Kentucky artist shines making artwork for other artists

By Matt Wickstrom

Pike County native Stef Ratliff has created artwork given as awards to musicians such as Jason Isbell, Loretta Lynn and Chris Stapleton.

MOREHEAD, Ky. — For many aspiring artists, a move to Nashville presents the opportunity to make it big under the bright lights in an entertainment epicenter. However, nearly all of those artists’ pursuits are of the musical variety, whereas Stephanie “Stef” Ratliff’s is in painting – a path that has led her to creating works that will be awarded to her musical colleagues in the city’s creative community.

Ratliff, a Pike County native who also dabbles with ceramics and printmaking, says that white bland furniture in her childhood bedroom was the catalyst for her artistic endeavors. As a result, Ratliff recalls everything in her room being covered in stickers, acting as her first canvas of sorts and reminding her that functional items can be functional artwork.

In addition to bland childhood furniture, Ratliff credits music as one of the main influences of her artwork and creative pursuits. At a young age her brother introduced her to punk music, leading to an affinity for Nirvana, Face to Face, Le Tigre and like-minded acts. Ratliff later found out many of the artists she’d begun to listen to are influenced by the kings and queens of country music such as Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn – all of which Ratliff includes among her favorite artists due to the authenticity and relatability of their lyrics.

Read the full story in The Lane Report.


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