February 7, 2023

Meet the Artist

Posted in: Uncategorized

Hey there! My name is Katie and I’m the face behind East Meets West Creative, LLC. If you’ve emailed, called, liked a social media post, or booked a portrait session or graphic design services, you’ve talked with me! Here’s a little about me:

I grew up in Western New York, right outside of Letchworth State Park (if you’ve never visited, you should!). I’m a Christian first, an introvert, artist, and always game to try any DIY (I made my prom dresses and wedding dress if that gives you any idea). I’ve been a horse lover for as long as I can remember and was blessed by a woman who lived down the road and allowed me to ride her old quarter horse, a chestnut mare named Betsy, in exchange for cleaning the stall/barn. A few years later, she wanted to buy another horse as a companion for Betsy and came to me and said “I want to get another horse. Since you’ll probably be riding it, here’s our budget, go find us a horse.”

What a life-changing phone call

I came across a standardbred gelding named Harley that needed a home. The seller had gotten him out of a neglect situation but knew she couldn’t hold onto him forever. He was a sweetheart and we picked him up a week later. Harley and Betsy quickly became best friends and he and I did a lot of learning together. He had been a harness racer, and I decided we were going to do gaming (barrel racing, pole bending, etc.). We were not good, but we had fun. He was my first real horse and this was probably the only way I would have ever been able to have a horse of my “own.” The senior portraits I had done with him are still some of my favorite portraits ever and I will forever cherish them because I now live 4 hours away and haven’t seen him in a very long time. My parents still have one of those portraits framed over the piano in their house.

When I got to college, I rode on the Western/Stock Seat team. I was totally self-taught until I joined the team and I have my coach, Lea DiGioia, to thank for making me the rider I am today. Riding on that team opened doors to so many things, including attending the inaugural Art of The Cowgirl event in Arizona in 2018. Attending that event clarified everything I wanted to do with my future. The women I met there were so willing to help those up-and-coming, to offer their expertise and encouragement. I knew I wanted to work with people in the equine and western industries, to tell stories through art and use my skills to help other businesses.

And so, the dream for East Meets West Creative was born. I’m so glad you’re along for the ride!

Showing western horsemanship in IHSA in college. I learned so much through this experience and will forever be grateful for it.

And a huge thank you to Denise DeGroff for letting me borrow your beautiful boys for my branding session.

  1. Jennie Gockel says:

    Beautiful pictures Katie! Loved reading your intro!💕

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Equestrians | Couples | Graphic Design