be treasured for generations.

 Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Charuka’s work draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, recognizing women as vessels of Shakti, the cosmic energy. She beautifully portrays powerful goddesses like Durga Maa riding a tiger or lion, symbolizing their unlimited power to protect virtue and combat evil.

Through her art, Charuka invites us into the world of women, showcasing their beauty, strength, and resilience. Her creations not only exhibit exceptional talent but also serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for those challenging societal norms.

About Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Arts to Hearts Podcast is a show delving into the lives and passions of renowned artists. From running creative businesses and studio art practices to cultivating a successful mindset, Charuka Arora engages in heartfelt conversations with her guests. Experience your personal happy hour with your favorite artists, right in your studio.

Through candid discussions, Charuka and her guests reveal the joys and challenges of a vibrant creative life, both within and beyond our studios. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted as you tune in.

About the Guest

Katie Rodgers is an artist known for her imaginative play with the natural world. Finding inspiration through farm work, gardening, and her love for adventure and travel, Katie has created work for world-renowned brands such as Clé de Peau Beauté, Oribe, Estee Lauder, Diptyque Paris, La Maison de Pastel, Samsung, Harper Collins, Veuve Clicquot, and Focus Features among others.

Working in a variety of mediums, Katie’s work often dances to life through her illustrative pastels, 3D installations, and animation, for both fine art and commercial projects.  

After nearly a decade in New York City, Katie adventured on a whim to the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Her work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Glamour Magazine, Elle Magazine, and The New York Times.

Selected work of Katie Rodgers

Want to know more about Katie? Visit the link below

This week’s podcast explores Katie Rodgers’ journey of moving from the fashion world to a much more mindful life that revolves around nature. She talks about her early life, what drew her to the world of fashion, and what ultimately made her pull away from it. Now, she is at a phase in her life where she is exploring new techniques and art forms that resonate with her.


Experimenting new things


Just like every artist, Katie was also a newbie in this field. Back in the day, Katie’s work was all over Pinterest under the name Paper Fashion Illustrations. At that time, she was one of the few people who were using social media to promote their work. That in itself is a massive achievement; diving into something unfamiliar and figuring it out.


“I think I’ve always been sort of driven to do things on my own.”Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03


Katie has been pretty vocal about figuring things out on her own. One of the first clients Katie had in New York was Nabisco, where she was asked to do an animated video. Despite not knowing how to make an animation or illustrated video at the time, Katie took the job because of her confidence in her abilities.


“I think that is one of the key things to a lot of success in general with anything, to just figure things out and take things when you get an opportunity. Take it and try it. I could have failed but it worked out. I figured it out, and I learned so much so quickly having to figure that out.”Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03


Perhaps that is the reason why Katie has been so good at embracing change and navigating it; she has always loved experimenting!

Experiencing a shift in her creative expression


Having grown up in the countryside in Georgia, Katie used to dream about fashion as a young girl. She talks about being mesmerized by the world of magazines and television, and how she started drawing fashion because of that.

In 2018, Katie recalls moving her work outside of her home, as at a certain point, an artist’s work begins to infiltrate their life. That was the point when she experienced that shift.


“It was like planting a seed and watching it grow.”Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03


As she worked in the outer space of her studio, she felt as if she had reconnected with her childhood and the way she grew up. That was the beginning of a major shift in her career.


“I snapped out of this fantasy of the world of fashion world because I didn’t necessarily connect to that world, I enjoyed it for a while for sure, but it didn’t truly feel like me at the end of the day.”Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03

For Katie, the decision to move her work outside of her home pulled her away from fashion. At that point, she started to incorporate nature into her work, but it wasn’t easy. Her agency was not really happy with the direction she was going in, and she was losing numbers on social media. Despite the pressure, she did not waver and made the decision to pack up and leave New York.

Finding the strength to move on from her established life


Artists often believe that they have to evolve in one style only and excel in it. That is what they work towards, to reach that level and become successful. Katie has been there, and she has done that. She succeeded at what she was doing, and yet she made the decision to walk away and start afresh. She trusted her gut and paid attention to what was pulling her, despite of the life she had built in New York over the years. However, by no means, this transition was easy for her.


Like other artists, Katie talks about finding a balance between following her ideas and having financial stability. Having moved to New Mexico, she is now trying to build success around her art that feels authentic to her, but at the same time, doesn’t lose people from her past. She strongly believes that artists should push themselves and find methods to do new things; that’s how they will know their true potential.


“The best way to get through something is to work through it.”Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03


Welcoming change with open arms


Katie came to New Mexico because she felt good. Now, what she wants is a deeper connection with her work. She was drawn to creating things that felt like her and connected her with nature, and that is what she is doing currently. For people who are rediscovering themselves, Katie has some wisdom to share.


“I see no difference between the uncomfortableness of changing and the uncomfortableness of not changing. If you feel the need to change or find yourself, keep going, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, it’s all about what you want to create.”Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03


Katie’s willingness to try new things, even if they seem scary, can prove reassuring to many struggling artists out there who don’t know how to follow their dreams. However, looking back at Katie’s career, it becomes clear that for artists, it’s natural to evolve and grow out of the person they used to be. Ultimately, it’s okay to embrace that change and act upon it!
Katie has a holiday campaign coming out soon in the next few weeks, which seems to be quite exciting.

Other than that, Katie welcomes any support that is shown to her online. Please visit her website http://www.katierodgers.co/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/katierodgers/?hl=en and show her work some love.

In the latest episode of Arts to Hearts Podcast, Charuka Arora sits down with the fantastic Katie Rodgers. In the world of fashion, Katie has made a name for herself because of her paper fashion and use of watercolors. Now, she is reconnecting to her roots by solely focusing on her imaginative play with the natural world.

Katie started as a fashion illustrator in New York and created the website Paper Fashion in 2009. From working with renowned brands like Estée Lauder, Samsung, and Clé de Peau Beauté to working with Alicia Keys, the Boston Ballet, and the Screen Actors Guild, she has built an extensive portfolio. Her work has also been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Magazine, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times.

Katie has worked in a variety of mediums including 3D installations, illustrative pastels, and animation for commercial projects as well as fine art. She spent around 9 years in New York before she realized that the life she had built was too fast-paced.

In this episode, Katie talks about all her accomplishments the work she has done over the past decade, and what prompted her to change directions. It’s not easy to build a successful life and then pack it all up to start all over again, but Katie did it! While Katie’s art brought her clients and created a stable life for her in New York, she has always felt more connected with nature. Camping and traveling are some of the things where she feels free, and deep down, she always longed for that slow, mindful life.

For Katie, it’s important to listen to her inner voice as she talks about the challenges she faced when she made the decision to move to the countryside. In Katie, every artist can find that inspiration to keep evolving, even if it means leaving behind everything they have ever known.

To find out more, tune in to this week’s podcast and listen to the unstoppable Katie Rodgers talk about how she constantly challenges herself and why it’s important for artists to push their limits. 

TimestampSummary
00:00.00Introduction and excitement about the guest’s work
01:30.40Guest’s childhood fascination with fashion
03:30.47Transition from hobby to business
04:40.50Personal growth and changes in artistic journey
06:03.40Rediscovering creativity and moving away from a certain style
07:04.56Moving work out of home and starting a garden
08:16.27Shift in focus from fashion to nature
09:01.44Challenges faced with agency and changing numbers
09:59.61Agency suggests going back to previous style
10:00.00End of conversation
09:59.61Introduction
10:06.68Katie’s decision to leave New York
10:28.46The courage it took to make the change
11:05.99Charu’s childhood creativity
11:25.33Embracing cultural aspects in their work
12:14.20Katie’s search for belonging
13:08.15Charu’s struggle with embracing her culture
14:02.13Katie’s mixed upbringing
15:10.91Breaking barriers and evolving as artists
17:21.93Katie’s fear of abandoning her previous work
18:11.30Questioning the meaning of their work
19:37.86Feeling burnt out and shifting focus
19:50.53Finding balance as an artist
20:40.54Struggling with creative satisfaction and commercial success
21:51.10Figuring out the balance and direction as an artist
22:29.60Dealing with the impact of personal life on creativity
24:03.36Losing people from the past due to artistic evolution
25:41.43Katie Rodgers’ journey as an artist on the internet
26:17.31Early adoption of social media and setting up a website
28:14.46Overcoming fear and figuring out technology on her own
29:00.77Embracing new things and playing with technology
29:48.77Unexpected success and job opportunities as an artist
29:48.77Introduction
30:07.36First job and working overseas
31:21.29Working with major brands
32:33.87Transitioning to full-time artist
33:41.76Navigating the world of agencies and clients
34:05.90Terrifying experiences and figuring things out
35:05.40Pushing creative boundaries and challenging oneself
37:14.41Dealing with self-criticism and creative struggles
38:48.45Pursuing more and embracing discomfort
40:16.53Creating new worlds in creative projects
40:22.92Creating new worlds as creatives
40:32.70Transition from paper fashion to a more grounded world
41:27.59Feeling the same when working in different worlds
42:24.64Seeking a deeper connection to work
43:10.31Feeling calm and at peace in nature
44:21.98Starting over and injecting energy back into work
45:22.10Different seasons in life and work
46:13.95Insecurity about sharing work online
46:56.50Typical quiet days working at home
48:34.97Feeling connected to nature as a luxury
49:28.54Advice for those navigating change and finding themselves
50:18.36Authenticity and self-expression
50:37.20Going with your instincts
51:09.75Upcoming campaign
51:45.69Support on social media and website
51:49.10Enjoyed the conversation
51:52.86Thank you

00:00.00
charukaarora
Great. So we’re recording now welcome to the podcast Kitie god I cannot tell you how excited I am and I was holding off for this story because I really wanted to record this.

00:04.36
Katie Rodgers
Um, okay thank you for having me I’m so excited to talk to you.

00:12.85
Katie Rodgers
And.

00:17.30
charukaarora
You know how I found I just mentioned before we started recording I was I was um I recently you know, enrolled myself into my fashion course and we had this one of the earliest assignments that we had to go and see the internet find an artist. We really love and copy her work or his work. So I quickly went onto the internet I quickly. Ah, ah you know went on Pinterest and I searched and made a few searches and I found your work at that point it wasn’t Katie Rogers and it was paper fashion illustrations and oh my goodness and I copied one of your works I’m going to send that dit to you.

00:38.36
Katie Rodgers
Um.

00:49.99
Katie Rodgers
Right? yeah.

00:55.99
Katie Rodgers
Please do.

00:56.19
charukaarora
And I’m going to also link it here and it was this red I remember you you were making these beautiful linked drawings and these runway fashion drawings and I was doing fashion and oh my god I was so obsessed I still am. But my god you were one of the first real person like as an artist when I felt like okay this is an artist I want to follow I want to love and you were one of those early people. So I for me this is very special because I found you? Ah, you were 1 of my inking to my passion. So Thank you so much for coming.

01:30.40
Katie Rodgers
Oh that’s so nice. Yeah, you’re welcome I’m so happy to be here and hear that story it like brings me back to something that feels like another life to me which I’m sure we’ll get into.

01:42.12
charukaarora
Oh my god and that is where I want to actually pick in this kind of thing. Ah yes, you know you’ve had so from being paper fashions and I remember that was I think early years of your work but you really took off you were doing these amazing shoes live paintings.

01:48.33
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, ah.

01:55.28
Katie Rodgers
You.

01:59.47
charukaarora
And I think it was early years of internet. Also I think very few artists were on the internet let alone like you know have a website you had a website I remember because I was doing a thorough research on you and you were all over pinterest and there was so much article in press and media from then to here you’ve had.

02:04.35
Katie Rodgers
I.

02:16.60
charukaarora
You know so many new changes and evolutions and you evolved so much as an artist. What do you have to say about it. How does that change and this journey feels.

02:18.29
Katie Rodgers
I.

02:28.60
Katie Rodgers
I mean it’s such a big question. Ah um, I’ve been thinking a lot about it the past few years especially um I think it’s just you know I started everything when I was in my early 20 s and I just it was something that came from. My my childhood really is that I grew up in sort of a countryside area in Georgia and I would just dream about fashion I was like this is so opposite from where I live I grew up with 3 brothers. We would just like play outside in the dirt all day.

02:49.61
charukaarora
Okay.

03:04.50
Katie Rodgers
And I loved that but I was like what is this other world I see in magazines and you know on Tv and I was mesmerized by that and I was just determined like I always knew I would leave where I was from and I just wanted to like see what that world was and I became obsessed with it. And I started drawing fashion because of that and I think over the years you know I I loved it and it it became a business at a certain point and um and all of those things change things.

03:30.47
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

03:38.71
Katie Rodgers
I mean it just shifts a little bit as you go from Hobby Dream World to business and also at this seems. Yeah, yeah, exactly I was not prepared for it because I didn’t set out necessarily to make that happen.

03:40.74
charukaarora
To yeah and you’re not prepared for it because we look at it very differently.

03:58.36
Katie Rodgers
But as it started happening I think it continued to happen because I did love it and I loved the business side of things and I still do I find it really? yeah I found it fascinating and it was like I love solving problems and figuring things out so it was sort of like diving into.

04:05.50
charukaarora
Oh you did? well. Ah.

04:17.57
Katie Rodgers
Okay I love art cool but like what do I do with this and you know I would just like spend all night like thank god for the internet and I would just Google on that long and try to figure things out and how to make it work. Um, but I think over the years you know I started to grow up.

04:22.53
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

04:28.18
charukaarora
Wow.

04:37.13
Katie Rodgers
And you start to become yourself and get to know yourself and I think over those years I started to change a bit and you know I was so young when I started and like how could you know like I just I wasn’t ready to or not that I wasn’t ready but I.

04:40.50
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

04:56.14
Katie Rodgers
Just beginning my journey I think into that world and I think it’s like crazy to me that I would just stop there. You know like I’m going to keep keep going and keep digging in.

05:03.43
charukaarora
Absolutely absolutely absolutely you know? Also I think did you feel at that point you know you you have evolved so much as an artist and I you know it’s so exciting for me for someone who you know who’s following your work. And you know and also when you follow someone for with me the pack and the you know I’ve found you I was obsessed by you and somewhere in between life happened of course for all of us and you know and I missed and I didn’t know who where you were what was happening and one day I found you back on Instagram. And it was like oh when it was so exciting for me to see your work because at that point it looked different and it then it looked different but um I I just don’t know there is always this as that I don’t know if sometimes you just don’t love someone just because of that there’s something more than just the. Way someone makes a work or something and I was so intrigued and I was so excited to see you know how this is another thing that um, it opened up a new world. Let’s say because I knew that part of your work and um, this excited me more? Um, but what really.

06:03.40
Katie Rodgers
Business.

06:13.10
Katie Rodgers
A.

06:20.40
charukaarora
Tickled me was you know I loved but because not very like a lot of artists have felt feel caged including myself and you know, um and we go through these phases of we feel like we know we need to be known for a certain style. Ah, certain thing and we need to keep doing this which feels very contrary to creative instincts our creative ambition our own designer desires. Did you feel that when did you start to feel this shift that you were moving away and you wanted to move forward.

06:45.50
Katie Rodgers
Yes.

06:55.87
Katie Rodgers
Um I.

06:57.15
charukaarora
In fact, I think.

06:58.50
Katie Rodgers
Yeah I think it was 2018 it was like the moment I moved my work outside of my home and I had worked out of my home and my home being like a tiny New York apartment but I had worked out of my home forever and.

07:04.56
charukaarora
Um, who.

07:09.71
charukaarora
Apartment.

07:17.20
Katie Rodgers
I was just like I can’t do it anymore like I’m going crazy because it’s like you know your work is in in such a small space too your work sort of infiltrates traits your life and you can only use certain mediums because it just it gets messy and so I moved my work out of my home and.

07:22.89
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

07:34.15
charukaarora
This was a New York itself

07:35.11
Katie Rodgers
From that point I think everything changed and yes I think 2018 so I had been doing it for um around 10 years at that point probably 9 years working um but

07:50.42
charukaarora
Wow.

07:54.64
Katie Rodgers
I I just felt a shift in myself and I I already knew that like something was changing and I was like maybe I’ll just get a studio I’ll ah try something else like something just didn’t feel right and so I did that. And then I started a garden because I had like a little outdoor space at my studio and that really shifted my mind. It was just like the most incredible thing to me. It was like like planting a seed and watching it grow and it’s so simple but it just it really like.

08:16.27
charukaarora
Um, ah.

08:29.65
Katie Rodgers
Pulled me away from fashion and I just stopped and it was almost like I reconnected with my childhood of how I grew up and.

08:30.46
charukaarora
Well.

08:35.93
charukaarora
Oh I was about to say that? yeah.

08:42.87
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, it pulled me back to that and I suddenly was like snapped out of this fantasy of the fashion world because I I didn’t necessarily connect to that world I enjoyed it for a while for sure but it didn’t truly feel like me at the end of the day and um.

08:50.78
charukaarora
Yeah. Him.

09:01.44
Katie Rodgers
And so that point I started to shift and I started to like incorporate more nature into my work and and it was a really hard 2 years because I had been with an agency in New York for 10 years and they had helped.

09:13.83
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

09:18.70
Katie Rodgers
Build my career and they weren’t happy because my numbers started to go down which is what they measure like social media and you know my my work was shifting some clients that I was working with.

09:19.66
charukaarora
Of course.

09:32.20
charukaarora
Um, clients were not a good fit animal.

09:35.93
Katie Rodgers
You know they were a little confused. Yeah, and so like financially your numbers go down and I met with my agency in 2019 and they were like okay, something’s not working like you need to figure it out. And they asked me they said you need to go back to what you were doing and I just remember thinking like how can I go I can’t go back like that’s crazy and like part of me was like should I go back am I am I throwing everything away. Um, so i.

09:59.61
charukaarora
Yeah, that.

10:06.68
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

10:11.43
Katie Rodgers
I had like a ah very confused 2019 and that’s when I was like I just I can’t something it just didn’t feel right. Everything about it and so I was like I need to change something so I decided to pack everything up and leave New York

10:28.46
charukaarora
My goodness that must have taken extreme courage for you I mean you know there is 1 thing I feel like a lot of artists. There’s 1 thing about finding your style but I think another really hard face is when you found something and.

10:30.46
Katie Rodgers
And just go on an adventure. Yeah.

10:48.35
charukaarora
Then you reach your point when you know it is time to let go and you know like you know now it’s another chapter and I think we all as artists know that and I feel like and you know I also resonate with the idea I feel like something like this in my own self I grew up in a smaller town I wasn’t.

10:51.68
Katie Rodgers
A.

11:05.99
charukaarora
I wasn’t interested in fashion per se in that sense. What I was really but I thought I was interested in fashion. Um, but what I was as know as as a person interested in was because I grew up in a smaller town I Would you know I just when we were speaking you know I would go with my mom and I would thrift those clothes and I would you know.

11:11.90
Katie Rodgers
Um.

11:25.33
charukaarora
Um, patch up things and embroidery materials for me that was creativity I think that was my first form of expression I learned as a child so I would even before I picked up pings I picked up, you know my mom’s um, my mom’s things and heard. Ah, patches and her embroideries and I would sit with her on a Telo shop as she would piece things together so that for me was my creativity but then um I was intrigued because when I saw the oh there’s this whole world of fashion and.

11:50.72
Katie Rodgers
In the name.

12:01.62
charukaarora
I Remember um when I when I I was you know, being an artist like you know, being a designer and my mom used to tell me what is what is in fashion right now and I would tell her I don’t know I don’t care and I I figured that I didn’t like you know something didn’t feel right.

12:14.20
Katie Rodgers
And.

12:20.22
charukaarora
But I’ve also started to notice even my own work as an artist. Um as I aged I feel like I’m going back to where I came from even my own work as an artist and I started painting and then I started now I’m going again, resonating back to materials that felt home to me that that I think both. First materials that I resonated with.

12:39.40
Katie Rodgers
Um, yeah, it’s It’s funny how that happens like you sort of rediscover it like you’re running away from it and then suddenly you rediscover it down the line and it’s like this magical thing.

12:50.68
charukaarora
Yeah, are you not proud of it. Okay, done with something were you so you know were you? um proud of um, growing up in a countryside while all those years while you were working in fashion because for me I think I have this journey.

12:55.43
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, yeah.

13:08.15
charukaarora
But I felt like I wasn’t very proud I never I would always say this I don’t want to make these indian paintings I don’t want to include this like I want to make more western in work and like you know all of that and today I feel like I have become so much more like every day I want to embrace more of my culture embrace more of handicraft embrace all of those aspects.

13:18.22
Katie Rodgers
Man.

13:27.29
charukaarora
At one point I Absolutely didn’t want I feel I I felt like I wasn’t enough if I wasn’t doing if I was doing that did you feel any of that.

13:38.21
Katie Rodgers
Um I I don’t know if I necessarily felt that I know what you mean because I’ve had moments of that. But I think my family was sort of from all over like my mom grew up in Asia my dad grew up in the northeast and my grandparents were all over and. I think because of that I didn’t necessarily like I was born and raised in the south but I never really felt southern like I I don’t feel it in my bones. So I almost felt like I was trying to find the place that I belonged and I haven’t I don’t feel that.

14:02.13
charukaarora
Um, hello. Yeah.

14:14.86
Katie Rodgers
Where I grew up necessarily. There are aspects to it that feel like home to me and really beautiful, but it doesn’t necessarily feel like my home if that makes sense I don’t know why. But yeah, um, but I can see.

14:16.52
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

14:22.47
charukaarora
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

14:33.78
Katie Rodgers
I think I was always sort of like looking for the place or I was looking for something to make me feel like this is my place and I still I don’t know if like I love really I feel like ah.

14:38.12
charukaarora
The place I resonate with that feeling for sure. Yeah, hundred percent hundred percent

14:51.64
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, it’s like I love everywhere I go and for different reasons and I just enjoy the adventure of it and I mean I could land here for the rest of my life and be happy. Um, but I think I have discovered that which to your point before is that.

14:51.92
charukaarora
Yeah.

15:10.91
Katie Rodgers
Grew up sort of countryside. So maybe that’s why I’m more drawn to those worlds now but it doesn’t necessarily need to be where I grew up.

15:18.21
charukaarora
Yeah, makes Sense. No I think Also I think one of the hardest things about this is on the contrary as artists I think we both like like you know I’m sure anyone who’s listened to this episode who’s an artist would resonate. Oh you know a lot of our people you know say oh I Want to. Um I Remember when I entered into the arts and I saved this a lot of time on the Podcast. So I didn’t come from an art school so I was at ideal ideally am I’m a train designer not a trained artist if that makes if if that counts anywhere. So I remember when I started working in a shared studio space.

15:55.70
Katie Rodgers
Um, it does.

15:57.39
charukaarora
So there was this um there were few people and they would you know? oh you are oh you are a designer This is an artist. This is an illustrator. This is the so I felt like you know I felt like there was so much caging and so much limiting like um, even though as you know as.

16:06.24
Katie Rodgers
Um.

16:15.17
charukaarora
As creativesu ourselves. We know what we want like even if someone who’s trained as and as ah I think even if you see the field of graphic design to today. It’s so fluid. Um, you know form and functions have changed creativity has expanded versus artists are making making their own merge lines. We are making our own products. I think the lines of blood so much because we all understand that our desires and our creative ambitions we know we don’t feel good being in 1 place. Let’s say it like that get to the contrary belief. You know we’re always set the notion of you have to evolve in one style you have to ah a lot of you know we sold the idea that.

16:43.26
Katie Rodgers
Um.

16:52.77
charukaarora
For the rest of your life. You’d be making this. You’d be known for this. You want to be known for something How how does that? How how did that feel breaking that barrier for yourself. How hard was that to break it for yourself specifically for someone like you had tremendous success with what you were doing I think it’s much easier to change.

16:57.47
Katie Rodgers
By.

17:11.88
charukaarora
But you know things are not working. But once you have everything you needed. You know this is your success and then knowing that you have to walk away and start afresh.

17:13.86
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, yeah.

17:21.93
Katie Rodgers
Yeah I think that was like the hardest thing for me to deal with and it took me a couple of years to really work through it because I exactly it came off of that and I was sort of like at the height of everything and I was just like wait. No. And then I’m like do I have an issue where I’m like running away from something good because it’s good. You know like is this some sort of like deep rooted problem and and and I think that’s a real thing.

17:41.59
charukaarora
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely.

17:55.67
Katie Rodgers
I Don’t necessarily think that was why I wanted to change though and I think for me, it was scary because you know I eventually I parted ways with my agency and like it was all just like a lot of change at once it was moving. It was.

18:06.60
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

18:11.30
Katie Rodgers
You know, not having my agency anymore. It was changing my work and being really confused about everything and it was just and you know I get messages all the time that are like why don’t you draw your dancers anymore and I’m like did I make like a terrible mistake like did I give up too soon and it’s. Not necessarily that I gave up but did I abandon those ideas too soon and but I think the thing that really got to me was that a lot of that work I was building over a decade was built around commercial. Businesses and built like you know with a lot of the work I was doing It was incredible and I loved it and I will never say I didn’t love it because I did but it was all very fast and it was very like we have to sell this and that and this and it was um.

18:48.87
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

19:07.45
Katie Rodgers
It was all really great. But I think I got burnt out on it and I got to a point where I was like what is sorry.

19:08.96
charukaarora
I I think yeah, no, no go ahead.

19:18.50
Katie Rodgers
No I think I was just questioning it at some point and I was like what does any of this mean like you know you have start to have those deeper thoughts where you’re like is this all just meaningless because I’m touching the surface and I never have time to go an inch deeper or a foot deeper.

19:35.62
charukaarora
Um, know a 2 but um.

19:37.86
Katie Rodgers
It’s always just like it’s got to be quick and I have like two weeks to do a project or I don’t know it just always felt like I never had a chance to like die then and it started to feel very very meaningless to me and that’s when I started to like shift.

19:50.53
charukaarora
Yeah, and I think you know I think that’s so strange. Um, you know how as artists we it’s It’s like finding a balance like sometimes um if you have um.

20:06.98
charukaarora
It’s like you know how do I say it? Um, you had everything that you needed everything an artist wore any creative desires. You know you had best of the clients you had someone who was representing you. You had you know, an incredible work. But I think what you were missing was. Your creative satisfaction because as as a creative if we do not as an artist if you if your heart desires to go in a certain direction even if it fails even if it does not make sense even if it’s a mess you want to go down that road and I think a lot of artists on the contrary struggle with a lot of.

20:40.54
Katie Rodgers
Right.

20:44.10
charukaarora
Artists on the comments struggle with you know they make what they want but they don’t have you know, let’s say the financial success the commercial success. You know the representation. It’s like we’re always striking for this balance which is how to be balanced having that you know, um.

20:54.26
Katie Rodgers
Um.

20:57.13
Katie Rodgers
And.

21:02.67
charukaarora
Following your creativity following those ideas and yet having that stability yet having those credibility yet not feeling boxed and being tied into one ah form you know.

21:10.81
Katie Rodgers
The.

21:17.40
Katie Rodgers
Right? Yeah, it’s It’s a really hard thing to figure out because of course like for me I had set up a few things that gave me passive income. So I gave myself some time.

21:26.10
charukaarora
Yeah.

21:32.64
Katie Rodgers
You know and I had like left New York and cut back on my expenses and things like that and that was all part of the plan of like I need to go see what more there is and just go on an adventure see what happens and explore. Because I I didn’t have time to explore anymore and I just felt like I was repeating the same thing over and over which is when you do find a style and you do find you know your thing people come to you for that thing.

21:51.10
charukaarora
Um, constanting. Yeah yeah, but happens.

22:03.11
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

22:05.52
Katie Rodgers
And it’s completely understandable and and it can be an amazing thing. But I think figuring out the balance now like I’m dealing with that Currently, it’s like well where what direction am I going in and where do I see this going in terms of like living you know, stably and and. Bringing in enough financially and building success around it in a way that feels authentic to me but also doesn’t totally lose people from my past I mean.

22:29.60
charukaarora
Yeah.

22:36.43
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

22:37.81
Katie Rodgers
Well I will and I have lost a lot of people from my past and it’s not necessarily that it’s like like sort of bridging everything. Um.

22:41.40
charukaarora
Um, of course.

22:44.38
charukaarora
Yeah, and I think it’s evolution I think sometimes I think the notion that we have to be a certain person a certain artist throughout all our lives I think it is too too much to ask ourselves I think.

23:01.52
Katie Rodgers
Yeah.

23:01.69
charukaarora
And also I feel like our art is an extension of who we are um I remember my work shifted I feel this current shift again in my work but I also felt that and I think I as a person my work has changed so much like ah in a couple of years and I think we have that freedom when you’re.

23:15.47
Katie Rodgers
And.

23:19.22
charukaarora
You know you don’t have so many eyes on you. So um, when my mom passed away I think I felt a major major shift because I as a person went into a very different place I have changed and that has impacted my thoughts.

23:26.89
Katie Rodgers
New.

23:37.27
charukaarora
That has impacted what I’m looking now for and that has impacted my art and it changed drastically and and I think it’s not changing from there I think it’s evolving as I am evolving as my experiences are evolving and I’m sure like you know, um.

23:49.70
Katie Rodgers
Um, yeah.

23:53.95
charukaarora
If we do not find and embrace that and it feels like it’s very suffocating to be honest.

24:03.36
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, you have to I think it’s just part of being human and like ah so often you see people’s work online but there’s so much going on in a human’s personal life as well that you may not ever see and. Those things can really shift somebody and change how they think how they act or not how they how they think and like what they want to create and just like their overall passion for something you know so like a big shift like your mom passing is just.

24:18.95
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

24:32.00
charukaarora
Um, and.

24:38.30
Katie Rodgers
It sort of like puts you on a trajectory. That’s a little bit different than you experience the fore I’m sure.

24:43.88
charukaarora
Absolutely um, kitty I also want to you know you one of the earliest like how Instagram has become and social media and online business. Everything has become mainstream today. We all know that you know everybody now knows okay, being on Instagram can bring you our business.

24:55.60
Katie Rodgers
From me.

25:01.68
charukaarora
You know, being ah being online is important and having like having to make as an artist on the internet. But I think you were one of the first earliest people who did that you did not only do that but also found success for the work that you were doing I want to talk about you know, um, from then to now. A lot of people who rose like you know who found a lot more attention. Um, the good and bad of both the internet like you know how it impacts you positively. But how it also impacts you creatively and that may not be the best case scenario I really want to talk to you about your journey. Finding your way like you know can you take me through um, how did you find your way and found success in New York you know doing these dancing cars and paper fashion and how it also impacted you you know being ah, an artist on the internet.

25:41.43
Katie Rodgers
And.

25:58.42
charukaarora
Also impacted you as an as an artist. Let’s say.

26:03.95
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, um I think for me in the beginning I’ve always liked my entire life I love experimenting with anything and everything and when I saw you know these apps started and I think Twitter was first and then Instagram.

26:17.31
charukaarora
Um, you were on Twitter first. Oh wow.

26:20.30
Katie Rodgers
And I just yeah I was on Twitter and I remember I got my first job and I only had Twitter um and which feels so weird to me because you couldn’t even post pictures back then but I would post links to my website and it was new and.

26:25.45
charukaarora
Really. Yeah, and at that time having of that site was also as in common like you know, putting up a website as as ah as a illustrator designer artist I think you were like pretty much you.

26:42.71
Katie Rodgers
Um, yeah.

26:49.39
charukaarora
You are way faster than a lot of people getting on the grip on internet.

26:51.74
Katie Rodgers
Yeah I just felt drawn to it I was like that’s cool like the internet’s cool and I remember when I got my first like really I got like a hand-me-down laptop and I was like this is so amazing. This is cool. And I would just like stay up all night and at that time I had just gotten my first real job outside of college and I felt like I suddenly had all this free time because I was used to. You know when you’re in school you’re you’re in school all day you’d like do stuff all night and.

27:20.97
charukaarora
Busy.

27:27.36
charukaarora
You know.

27:28.23
Katie Rodgers
You know you’re in a different place and then when I started working it was like okay I have after work like all this time. So I just wanted to paint I just felt like like oh I Just want to keep painting for fun because I wasn’t doing that at work really and um. And I was like I just want a place to put everything So That’s when I started the website and it was all just for fun and I just I remember sitting on the.

27:51.76
charukaarora
But how did you figure the tech. How did you like even I think even today artist topic with I don’t know how to set up a website I don’t know how to use social media were you scared of social media. Did you feel like oh my god disaster this because you know, um, when anything is new. We feel like oh is this weird is. Does this make sense. Um, you know did you have those questions and how did you find these things I don’t know ah how many resources were there like you know for artists at that point.

28:14.46
Katie Rodgers
Yeah.

28:23.16
Katie Rodgers
I don’t know I I think I’ve always been sort of driven to do things on my own like um, yeah, or like using Google or just like trying it. You know playing with things like I love doing that and like figuring it out.

28:26.15
charukaarora
Um, so you figured all by yourself.

28:33.79
charukaarora
Yeah, ah.

28:40.46
Katie Rodgers
So that was all part of it for me and it’s still very much as even with Ai and all of this like I play with it quite often and I don’t like share any of that. But um I do like playing with it because I don’t think.

28:43.92
charukaarora
Oh Wow Oh Wow yeah.

28:57.23
Katie Rodgers
The best way to go into new things is to say that’s stupid or that’s nothing like because look at like the history of ever everything. Yeah you know people people have reactions when new things come around and I’m just like why Not just.

29:00.77
charukaarora
Um, yeah, absolutely you have to put your hands into it.

29:16.20
Katie Rodgers
Try and play with it and see what happens it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to stick or it’s going to work for me. Um, but like Ai doesn’t like sing to me in the same way. But I do enjoy certain aspects of it. So it’s just like playing with things and. And then it like started to build from there and then it’s like you know all of those things were new and I started playing with it and then I started to like get people were like what looking at things I did and I was like what’s happening. And then I remember I started to get jobs and I was like what’s happening. This is so weird. Ah so I was working as a I was in Boston and I was working as a designer at Reebok um, the shoe company.

29:48.77
charukaarora
What what were you doing at that point where were you in your life.

30:01.82
charukaarora
Ah, okay, yeah.

30:07.36
Katie Rodgers
And so that was like my first job and I loved it. Um, but that’s when everything started and I just um, yeah, it just all happened from there and then you know at a certain point I took a job with them overseas and Spain.

30:08.15
charukaarora
Um, okay.

30:22.81
charukaarora
Okay, so you sound a lot.

30:26.21
Katie Rodgers
And long story short I I did yeah um and I I loved that because I didn’t travel much growing up at all and so like being able to do that on my own and my adult life was so fun.

30:34.40
charukaarora
Um, okay.

30:41.84
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

30:43.73
Katie Rodgers
And just like exploring things and it terrified my parents they were like you’re moving where you’re moving to Spain like why? Um, but I was like that’s so fun. Um, and you know in the long run I ended up quitting that job and because I couldn’t do my. Art and that job so that’s what led me to doing it full time. Basically I was like I need to choose between the two jobs so I be it.

31:08.29
charukaarora
And how did you grow paper fashions at that point. Yeah, absolutely for sure and specifically when you were getting attention.

31:21.29
Katie Rodgers
Yeah I think because I was early on there. Um I started to get jobs and then I started to get really creative with the platforms and I remember like coach hired me the um fashion brand and then I got it? yeah.

31:32.77
charukaarora
The brat.

31:39.14
Katie Rodgers
And then I got a job with um, Alicia keys the singer and it was like blew me away and I was like I don’t like how do I do both of these jobs and I was charging nothing and it was but they were like the most wonderful people and I was just like there’s this whole other world out there.

31:48.10
charukaarora
Oh wow.

31:58.30
Katie Rodgers
And like what would it be like if I was doing it with all of my time versus just my nights and my mornings before work and so that’s when I was like weighing you know I had been doing it I think for a year or two before I decided to go full time with it. So I had sort of saved the extra money. Um, and I was like I remember my dad said to me and he was an entrepreneur and he said like you have no children you have savings like you’ll like why not try it and see what happens.

32:33.87
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

32:35.86
Katie Rodgers
And so I did um and I’m really happy I did but it just sort of snowballed I think like working with big brand and names at that time and social media was so early that things started to just accumulate.

32:37.99
charukaarora
Oh wow.

32:55.11
Katie Rodgers
Fast, um and it doesn’t quite happen that way. Yeah.

32:55.89
charukaarora
Yeah, and you were working with all major brands. Yeah, you were working with all major fashion brands you were doing these fake fashion Runway shows I remember and you know, um I feel like um, how. What I’m interested in is as someone you know early in your early 20 s getting that kind of success. Um, getting you know, having your creative dreams come true at that point you know I think not from even reaching that point a lot of people even don’t go go that Far. They’re not able to find that kind of success also with the you know a lot of people want to have all of those things in their own creative queries and a lot of them them don’t have that but you found it Pretty young and early. Um, what was the hardest thing for you navigating all of this you know.

33:41.76
Katie Rodgers
And.

33:51.31
charukaarora
Also the world of you know the agencies then working with clients and then understanding what being an artist means and you know how how were you navigating all of this.

34:05.90
Katie Rodgers
It was terrifying like completely terrifying and I think I’m like I’m very introverted and so it was really scary for me to like go to New York city and meet with an agent and like go meet with a client that was like I remember I met with Nebisco. Like 1 of the first people and it terrified me and they asked me to do an animated video commercial sort of thing and I used my brother my brother and I worked on it together and he did the music for it and I was just like I have no idea how to make an animation I have no idea how to make ah an.

34:32.70
charukaarora
Um, okay.

34:38.71
charukaarora
Um, wow.

34:45.95
Katie Rodgers
Illustrated video at all. But I never said that I was just like of course I can do that and I think like that is one of the key things to a lot of success in general with anything is to just figure things out and like take things when you get an opportunity take it and try it.

34:48.24
charukaarora
2 is that.

35:05.40
Katie Rodgers
I could have failed but like it. It worked out I figured it out and I learned so much so quickly having to figure that out. You know, um I sort of discovered new ways to work and and having to use new software um to create it. And like looking back. It’s like a kind of a funny video to me because it feels so like you know, weird, but it worked at the time and it was and it was fine but those things are all really terrifying and anything that you do I think that’s.

35:28.50
charukaarora
Um, like the yeah.

35:43.16
Katie Rodgers
Awesome. It’s terrifying like everything I’ve done. It’s terrifying is amazing like I enjoy it so much.

35:48.11
charukaarora
Yeah, and also I think um I think what I love the thrill of doing these things is like I feel like I keep challenging and I you know I have I have a very simple large look like I would sign up for things just because I feel like oh this is interesting. How do I do this.

35:57.97
Katie Rodgers
Okay.

36:05.87
charukaarora
But also like how far can I push myself like um, you know what is possible What is possible creatively like what is possible like can I do this and when I do I’m like oh my God I didn’t know that I had it in me I didn’t know like I didn’t think I could.

36:10.79
Katie Rodgers
So.

36:25.17
charukaarora
I could have the cuts to you know, take up a project like this push myself and I think that just that learning curve is just it’s like it’s like a creative adventure.

36:25.42
Katie Rodgers
Um, yeah.

36:35.80
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, exactly and I think everything in life is like that and if you just approach things like when terrible things happen to me I try to approach it in that way where it’s like okay like this happened like what do I do with it and it helps me a lot. Like you know it’s helped me like get over things and figure things out, but it’s just you have to approach things of like pushing yourself beyond it and like finding like methods to do new things and. Like you never know what you can do until you try or until you challenge yourself and um, that’s like a great part of being creative or just human in general.

37:14.41
charukaarora
That is true. Yeah, and I think it as Creative. We are naturally risk takers I think this is the work that we do if we start believing on our instincts we are falling out. You know. So Why not take a bigger leap. Why not rather fail than regret.

37:39.86
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, exactly and I think I really let that go the past two or three years and I didn’t I was like stuck because I was so confused with everything I left behind and like I wanted something else and. I think I I became so critical of myself and my own work and everything that I kind of went to like a dark place and that became debilitating where I couldn’t create anything and I just felt like everything was terrible and and like I didn’t even want to do.

37:59.65
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

38:14.91
charukaarora
I Hate those stages. Yeah.

38:17.80
Katie Rodgers
Like create anything new or push myself. Yeah, it’s hard and they do happen and um and I learned a lot from that. But I think like the best way to get through that is to work through it and it took me a really long time to figure that out.

38:28.40
charukaarora
To it and also being I think embracing these because I think the most growth is also when during these periods while we are pushing ourselves is because I think that is also a sign of.

38:36.41
Katie Rodgers
Unfortunately.

38:48.45
charukaarora
Um, knowing that you’re pushing the envelope we could have settled you could have settled um, not that people don’t settle. But um, once you know that you want more I think it takes a lot more conviction and courage to I think wanting we all want.

38:53.67
Katie Rodgers
Um.

39:07.30
charukaarora
But chasing it risking for it and putting in the work for it is something that really you know really makes things happen and going through these ugly uncomfortable lost phases.

39:19.58
Katie Rodgers
Um.

39:24.97
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, it’s exactly that. Um, but it’s all just yeah, go ahead.

39:25.65
charukaarora
Tell Yeah, go it? great. No no I was asking another question but I want to finish you to finish this fast.

39:36.14
Katie Rodgers
But I don’t even but remember what I was going to say.

39:39.73
charukaarora
Ah I’m you know what I was about to ask was now you’ve crafted this whole new life. Whole new work. whole new creative world so starkly different and so interesting. Um I feel like you’re you’re like. I think people who challenge themselves I feel like having a creative one creative life is fortunate enough but then also living multiple I think but as creatives recreate our own worlds and you know once you’re doing a project and like you like I’m this person who would do 1 project and I have a phase and then I obsess and then everything around me looks like that.

40:09.73
Katie Rodgers
Um.

40:16.53
charukaarora
Everything is that part of that story and 1 day I’m over with it I feel like okay I’m done with this tapto I want another story so I feel like as creatives. We have this magical power of creating this new worlds whenever we want and then live in them.

40:22.92
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, so.

40:32.70
charukaarora
You created the first world. It was paper fashion. You lived it in 10 years um, being on every ah show and you know a lot of um, a lot of people that today desire like you on the age of social media. Everybody’s going to runway shows and having photographed and like you know all this. Fancy and charm and now you’ve created completely opposite ah more um, grounding and more creative. You know I there 2 different enarchess. How do you feel? how do do these.

41:06.29
Katie Rodgers
When.

41:10.57
charukaarora
Both worlds feel differently to you and what you you know? what are you? um, seeking it in this one. What is your heart is what is your heart is iron now. First let’s talk about how does it feel different even as an artist itself.

41:27.59
Katie Rodgers
Um.

41:30.37
charukaarora
Being in 2 different words like these.

41:30.49
Katie Rodgers
I mean it feels very much like the same in some sense to me like when I’m alone in my workspace and just it feels the same way. It felt when I sat at my little desk in my apartment in New York and

41:34.71
charukaarora
Oh.

41:48.98
Katie Rodgers
It’s just kind of like exactly what you said where you sort of like channel vision into your own world and you start to like create things and to me it’s the Same. It’s the same application. It’s just a different outcome that our output I guess and um for me now. It’s like. I Just want to feel more connected to my work and exactly what you said like the fashion stuff it kind of comes with you know going to events and like which I love like it was so cool to see that from somebody who never experienced any of that growing Up. Um.

42:24.64
charukaarora
Yeah.

42:24.94
Katie Rodgers
But I quickly realized it wasn’t me. It wasn’t my world and it wasn’t a place that really inspired me and so I just felt like drawn to this other world and I didn’t necessarily say like I’m going to move to New Mexico and like build my life there. I just came here because I I felt good here and I enjoyed being in this place before I moved and I was like I’m just going to go there and I’m going to try and see what happens with the with the idea of it being temporary and it just felt good and it felt like creating.

42:50.97
charukaarora
Okay, okay.

43:02.20
Katie Rodgers
Here felt good. Um, and so in terms of like what do I want from that it’s just I want like a little bit deeper of a connection like to my own work like I remember thinking in New York I was like I would never put this work on my wall my own walls and like I felt.

43:10.31
charukaarora
Mark.

43:21.00
Katie Rodgers
Weird about that I was like is this a weird thing like is this okay that I um and I know I wasn’t necessarily creating fine art back then I was doing a lot of commercial work. But.

43:31.63
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

43:36.71
Katie Rodgers
I think I was drawn to create things that felt like me and felt grounded and connected with nature and I just I always feel like my best self just when I’m like on adventures or like I’m like camping or.

43:39.56
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

43:52.70
Katie Rodgers
You know, driving across the US or just somewhere like out where I can just like see everything and I’m in nature or experiencing something and I feel free and I think that is something I seek to like bring to my work and just find this like calm like.

43:56.44
charukaarora
Um, and.

44:10.48
Katie Rodgers
Those places just make me feel so calm and good and they bring me a lot of peace and I think I So I want to bring that into my work. Um, but that is where I am right now and I feel like I’m starting over and.

44:21.98
charukaarora
Died but are you we have because I think that you know the notion it does feel like that. But ideally I don’t think it. It truly is necessary that way because you for me, let’s say you know.

44:28.66
Katie Rodgers
I Feel like I’m just beginning I mean in some sense.

44:42.80
charukaarora
I’ve been following you for so long for me it. It feels like I have been following you on this adventure and for me, it’s like you know it’s just the same you. It’s um, it’s like it’s like it. It still feels the same I don’t know if that makes sense.

44:58.15
Katie Rodgers
Good.

44:59.45
charukaarora
And I think even as a person. Um I think we think that as creatives are starting move but you know you’ve brought a ton of experiences that you’ve learned and um and I think also like Pit stops I see my journey I often see this. You know we’re on a journey where sometimes we we have to go faster and that necessarially mean like you know the work we’re doing the life. You’re living and then there are days that you want to just slow down and you don’t want to work and you just want to go in and you know so it’s like there are seasons in life where um.

45:22.10
Katie Rodgers
And then.

45:30.91
Katie Rodgers
Um.

45:36.75
charukaarora
Where you’re doing the work That’s Ri risk as fast and that you know that requires you to be out and then there are faces that you would want to rest and regeneratnovate and find yourself and connect with yourself and when you feel ready you’re going to be out there back and and then you’ll come back again in so I think it’s like a it’s like a toss.

45:53.00
Katie Rodgers
Um, yeah, yeah, it it is and I feel like I’m just coming back in terms of like sharing things like.

45:56.12
charukaarora
That keeps happening at least I feel that way.

46:06.32
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

46:07.98
Katie Rodgers
For a long time I felt like very insecure about sharing the past few years on anything online because I I was so confused myself like I didn’t feel good about I kind of stopped posting much and I mean here and there I would but I just.

46:13.95
charukaarora
Um, did you disappear.

46:26.39
charukaarora
Um, yeah, finding us. Ah, yeah.

46:27.27
Katie Rodgers
Needed to like retreat and that’s when I started working on farms and just like doing different things. Yeah, and now I feel like I I’m ready to like inject some energy back into it again. So that feels good.

46:41.47
charukaarora
I Love that I’ve loved I’ve loved your travels I Love your stories. Oh my God The scenery it is so gorgeous. What does a typical day look like for you now and I love you studio. It’s it looks like ah all all the chemistry lab.

46:45.57
Katie Rodgers
Thanks! Thank you.

46:56.50
Katie Rodgers
Oh thanks, Oh I Love that oh cool. Yeah, um, my typical day now I mean my days are pretty quiet. Um.

46:59.25
charukaarora
Totally I can see those bottles I might.

47:12.38
Katie Rodgers
You know now and then I will I’m outside a lot and then I I tend to work like certain times of day and then you know once or twice a week I work on a flower farm. Um, and I don’t know like my days are so.

47:14.64
charukaarora
Well.

47:32.00
Katie Rodgers
Whatever needs to be done. It changes a lot So but I work at home and it’s just different. It’s different than like the lot the past life I’ve had working in cities and like I just have a little bit more space and it just feels more free like.

47:32.13
charukaarora
Ah, can.

47:43.37
charukaarora
Yeah, being in gardens. Ah, for sure you know I I moved a wave to my parents’ house when I was 18 I spent 10 years

47:51.10
Katie Rodgers
Yes.

47:58.43
charukaarora
Living by myself in the capital in delhi and growing up in a smaller town I always enjoyed the smallest space we used to have a garden. You know we would play outside. We would walk outside and it felt so natural even though not like it’s not the same as that.

48:10.10
Katie Rodgers
Um, but.

48:17.50
charukaarora
But even I even today I whenever I’m here in Agra and I’ve been staying here for the past two years I feel like I feel so much more connected to nature I feel like I have the liberty like to be in just to be outside just to be and it it feels like the biggest luxury.

48:34.97
Katie Rodgers
Yeah, it is and I’m like I love to be barefoot so much and so I love being somewhere where I can Yeah, it’s so nice and I can just like open the door and walk outside and like that is like I.

48:39.87
charukaarora
Ah, well same year same.

48:52.15
Katie Rodgers
Gift to me like I don’t know if I can not have that again in my life like I can’t not have it.

48:54.35
charukaarora
Lovely. Okay, 1 last question for anyone who’s in a similar state of life. Let’s say who feels who’s still either finding themselves or refining themselves and I’m going to take this advice because I feel like. I’m also right? Where at that point, what advice would you have from your own experience. What? What would you say for people who are navigating that part in their own lives artist women.

49:28.54
Katie Rodgers
Um, I think that like for me once I get a seed in my head and it’s like the seed of like you’re thinking of something else or you want to change or something’s not right I can ignore that and so I think.

49:46.41
Katie Rodgers
It’s easy to want to ignore it and stay comfortable but to me I see no difference between the uncomfortableness of changing and the uncomfortableness of not changing So It’s like which one propels you forward. You’re going to change if you don’t change I think you’ll just get you will be so like uninspired people around you will feel that and it will just radiate from you that.

50:17.56
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

50:18.36
Katie Rodgers
That’s not what you’re it doesn’t feel authentic to you. So like if you feel the need to change or find yourself keep going and like it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks it’s all about what you want to create because like how do you know? what? you can create until you keep.

50:33.97
charukaarora
Key doing I love yes god that is wonderful. Thank you so much Katie I am so so grateful for your time. Thank you for sharing with us I know it’s been.

50:37.20
Katie Rodgers
Going with where your mind’s leading you or your gut.

50:47.52
Katie Rodgers
Um, thanks for having me me too. Yeah.

50:53.44
charukaarora
Um, it’s been our pleasure to have you here and before I let you go for everyone who’s listening How can we support you where can we find your work. How can we support your work and if you have anything upcoming would you like to share with us.

51:09.75
Katie Rodgers
Um I do I have um, a campaign coming out that is sort of linked to my password and it’s coming out very soon. Um I did a holiday campaign and it will come out in the next few weeks

51:17.30
charukaarora
Um, oh Wow Okay, okay, just.

51:27.50
Katie Rodgers
And I’m excited to share that and um, but yeah, just any support is always welcome on social media or my website if you find interest in my work. Um, but yeah I’ve really enjoyed talking to you and.

51:45.69
Katie Rodgers
It’s nice to talk across the world.

51:49.10
charukaarora
Ah, damir Thank you so much I’ll just stop.

51:52.86
Katie Rodgers
Um, thank you.

About The Guest(s):
Katie Rodgers is an artist known for her paper fashion illustrations. She started her career in her early 20s and quickly gained success, working with major fashion brands and celebrities. However, she felt a shift in herself and her work, leading her to explore new creative avenues. Katie is passionate about nature and incorporates it into her artwork.

Summary:
Katie Rodgers discusses her journey as an artist, from her early success with paper fashion illustrations to her current focus on nature-inspired artwork. She shares how she navigated the challenges of being an artist on the internet and the pressure to maintain a certain style. Katie emphasizes the importance of following your creative instincts and embracing change in order to find true fulfillment in your work. She also talks about the connection she feels with nature and the luxury of being able to be outside and barefoot.

Key Takeaways:

  • Katie Rodgers started her career as an artist in her early 20s and quickly gained success with her paper fashion illustrations.
  • She felt a shift in herself and her work, leading her to explore new creative avenues and incorporate more nature into her artwork.
  • Katie faced challenges as an artist on the internet, including the pressure to maintain a certain style and the need to balance creativity with commercial success.
  • She emphasizes the importance of following your creative instincts and embracing change in order to find true fulfillment in your work.
  • Katie feels a strong connection with nature and values the luxury of being able to be outside and barefoot.

Quotes:

  • “I started drawing fashion because I was mesmerized by that world.” – Katie Rodgers
  • “I started to grow up and become myself and get to know myself.” – Katie Rodgers
  • “I was drawn to create things that felt like me and felt grounded and connected with nature.” – Katie Rodgers
  • “It’s easy to want to ignore [the need for change] and stay comfortable, but to me, I see no difference between the uncomfortableness of changing and the uncomfortableness of not changing.” – Katie Rodgers
  • “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, it’s all about what you want to create because how do you know what you can create until you keep going?” – Katie Rodgers

Charuka Arora is the founder of the Arts to Hearts Project and Host of the Arts to Hearts Podcast. She is also an acclaimed Indian artist known for her contemporary embellished paintings. Her unique blend of gouache, collage, embroidery, painting, and drawing explores the intersection of art, culture, heritage, and womanhood. Through her work, she tells stories of female strength and encapsulates them in pieces that can be treasured for generations.

 Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Charuka’s work draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, recognizing women as vessels of Shakti, the cosmic energy. She beautifully portrays powerful goddesses like Durga Maa riding a tiger or lion, symbolizing their unlimited power to protect virtue and combat evil.

Through her art, Charuka invites us into the world of women, showcasing their beauty, strength, and resilience. Her creations not only exhibit exceptional talent but also serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for those challenging societal norms.

About Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Arts to Hearts Podcast is a show delving into the lives and passions of renowned artists. From running creative businesses and studio art practices to cultivating a successful mindset, Charuka Arora engages in heartfelt conversations with her guests. Experience your personal happy hour with your favorite artists, right in your studio.

Through candid discussions, Charuka and her guests reveal the joys and challenges of a vibrant creative life, both within and beyond our studios. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted as you tune in.

About the Guest

Katie Rodgers is an artist known for her imaginative play with the natural world. Finding inspiration through farm work, gardening, and her love for adventure and travel, Katie has created work for world-renowned brands such as Clé de Peau Beauté, Oribe, Estee Lauder, Diptyque Paris, La Maison de Pastel, Samsung, Harper Collins, Veuve Clicquot, and Focus Features among others.

Working in a variety of mediums, Katie’s work often dances to life through her illustrative pastels, 3D installations, and animation, for both fine art and commercial projects.  

After nearly a decade in New York City, Katie adventured on a whim to the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Her work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Glamour Magazine, Elle Magazine, and The New York Times.

Selected work of Katie Rodgers

Want to know more about Katie? Visit the link below

This week’s podcast explores Katie Rodgers’ journey of moving from the fashion world to a much more mindful life that revolves around nature. She talks about her early life, what drew her to the world of fashion, and what ultimately made her pull away from it. Now, she is at a phase in her life where she is exploring new techniques and art forms that resonate with her.


Experimenting new things


Just like every artist, Katie was also a newbie in this field. Back in the day, Katie’s work was all over Pinterest under the name Paper Fashion Illustrations. At that time, she was one of the few people who were using social media to promote their work. That in itself is a massive achievement; diving into something unfamiliar and figuring it out.


“I think I’ve always been sort of driven to do things on my own.”

Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03


Katie has been pretty vocal about figuring things out on her own. One of the first clients Katie had in New York was Nabisco, where she was asked to do an animated video. Despite not knowing how to make an animation or illustrated video at the time, Katie took the job because of her confidence in her abilities.


“I think that is one of the key things to a lot of success in general with anything, to just figure things out and take things when you get an opportunity. Take it and try it. I could have failed but it worked out. I figured it out, and I learned so much so quickly having to figure that out.”

Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03


Perhaps that is the reason why Katie has been so good at embracing change and navigating it; she has always loved experimenting!

Experiencing a shift in her creative expression


Having grown up in the countryside in Georgia, Katie used to dream about fashion as a young girl. She talks about being mesmerized by the world of magazines and television, and how she started drawing fashion because of that.

In 2018, Katie recalls moving her work outside of her home, as at a certain point, an artist’s work begins to infiltrate their life. That was the point when she experienced that shift.


“It was like planting a seed and watching it grow.”

Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03


As she worked in the outer space of her studio, she felt as if she had reconnected with her childhood and the way she grew up. That was the beginning of a major shift in her career.


“I snapped out of this fantasy of the world of fashion world because I didn’t necessarily connect to that world, I enjoyed it for a while for sure, but it didn’t truly feel like me at the end of the day.”

Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03

For Katie, the decision to move her work outside of her home pulled her away from fashion. At that point, she started to incorporate nature into her work, but it wasn’t easy. Her agency was not really happy with the direction she was going in, and she was losing numbers on social media. Despite the pressure, she did not waver and made the decision to pack up and leave New York.

Finding the strength to move on from her established life


Artists often believe that they have to evolve in one style only and excel in it. That is what they work towards, to reach that level and become successful. Katie has been there, and she has done that. She succeeded at what she was doing, and yet she made the decision to walk away and start afresh. She trusted her gut and paid attention to what was pulling her, despite of the life she had built in New York over the years. However, by no means, this transition was easy for her.


Like other artists, Katie talks about finding a balance between following her ideas and having financial stability. Having moved to New Mexico, she is now trying to build success around her art that feels authentic to her, but at the same time, doesn’t lose people from her past. She strongly believes that artists should push themselves and find methods to do new things; that’s how they will know their true potential.


“The best way to get through something is to work through it.”

Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03


Welcoming change with open arms


Katie came to New Mexico because she felt good. Now, what she wants is a deeper connection with her work. She was drawn to creating things that felt like her and connected her with nature, and that is what she is doing currently. For people who are rediscovering themselves, Katie has some wisdom to share.


“I see no difference between the uncomfortableness of changing and the uncomfortableness of not changing. If you feel the need to change or find yourself, keep going, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, it’s all about what you want to create.”

Katie Rodgers- Arts to Hearts Podcast E36, S03


Katie’s willingness to try new things, even if they seem scary, can prove reassuring to many struggling artists out there who don’t know how to follow their dreams. However, looking back at Katie’s career, it becomes clear that for artists, it’s natural to evolve and grow out of the person they used to be. Ultimately, it’s okay to embrace that change and act upon it!
Katie has a holiday campaign coming out soon in the next few weeks, which seems to be quite exciting.

Other than that, Katie welcomes any support that is shown to her online. Please visit her website http://www.katierodgers.co/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/katierodgers/?hl=en and show her work some love.


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