Katie Beltran's Vintage and Self-Expressive Style

It wasn't that long ago that Katie Beltran, then pregnant with her now 2 year old son Roman, pursued her desire for painting.

Joining the colorful cast of other 16th street artists, Beltran and designing artist Amanda Adkins are currently painting their first mural adjacent to the The Hive.

Alongside the art on her body and the art on her canvas (or any surface she can get a hold of really), there's plenty of art to see on her clothing racks (admittedly an addict of all things vintage) . . .

What are you wearing right now? - A dress that I bought when I was obsessed with Austin, Texas. I took a few road trips there and on one of them I bought this dress in a vintage shop. It's one of my favorite pieces of clothing because it just reminds me of being young and free. Oh wait, I still am! - Black vintage cowboy boots that I bought in Hillcrest, San Diego. - Turquoise necklace that was a gift from somebody special.

What is the last item of clothing you bought? Socks, underwear, and Hanes undershirts for my son. I'm a mom, so practical things.

Where do you usually shop?

I'm always checking out thrift stores - Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, etc. Whenever people compliment me on something vintage I'm wearing it feels good telling them it was only a few bucks.

Estate sales are great in the Valley because so many people come here to retire and they bring all their old junk with them. And when else do you get to go inside someone's home and shop through their closets? It's very intimate and a little sad especially when the person is deceased or the family is just trying to get rid of their belongings.....

Fashion trend you can't stand.

I can't stand anything when it's a trend because then it feels forced. Be yourself! Life is all about self-expression and diversity -- be it your clothing, hair, art, or lifestyle choices.

But all fashion trends tend to just be borrowed from another era and that aspect I like. I'm super nostalgic and obsessed with the past (and present). I get attached to certain eras and I want to recreate it, live in it. I've always been attracted to things that have a history especially when everything now is so new and we live in a disposable society. I'd rather having something used than something new that has no soul to it or memories imprinted into it.

Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes

My mom would always dress me up in 1 of 2 things. She would either put me in really frilly, girly dresses or she would dress me in plaid shirts with overalls and work boots. And she would make a lot of my clothing. I learned from my mom and grandmother how to sew and alter clothing at a young age. My grandmother, an artist as well, to this day still removes all the collars from her button up shirts because she can't stand feeling them around her neck.

6. Name 5 items every woman should have in her closet 1. Pair of jeans 2. Sexy, lacy underwear 3 Men's style button up shirts. I love wearing these. 4. Pair of cowboy boots. 5. A good classic dress that you can wear for any occasion.

What is your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix?

Be yourself. Be a living, walking, breathing piece of art. If you wake up one day and feel fancy, dress fancy. If you feel like a sack of potatoes, dress like a sack of potatoes. I want to see everyone's eccentricities shining bright!! I know there are plenty of crazy, awesome, creative people in Phoenix, that's for sure.

I notice some stylistic similarities to your fashion and your art...

I suppose.... I'm a self-taught artist and so I don't really have any preconceived notions of how my art should look, nor do I know anything about design elements, etc. My art is very organic, natural, and spontaneous. I usually get ideas for my art in my dreams and daydreams. It's highly personal but not meant to be taken too literally. I'm a girly girl. I like beautiful things (flowers, babies, gorgeous, intelligent women, bright colors, designs....) My work is 50 percent aesthetic and 50 percent emotion, energy, and intention. If as an artist, I can make the world a more beautiful place and make the viewer FEEL something, anything, I'll be happy.

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