The Whimsical World of Artist Terry Runyan

Terry Runyan creates playful designs by combining cheerful colors, quirky shapes and lively patterns.

Annie Butler Shirreffs  |  Feb 4th 2020


I first saw Terry Runyan’s artwork on a sample calendar I was sent, and I immediately wanted to learn (and see!) more. I love her blend of styles: Some are retro, some are modern, some are elegant, and some are just plain funny. She creates her playful designs by combining cheerful colors, quirky shapes and lively patterns.

A passionate cat lover, Terry has studied the captivating nature of our feline friends and naturally gravitates to creating them in her work. “They have such wacky personalities,” she says. “It’s easy to capture an attitude. Plus, they’re so much fun to paint! Nearly any shape can turn into a cat by adding ears, tail, legs and whiskers.”

Terry shares her life with kitty siblings Rylee and Tucker, who bring her joy and inspiration. “They are usually within hand’s reach in my studio — either on my computer desk or on my art table,” she says. “They also like to get their paws into the work at times, which I mostly find adorable!”

And Terry is an inspiration herself. She loves sharing the joy of creativity with others by encouraging people to jump into creating art just for the fun of it and letting go of the outcome. “The act of creating is natural to all of us,” she says. She also encourages people to ignore any thoughts and feelings that might stop them.

“Thoughts are fleeting and have nothing true to say about our creativity. Knowing this and seeing this in an art practice starts to spill over into the rest of our lives.”

Terry creates videos on YouTube and Skillshare that she hopes encourages people to explore their own creativity. She also works with local shelters by donating art for fundraisers. She actually adopted Rylee and Tucker from one of those shelters, calling them a lucky find for her.

Check out more of Terry’s art at terry runyan.com, on Facebook creative and on Instagram.