Interview With Artist Kate Sypek

Caroline Broman
Kate Sypek art

Photo credit: Ali Winston

It is with excitement that I am introducing Kate, an artist who first ventured into the interior design and graphic design field before she fell for those paint brushes.

Her story of the process she took to find her love for painting portraits is really inspiring. It reminds me of, how important it is to enjoy the creative process and not overthinking things but just to do. Which is also something she is mentioning in her tips with us.

I also love her passion and devotion to dogs, especially after reading her saying: My goal is for a stranger to be able to look at one of my portraits and be able to get a glimpse of the subject’s soul….whether human or animal! Precious!

See her full story on how she went through this creative process of finding art, her art story and what inspires her. She also shares 3 tips to the creative, that I am already taking actions on. Thank you Kate!




MY STORY

My mother was an elementary school art teacher – and an amazing artist, and my grandmother was also an artist – so I do believe the need to paint is in my blood.

Throughout my schooling I always took art classes, but when I was in college Instagram wasn’t around yet – and the prospects of making it as an artist weren’t very promising. For this reason I decided to major in communications, and eventually went on to interior design as a career/creative outlet.

After a few years, I realized I wasn’t fulfilled, so I took some online classes for Adobe Illustrator and began doing graphic design. I still dabble in that here and there, but over the years I realized I was happiest when I was sketching logo designs or website layouts by hand – and realized I wanted to work towards a more traditional form of art.

So a few years ago I started painting some portraits of friends’ and family’s pets, and haven’t stopped since! Now I love getting to meet new clients, learn about their pets, and create art for them that they will hopefully cherish. In addition, I have started working on a collection of human portraits as well that I hope to release later this year.  



– Kate


I’m most drawn to the pieces that make you wonder what the subject’s (or artist’s) story is.

Kate Sypek art

Photo credit: Ali Winston

Where do you find inspiration to your art? 

I find so much inspiration in the past. I have always loved anything vintage or nostalgic – and the paintings I’m most drawn to are the pieces that make you wonder what the subject’s (or artist’s) story is.

For inspiration I love looking through old black and white photos, listening to old tunes while I paint (Glenn Miller is my favorite), and reading books that take place in another time.

I also feel really inspired when I’m surrounded by other artists. Working alone at a home studio can be isolating, so taking the occasional trip is a must. Florence, Italy is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I feel so inspired just walking around and watching people paint and sketch in the streets.

I also find inspiration from the relationships people have with their pets. I’ve always had dogs, and know first-hand how strong that bond is. When I started painting dogs I wanted to help people honor their furry family members, because their time with us can be so fleeting – and they deserve a permanent place in our homes and memories! 


I also find inspiration from the relationships people have with their pets.

Kate Sypek art
Kate Sypek art


My goal is for a stranger to be able to look at one of my portraits and be able to get a glimpse of the subject’s soul….whether human or animal!

What is the story behind your style and how would you define your style? 

I would call my style “evolutionary”.  

I’ve been working in watercolor for years but just started oil painting last year, and it’s such a flexible medium that I’m sure I could explore different ways to use it for years.

My clients can request a wide range of styles, so I try to focus most of my attention on capturing the pet’s personality and essence.  My goal is for a stranger to be able to look at one of my portraits and be able to get a glimpse of the subject’s soul….whether human or animal!

Kate Sypek art
Kate Sypek art


Even if you don’t know what direction you’re heading, just start painting and sharing it with the world.

Can you name three artists that you admire the work of? 

  • Dennis Perrin: I really love how he captures light so effortlessly. His paintings are so beautiful, and he can convey so much with hardly any brush strokes.
  • Julie Brunn: She paints animals simply and beautifully, and really captures their unique quirks.
  • Agnes Grochulska:  She paints really cool, colorful portraits. Her style is so unique, and I love the way she uses color.

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Kate Sypek art


If I’m feeling blocked creatively, I’ll step away from whatever I’m working on, close my eyes and do a 10 minute guided meditation.

How does your painting studio look like? And what are some of your must have inspiring objects in your studio?

The upper floor in our house used to be a finished attic that we have since painted white and converted to an art studio.  

It’s not huge, and the ceilings are low – but it captures beautiful natural light all day, starting at the skylights on the east side all the way over to the small window on the west. Watching the light change and filter through the trees throughout the day is one of my favorite things about the studio.

See Also
Artist Alewijn

Books are definitely a must-have. I have tons of books on animals, flowers, and art history books that always help inspire me when I’m feeling stuck. 

Also I find quick meditations very helpful. If I’m feeling blocked creatively, I’ll step away from whatever I’m working on, close my eyes and do a 10 minute guided meditation. It always revives me!

Kate Sypek art
Kate Sypek art

Photo credit: Ali Winston

If you could choose any place and wall, where would you love your art to be displayed? 

I grew up in Laguna Beach, CA, which is a very art-y community. There are over 100 art galleries and studios there…. My dream is to one day be able to walk through downtown Laguna and see my art hanging in one of the beautiful galleries!

It has also always been a dream of mine to have a booth with my paintings at either the Sawdust Festival or the Festival of the Arts (both in Laguna Beach). They are fun, summer-long festivals, and I have the best memories from my high school years of perusing the stalls, listening to live music, and enjoying all of the beautiful local art.

Kate Sypek art

Photo credit: Ali Winston


Practice some form of art every single day!


3 Tips

To the creative

Tips 1 Practice some form of art every single day! You’ll be surprised at how quickly you notice improvement in your hand-eye coordination.

Tips 2 Experiment with different techniques and mediums! I always thought I would be a watercolor artist, and it took a few months of experimenting with oil paints before I fell in love.

Tips 3 The most important one is to just start. Even if you don’t know what direction you’re heading, just start painting and sharing it with the world. I really wish I had started sooner, but fear held me back. Once I did start, my path started paving itself – but sometimes I wonder where I would be if I had started earlier.

Thank you Kate for sharing your story with us and for inspiring us! Follow Kate for more inspiration and find her website here.


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