Denton Freak Flies Free

For one Denton artist, it’s time to "spread her wings and fly away". In the past year, Katie Montgomery launched her 1124 clothing company while devoting herself to freelance graphic design and spreading her art across different cities and states. In a few weeks she’ll move to Orlando, Florida to immerse herself in another art scene that will provide opportunities to expand her market and open up to the influences a different city can provide.

Katie Montgomery(center) with Jamie Pitcock(left) and Suzy Thomas(right).
photo by Byron Thompson

Montgomery says, “Denton is a lot different than the town I grew up in. If I had grown up in any other city then I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.” The artsiness and vibrant DIY attitude of Little d can have an effect on anyone willing to embrace following their dreams. But loving this town doesn’t mean feeling obligated to stay. 

“I haven’t done everything in Denton, but I have this goal to be in a bunch of different states and countries. If I don’t hop out now then I’ll just get way too comfortable and I won’t get any of that,” says Montgomery.

She came to Denton in 2011 to study graphic design, and ended up earning her degree at Texas Women’s University. The goal was to establish a career with financial comfort that being a full-time artist can’t provide. The passion for personal creativity persisted, and she launched 1124 with a marked desire to influence others to seek out a personal aesthetic that is unique and meaningful. 

Her next endeavour will be personal and aim to educate others on how to manage fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder that Katie Montgomery lives with. She may be frequently seen at bars, but she won’t be drinking beers. She adheres to a strict diet that is free of gluten, dairy, caffeine, and additive sugar. She also limits her citrus intake and drinks 8 ounces of water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Additionally, she regularly exercises and performs kickboxing and yoga activities. 

Her next business will be called Fibro Special, and it will include weekly videos that offer her well-researched insight on living with fibromyalgia. In the vein of Casey Neistat, Montgomery is aiming to "do more" with her life. In addition to selling her shirts and art at various arts events, she has attended business-minded conferences such as the Seanwes Conference. To improve yourself as an entrepreneur, it’s necessary to surround yourself with people who have more success and more experience. 

One common image of Montgomery's aesthetic is the presence of hands and exaggerated eyes. In one of her recent newsletters, she remarked on how hands are beautiful because they are used to create things and greet others. Either way, her art aims to be expressive rather than to be a lifelike copy of body parts. 

Over the last few years, Montgomery has worked hard, created incessantly, and breathed in the nightlife of Denton. She’s been at too many community market events to count, and this city should be proud to be the incubator that it is. Her clothing company launched with a party and ended its time in Denton with a party, and each of them had a zany photo booth with props.

Katie Montgomery is adamant about refusing a cookie-cutter lifestyle and refusing to have that social filter that causes people to act differently between certain groups of their social circles. As one of her t-shirt designs says, she’s going to “let her freak flag fly”.


Header image design by Brittany Keeton