Junior artist keeping busy creating during COVID

Painting on anything she can get her hands on, junior Katherine Lawson has created multiple works of art on both normal and atypical canvases. “I’ve created art on mediums like canvas, paper and concrete. I’ve also painted phone cases, clothing, calculators and video game systems for my friends through my art account,” Lawson said. 

Making her own small business has been something Lawson has pondered frequently, but after her first try at it, she knew she knew she had to set her plan in motion. “I started my art account in August of last year when I painted a pair of jeans for Mindy Li as a birthday gift,” Lawson said. “Finally, I just decided to go for it and started promoting my art on this account and began painting things for people.”

Art has been an interest of Lawson since before she lived in Iowa. “I got into art and painting around 6th grade, when I started middle school in Oklahoma,” Lawson said. From the sixth grade into freshman year, Lawson said she’d taken art classes in school each year. It wasn’t until she “learned through trial and error at home” that she found her real passion for creating art, especially for others.

Thinking of art as more of a hobby than an elective, Lawson said sharing her art is what makes her love it. “Art is mostly something I do for fun when I have the time. It’s a great way to relieve stress, and it’s really fun to paint or commision pieces for friends and family,” Lawson said.

She doesn’t solely make art for others, though. Lawson said she has multiple projects in the works for herself as well. “I am currently sketching a mural of flowers to paint in my room, and I’m finishing a colored pencil drawing of Mushu from ‘Mulan’ that I started last year,” Lawson said. “Once the weather is nicer, I’ll chalk outside again too.”

Lawson said chalk is actually her favorite medium of all as she’s “been drawing pieces of art on (her) driveway for the past three years now.”

Lawson said the inspiration behind a lot of her pieces simply stems from the idea of creating something new and unique. “I think what inspires me about art is that you create something beautiful out of nothing,” Lawson said. “Seeing something you envision in your mind come to life is really special.”

The love of creating something new is often a burden for the young artist, though. Lawson said she struggles sometimes to stick with pieces and is always moving on to her next idea. “The hardest part of the creative process for me is actually finishing a piece. Oftentimes, I’ll start a painting and I won’t finish it for several months, or even a year,” Lawson said.

At the end of the day, though, Lawson said she purely loves to keep creating, whether it’s for herself or sharing her talent with others. “I’m an artist because it’s something I love. It brings a lot of happiness and joy into my life,” Lawson said. “It’s something I want to continue as a hobby for the rest of my life.”

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