Taking a Chance on Joy By Savanah Tillberg

“As a child, all I painted were cats,” explains Leanna Rosengren, artist and owner of Knotted Design, saying that her earliest inspiration was her cat, Misty. From a young age, Rosengren has been creative and has used a variety of outlets to express her artistry. While growing up, the artist and her sister were drawn to calming activities such as crafting with their mother, a hobby which allowed her to explore her artistic gifts. 

“I did well all-around in high school but I decided to take a chance on joy and pursue art,” she says. Upon completing her visual arts degree from Lakehead University in 2012, she explains that she was determined to not let her art degree be wasted and began applying for jobs that were even “slightly artistic.” This led her to graphic design. 

Rosengren, who is now very much recognized for her work in graphic design, is an acrylic and oil painter by trade. “My favourite personal projects are landscape and portrait paintings,” she says. Rosengren, born and raised in Thunder Bay, explains that she is often inspired by the natural scenery found in the area and even spent six summers working at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, where she would find inspiration for her art at every turn. “I am drawn to quiet, independent activities and painting just gives me a lot of joy,” she explains. 

After being hired by a local graphic design studio, Rosengren dove into the art form. The company, she explains, took a chance on her as her art degree from Lakehead did not train her in graphic design. “I was mainly self-taught,” she says. “I would play around in photo illustrator on my own to improve my work.” 

Her own business, Knotted Design, stemmed from her sister’s request to create her wedding invitations. “I wanted to put the template from my sister’s invitations online to see if anyone might be interested in them and from there it snowballed into a lot of requests from people who wanted invitations designed,” she says. In addition to graphic design for weddings and various businesses, Rosengren also does commission portraits of people, places, and pets. 

Rosengren has been operating Knotted Design full-time for four years but says that she still leaves time for personal art projects. “Right now, I’ve got a baby and that’s been keeping me very busy,” she says. “But painting and other creative activities such as printmaking are really peaceful for me. Even in my sleep-deprived-mom state, I will be in a better mood the next day if I stay up and paint.”

Find more information about Knotted Design at knotteddesign.com.