The Connected Creator: Visual Artist Katlin McFadden

Katlin McFadden is a Pennsylvania-born mom of two. When she’s not helping women in business, and juggling mom-life, she’s painting portraits of them. She began her college education focusing on fine art and worked in a variety of industries. After relocating to North Carolina years later, Katlin decided she wanted to pursue a degree in marketing and sales where she felt she could combine her love of business with creativity.  Katlin often jokes she loves to create everything from businesses, to artwork, to grocery lists. 

During this time, she became interested in creating a business of her own. She designed a product and navigated the prototyping and manufacturing process. This business venture lead her to discover the power of social media marketing. After exploring the world of invention and marketing, she decided it was time to channel her effort into a career. Becoming part of the team at the WBC was a perfect fit for Katlin’s interest in business and promoting small businesses specifically.  

Katlin became a member of the Women’s Business Center of Fayetteville at CEED in March of 2018. She began her career with the WBC as a part-time Business Advisor and is now the WBC Program Director.  Katlin loves empowering women to bring their ideas to life and firmly believes where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Outside of her role at the Women’s Business Center, Katlin sells her original artwork and prints. She is currently working on a series of paintings titled, “Luminosity” and focusing on newly commissioned work. 

3 Things making your life richer & why:

My two wonderful daughters: They constantly remind me to stop and appreciate the little things. They are my greatest motivators and inspiration. 

My career at CEED: I feel so incredibly grateful that I get to be so creative at my job and I get to learn so many things. CEED has allowed me to pursue my hunger for growth, knowledge, and new experiences. 

Community: Like many, I am a transplant in Fayetteville who chose to stay. The community, my friends, and the team I get to work with-they all make it a truly enriching place to be. 

Local artist (any genre, Cumberland County preferred) you admire: I admire the work of many local artists. Fayetteville is full of talent! One of the artists I particularly admire is Sarah Sourcier. Her paintings are full of emotion and I love how she bridges abstract brushstrokes and conveys realistic images. Her work is so fun and dynamic to look at; her painting of Clint Eastwood is one of my favorite works in Fayetteville! 

What is one of your current artistic experiments? One of my current artistic experiments has been the examination of ambient light and capturing that glow. I’m truly enjoying the process and building the contrast! 

What changed about your practice in 2020? Will you keep this change? My practice drastically changed in 2020. Prior to 2020 I primarily created art in black and grey charcoal or graphite. I used to describe myself solely as a pencil and paper artist. When the “stay at home” period of the pandemic began in 2020, I dove into the world of paint and color. I wanted a challenge and felt the inspiration to grow as an artist. Feeling stuck in the four walls of my home created this need to bring color in. This change is here to stay. I still draw often but, I feel I haven’t even scratched the surface of the world of paint and what I can do what it. 

Where do you practice your art? Describe your work space. I mostly work in my home studio. My workspace is compromised of a vintage military trunk full of paint and a shelf of eclectic mugs and jars full of paintbrushes, palette knives, and charcoal pencils. My walls are lined with my in progress work…I am running out of wall space! 

How do you find your subject (next piece, idea, voice)? I find myself looking for images that are relatable or convey a relatable feeling. Last year my primary focus was on images that had an element of water. I wanted to examine how to create the translucency of water into paint and the concept of “staying afloat”. This year I have a concentrated focus on light sources. My current series ranges from natural sunlight cast on the human form to the glow of ambient light. 

Advice to newer artists in your genre: My advice for newer artists in my genre would be to keep painting as much as possible and don’t forget to take a step back and look at your overall picture throughout the process! Also, don’t be afraid to try new styles and mediums-don’t limit yourself! For the longest time I was stuck on one medium out of a passion and comfortability but I surprised myself with the happiness I’ve found in this new and exciting chapter of work! 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s