We had the good fortune of connecting with Katelyn Chill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katelyn, how do you think about risk?
I think taking on risk is essential when you want to succeed at anything. Life itself involves risk because even something as mundane as driving involves the risk of injury or death. As a graphic designer, I am aware of the risks involved in working in a very competitive field and the possible job instability that entails that. Through my life and my career, I have learned that while taking risks can be a terrifying thing, you are often glad you did so and can benefit for years to come because you risked something. I’ve found that if you want to better yourself at anything, you must be willing to take risks that might make you uncomfortable. I am a naturally shy introvert, so it is hard for me to connect with people sometimes, but there is significant risk of losing clients if you are not a responsive designer as well as a good communicator. Over the years I have learned that when I take on more risk it ultimately helps teach me how to manage my time and resources better because I become aware of how much risk is involved in what I am doing.I would say risking my comfort zone has been a key factor to being successful in my career as a designer because the field is so fast-moving and constantly changes.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a self-taught artist and painter and have been doing art for about 7 years now. I do lots of digital drawing and fan art of Christian hip-hop artists. I would say that doing work in the Christian hip-hop space is very different from what most designers do and I love getting the opportunity to show artists my work and give it to them in person when I can. I started my professional design career by posting my digital drawings and fan art on Instagram and amassing a decent-sized following that helped lead me to my first paid freelance commissions. I am proud of the great recognition that I’ve gotten from artists like Andy Mineo, Tedashii, Lecrae, Wande, 1kPhew, Ruslan, Social Club Misfits, Whatuprg, and others. I have also gotten reposts and a follow from the biggest label in CHH, Reach Records. I am also grateful that I had the opportunity to be a professional photographer at the 2019 Unashamed Forever Tour concert in Phoenix. I have also done small things here and there for artists like single covers and playlist covers. Hopefully, in the future, I get to work on more projects with artists and hopefully work at Reach Records as a graphic designer.
I built up my design portfolio in that time which helped me get my current job as a part-time graphic designer/photographer at Calvary Chapel Fourteensix. It was certainly not an easy task to get recognition for my art starting out online and it took me several years to really get noticed. When I struggled to get my work recognized I think the most important thing that I learned was to consistently create content and engage with your audience. Trusting God in His plan for me and patience also became key for me to overcome challenges I faced in my journey. Something important I’ve learned is that you can always outdo your best and sometimes you may not be ready for a certain job or opportunity but that doesn’t mean that you’ll never be ready it just means you have to be patient and grow. I want people to know that whatever you dream about doing can become a reality if you diligently and patiently work at it and my work definitely reflects those two ideals.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love going to downtown Phoenix and attending sports events like Suns games, Cardinals games, D-Backs games, and Coyotes games. Some good spots to eat downtown that I love are the Arrogant Butcher, Culinary Dropout, Lol-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles, and other local favorites. I would recommend checking out the Arizona Science Center and the Phoenix Art Museum if you are into art and culture. The Musical Instrument Musem is also a great spot to visit if you are into music. I would recommend checking out the Desert Botanical Gardens and the Phoenix Zoo if you love wildlife like I do. There are also plenty of beautiful hiking trails across the valley if you enjoy that kind of outdoor activity.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shoutout to Gallery 37 for allowing me to be a part of their 2018 internship and Elsie McCarthy Sensory Garden “Soundbloom” project and mural design. I would also like to thank Call to Art (a ministry of Desert Springs Community Church in Goodyear) and Linda Spiars for helping develop and mentor me in art and life. Another well-deserved shoutout goes to my fantastic school Huntington University Arizona. I am currently a Junior at Huntington and I have learned a great deal about design in the past 3 years. I would also like to thank Jeff Del Nero for being such an amazing teacher and mentor as I continue to grow as a graphic designer. Thank you to Christian Washington, Daniel Sidler, and all the other amazing teachers and staff at Huntington that continue to inspire me and help me grow in my art journey. I would like to give my last shoutout to Orlando artist Deraj for giving me the opportunity to intern for See & Hear Creative in Spring 2021 and for giving me great life and career advice.
Linkedin: Katelyn Chill
Facebook: K.Chill Artwork
Other: Behance: Katelyn Chill