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Art & Life with Katie Borden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Borden.

Katie, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in Santa Barbara and I have a huge family all thanks to my dad. I have 3 half-brothers, 1 half-sister and a sister, all 10-25 years older. My dad was a musician, actor and dentist and my mom is an Interior Designer. I’ve always felt most myself in art class. I had the honor to be recruited to the Santa Clara University Volleyball team, Division 1. I took many art classes and found a new love, Graphic Design. However, I graduated with a Communications major, and a studio art and business minor. I received a great offer to work at Pandora in customer service. While I was there, I did some art and freelance on the side, but I wasn’t fully satisfied, creatively. Before my sister moved down south, I decided to do a portrait of her first baby.

I really enjoyed drawing a baby, I had never drawn a baby before. I knew I loved drawing eyes, but little did I know I also loved drawing babies. My sister opened it and there were instant tears. She showed my dad and he was amazed. He wanted me to quit my job and pursue my passion for art full-time. In 2015, my dad became very ill – to the point, where I needed to go home. After an awful few weeks, my dad passed away. I stopped drawing and was on auto-pilot at work. After a year, I needed to change something as I was not doing well. I quit my job and I went to therapy. I went back to school a few months later to focus on graphic design and art. I am so happy to be doing art again and I know he would be proud. I just recently got engaged and will be living in Encinitas. I am so ready to pursue my life as a visual artist and graphic designer.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
With Visual Art, I specialize in portraits of babies, adults and pets. I use charcoal and sometimes I like to do a combination of charcoal with a small portion in colored pastels – like the eyes or a piece of clothing. I just recently experimented with comical portraits and athletes. So far, I’ve done Steve Carell as “Prison Mike” in The Office and Jim Carey as “Ace Ventura”. Those were very popular at my recent art show with Raw Natural Born Artists, along with my Golden State Warriors. With my portraits, I hope to bring good memories to mind with a side of a smile to your face. Whether it’s a funny portrait or a loved one that’s passed away, I hope it brings you to a moment of happiness. With Graphic Design, I specialize in branding and illustrations. I love making logos for small businesses, along with advertisements, brochures & any illustrations brands might need.

I currently have a typography portrait of Adele in an art show located in the Peninsula. I used lyrics from her album, used different tones of gray to make her face look 3D. The entire portrait is made from type. For example, I used parentheses for her eye-lashes. I loved this project because you not only get lost in her eyes and appearance, you get lost in her lyrics too while you scan her face. My inspiration is to create something people enjoy looking at, again bringing them good memories and happy thoughts. Eyes are also a huge inspiration for me. They are the mirror to the soul. I hope that I can express the stories and personality behind a person or pet in one drawing. If it makes you feel something or sparks a memory, that is a successful portrait in my eyes.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
We have the ability to visually communicate a message to people – that’s never changed and I believe that will always be the case. This message could create a discussion or action, both creating a stepping stone for the next. Big or small, art can have an impact on people. Or if this art doesn’t have a political stance or obvious message, it’s hopeful that this art can allow people to escape the negative current events that surround them. Unfortunately, art is disappearing from schools thus causing more people to miss out on something that could be so powerful if we had more artists in this world. I hope that my art can bring positivity to the negative energy that tries to take over us every day.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Follow me on my Instagram: @ktb4sho
My website/portfolio:

I’m in the process of opening up an Etsy shop so I can sell my art and prints of my originals. If anyone likes what they see on my Instagram or website, they can always contact me (email me, direct message me, etc.) and we can work something out! I love doing custom portraits so all you have to do is send me your favorite photo. I’m a “RAW artist” now, so you could see me at one of their shows:

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
I took most of the photos that inspired the drawings. The warriors photos were shot by John Keatley ( & Martin Schoeller (

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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