The moment I saw Kate Lewis’ architectural art prints via All Star Press Gallery, I knew her work had to be part of the IPaintMyMind Permanent Collection. I even purchased one of her originals, of the Guggenheim Museum.
Her odes to architectures greatest structures and stories lives in the intricately drawn lines of Taliesin, Wrigley Field, and The Green Mill (below). Over the last while her work has moved into colorful paintings and even more recently, a constant schedule of radical murals in vibrant color palettes, that also happen to turn your eyeball inside out due to their amazing depth, lines, and scale.
When Kate Lewis and I met up at The Coffee Studio last year & made a 45 minute meeting feel like hours of talking to an old friend, it just solidified my belief in her work ethic, the massive positive karmic balance she clearly rolls with, and a level of creative output that suggests she’s someone who could probably make art in any vein she wanted to.
Her client list has expanded significantly, garnering projects with Spothero, Chicago Blackhawks, Heineken, Square, and more. As we roll into 2020 with a slate of rad interviews, expanding programs, & increased impact, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate person to ring in the new year with, while getting to know a little more about the heart & mind behind all this great art.
Ahead, Kate Lewis delves into everything from how she hustled to paint neighbors mailboxes as a kid to her advice for any emerging artist trying to turn their art into a fulfilling, profitable, and growing artistic career.
If you are an artist who wants to get involved with IPaintMyMind, and have your art be a part of our arts education programming in CPS schools, submit your work here. We’ll feature you in an interview just like this one!
Evan La Ruffa of IPMM: Where are you from and where in the world are you right now?
Kate Lewis: I’m from West Palm Beach, FL originally, but have been living in Chicago on and off for the past 10 years. I always try to leave, I moved to NY & CA for a bit, but always find my way back here somehow…Chicago’s got me good haha.
EL: Did you make art as a kid a lot?
KL: Yea yea, of course! I have a great drawing from when I was 6 of a little blond girl in a house painting on an easel and saying “I want to be an rdst (artist)”…I really love that one, right down to the fact that I was drawing buildings even then. We grew up with no neighbors really, so my brother and I didn’t have friends to hang with down the street or anything. I think back then we learned to entertain ourselves in our own ways, and I always loved to make things.
EL: If so, did your folks encourage that? Do they now? You’re out here making a living creating art so they gotta be pretty impressed!
KL: My parents are pretty open-minded compared to a lot of South Florida folk, so they supported anything my brother and I really felt passionate about. My dad is an entrepreneur, so they encouraged us to explore and make mistakes and try things out, but to be smart about it, use our business brain. There was a lot of structure in my life growing up and I was a real math nerd in school, so I feel like that shows more than anything in my preference for geometry, order, angles, and so on.
I remember my mom driving me around as a girl so I could ask people if I could paint their mailboxes for $20, or sell little candles I made in sea shells at home. Really they always just wanted us to be happy, and that was what was going to impress them more than what we did to get there. For me it was art, for my brother it was pest control…who knew!
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