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Meet Karlie Tankersley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karlie Tankersley.

Hi Karlie, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I have been in love with creating art since a young age. I painted and drew my whole life, but I didn’t start getting serious about art until my senior year of high school. I started with drawing and watercolor, but when I got to college I fell in love with oil painting.

It was something I never experienced before; it sparked a fire within me that still burns hot to this day. In college, I learned how to make ceramics, books, printmaking, welding, woodworking, refining my painting skills, and so much more.

I received a Fine Art bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in painting and an entrepreneur minor from MTSU. My minor helped me learn how to run a business and marketing, and generally gave me the skills to become the entrepreneur I am today.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
After I graduated college, I went through a lot of trial and error, tragedy, and character development. I was in the service industry, but I was still passionately making art. I picked up some new skills along the way like airbrushing and shoe customization.

I apprenticed at a tattoo shop for several months. I had multiple life-changing events occur that lead me to a breaking point. Instead of giving up or breaking down, I pushed myself even harder. Following my dreams has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done and becoming an entrepreneur has been the biggest challenge of my life. I have had times when I had no income for long periods.

I have had to go through some unforgettable events like having thousands of dollars of my art stolen from me. I have had to move past the disappointment of family members and generally have little to no support. I had to keep the passion alive, stay dedicated, and always leave room to grow.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Today, I own my own business: Kool Karlie. I specialize in oil paintings and shoe customization. I vend art at festivals, concerts, art events, and gallery showings.

I have been published in various magazines, newspapers, and books including Mesmer Vol. 2 and the Murfreesboro Pulse newspaper. I consistently make art for sales, such as dog portrait commissions, my personal body of artwork, custom shoes, sculpture, and various other creative projects.

Being a full-time artist takes a lot of time, dedication, and risk. I’m most proud of the direction my career has taken. What sets me apart from others is my work ethic, attention to detail, quality of my work, diversity within my art, and passion for what I do.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I love the music scene in Nashville the most. What makes this city special is the people that live here!

I wish that there was a larger art scene in Nashville, but I see that as an opportunity for growth and a challenge.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Kool Karlie

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2 Comments

  1. Jef

    May 18, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    She is truly a genuine person. And a great artist! She has faced a difficult young life, but like her mother has persevered to a successful adulthood. It is great to know and appreciate her.

  2. Delight

    May 19, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    I am always impressed when I see her work especially the portraits, such detail. I look forward forward to the day that she can have her own gallery showcasing her art and others.

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