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Can a Cat Be Abstract Art? This Illustrator Digs Her Claws In

After working at Hallmark Cards for three decades, Terry Runyan gives visual arts a fresh, new whirl.
Animal Pattern. All images courtesy the artist

A charming menagerie of animals stack up against a teal background, balancing form and color. With well-heeled experience creating original designs, graphic illustrator Terry Runyan brings a witty elegance to her compositions including cats, dogs, and other friendly creatures.

Runyan brings a certain professionalism to her drawings, having worked for 30 years in the art department of Hallmark Cards. The Kansas City-based artist eventually retired from the company in fall 2016 to pursue her own artwork. "Although my background is in stylized/representational art," she tells The Creators Project. "I have a keen interest in exploring abstraction. I feel like a beginning student again, a wonderful and scary feeling, full of mystery and ambiguity. [Currently,] I work in several different media and have also been experimenting with process video stories using the Procreate App."


Runyan shares on her website that she frequently takes inspiration from her two cats, Rylee and Tucker. Prior to pursuing a degree in design/illustration, the artist followed roads down veterinary science and architecture. Two areas which perfectly correlate to Runyan’s first introductory words to The Creators Project, “I have always loved animals and art—in that order.”

Black & White Fox



Field of Cats

Girls and One Cat

Nap Hat

Stray Cat

Wake Up Call

See more work from Terry Runyan on her website, her Instagram, and her Etsy page.


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