Stylish Person: Katie Ryan

If you haven’t heard about Katie Ryan {or better known as QueeniKathleeni} yet, she is most certainly one to keep on your radar of Minneapolis creatives! Miss Ryan is a fashion illustrator and entrepreneur based here in the Twin Cities. Just three months after graduating from the University of St. Thomas {and after a few interviews which brought her true passion to fruition}, Katie started her own illustration company called QueeniKathleeni Designs. With an effortlessly cool demeanor and some serious talent, Katie and her designs are making a wave in the online style community... and she is just getting started! What first sparked your interest in illustrating?

I loved creating beautiful things from a very young age. It comforts me to know that I can sit down and create something new everyday.


How and when did you start Queenikathleeni Designs?

The idea for queenikathleeni Designs came to me in June of 2013 right after I graduated from the University of St. Thomas. I had no intention of starting my own design company until I started interviewing with advertising agencies and in every interview I said that my dream was to have my own illustration company so I didn’t get hired anywhere. I stopped interviewing, started sketching and three months later, I opened my Etsy shop.


What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?    

I can’t pick just one. I love bringing joy to people and I’m thankful that my job gives me the opportunity to do that through using a talent I’ve been blessed with. Recently, I have taken on some branding projects for some of my favorite companies and bloggers and that is incredibly rewarding to have my illustrations on their sites and products.


Where do you turn for inspiration?

When I’m lacking inspiration in my life I escape to my farm in the middle of Wisconsin. It is quiet and the most beautiful place to refocus. I have dreams of moving there someday and being a fashion illustrator living on a farm.  For my illustrations, I look to fashion bloggers for outfit inspiration. I’m also very inspired by beautiful packaging and the small design details that go into making a package special.

What adds pep to your step?

Iced coffee with an extra shot of espresso, pink, glitter, donuts, Beyonce and wearing lipstick to bed.


How would you describe your personal style?

Grungy with feminine touches.

Do you have a go-to look?

I definitely gravitate towards illustrating grunge style because I love wearing that style myself. This has a lot to do with the styles I gravitate towards.

What do you never leave the house without?

A beanie, lipstick and a cup of coffee.


How do you spend your free time? Any Twin Cities hot spots that you frequent?

For the most part, I am a homebody because that’s where I illustrate from. Working is fun for me because I’m fortunate enough to be doing my dream job so I often work on personal illustration projects when I have free time.

When I do get out and about, I love stopping by Hunt and Gather. I just moved into my own apartment so I’m in a decorating stage and I always find antique treasures there. I’m also a huge Parc Boutique fan. All of my favorite pieces are from Parc and sometimes it's clothing makes an appearance in my illustrations.