Add color to your Instagram feed and pizzazz to your walls with work from these five local artists. Whether you’re looking for a family portrait, landscape or fan art, a vibrant color palette or muted nudes and beiges, we’ve got you covered.

The Nerd Lady

The Nerd Lady, or Swapna Gardner as she’s known to the masses, is a Frisco lettering artist who creates stickers, posters, keychains and even hand painted decorative skulls inspired by literature. She’s a full time English teacher, a mother and an independent thinker on top of being one of the areas best local artists.

Swapna first got into lettering when her former boss asked her to scrap a large portion of her literary curriculum, claiming that it wasn’t directly applicable to teenagers’ lives. Swapna rebelled by lettering book quotes on whiteboards throughout the campus. The students loved it, and Swapna made her point.

Her art often focuses on feminist themes — think illustrations of iconic women in movies (my favorite is Laura Dern in Jurassic Park stating that women will inherit the Earth) and quotes from Jane Austen novels — along with more general nerdy content.

Website | Etsy | Society6 | Redbubble

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Nordlund’s website

Stephanie Nordlund

Stephanie Nordlund is a Plano native and full time art educator with a passion for creating art people can relate to. She specializes in feminist art, mainly prints and stickers of powerful women throughout history. Truly one of the most relatable local artists we’ve found, her work often promotes themes of self care and work life balance — think greeting cards with reminders that “you are doing just fine” and stickers affirming that “self care is never selfish.” Reminders we all need from time to time.

Stephanie also paints family and pet portraits. Follow her on Instagram @nordcreates to see more of her work.

Here’s her shop!

Rao Art

Geetha Rao is a Plano resident, painter, former architect, Indian American and a mother of two. Most of her works are oil on canvas and depict serene landscapes, vases of blossoming flowers, animals and occasionally scenes from her childhood growing up in Iran and India. She’s one of those local artists who takes you to another time and world with her work.

Her art has been featured at the Visual Arts Guild of Frisco, the Ladies N Art Show and the Plano Arts and Crafts Expo.

Here’s her Facebook (DM to purchase)

Melarie Odelusi

Melarie Odelusi is a freelance illustrator from Duncanville whose work emphasizes Black women’s joy and the strength of women in solidarity. She uses minimal lines and soft shades of rose, beige, butter yellow and bronze to create art that exudes femininity.

Melarie has worked with high profile clients like Neiman Marcus, Disney +, Laura Mercier and Michaels. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart and the Dallas Observer. She’s certainly one of the most prolific local artists in the DFW area!

Here’s her shop!

Kat Goodloe

Kat Goodloe, based in Dallas, is well known for her book cover illustrations, the most recent of which was for North Texas author Julie Murphy’s “Faith.” She also publishes fan art to her Instagram with her signature bright color palettes, playful fonts and themes of body positivity and racial diversity. One of the boldest local artists with a command of even bolder colors!

She has worked with book publishers such as HarperCollins, Valiant Comics, Penguin Random House, Quirk Books, Simon & Schuster and Scholastic.

Website | Etsy


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Vaibhavi Hemasundar

Vaibhavi Hemasundar is an undergraduate at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She loves singing, film photography, and devouring book after book.