About Susie

Passionate freelance photographer, graphic designer, and fine artist in the Erie PA region.

Susie Hosterman is a professional and passionate freelance photographer living in the Erie area. She most recently worked as a Branding Specialist and Commercial Photographer for weCreate Website Design and Marketing, and in the past has interned for the Erie Art Museum and Jennifer Dworek Photography. Her photography has been published nationally, including in Photography Forum’s 28th, 30th, and 32nd Annual College Photography Contest, and the cover of “Spring Melt” (A poetry book) as well as local publications such as Edinboro University’s SilverVision.

Education and History

Multi-passionate creative since pre-school.

Despite studying Graphic Design at Edinboro University, Susie excelled and received state-wide and national attention for her dynamic and impactful photography portraits and nature photography. Her decision to study graphic design in college was a necessity because Susie knew the degree encompassed many of her artistic interests. A multi-passionate woman, Susie says “Her ‘Art’ is Heart” when describing what she “does” in life, alluding to the fact that she is interested in photography, video, content writing, painting, collages, mixed media and fashion. She gives her whole heart into whatever project she is working on, regardless of the medium.

Humble Beginnings

Susie’s 1st grade dreams come true!

Since the moment her kindergarten teacher practically gasped at the detailed pig she happened to draw in class (so much so that she grabbed another teacher to come look)… Susie knew she was going to be an artist. She won her first drawing award in 3rd grade and went on to be chosen to represent her elementary school in a city-wide Chalk Drawing contest. She was chosen both in 3rd grade and again in 5th grade, where she won 1st place. She also showed skill in writing and was the Executive Editor of the School Newspaper her 5th grade year and also the Middle School paper as well (the little executive cutie!).

In High School, she was a 2-time Gold Key Recipient of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in the Region-at-Large sector. One of her digital photographs went on to win another Gold Key at the National Level and was displayed in a NYC Gallery. That same year, she won 1st Place in Graphic Design at the PA State Computer Fair and won a Discovery Channel Photography Contest as well. Her senior year of high school, her peers voted for her to win the (no pressure) Most Likely To Become Famous superlative, because of her award-winning photography and art.

Susie is proud that she can now say she is, in fact,  ‘a artist’ who can ‘draw a dinosaurs’ now.

Entrepreneurial and Spirited

From selling homemade newspapers door to door at age 7, to creating tools to help others overcome anxiety and depression.

In 2008 Susie relapsed into a bad habit that nearly cost her her life on several occasions. Silently and secretly, she began starving herself. This led to severe depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts. But despite these difficult times, Susie wanted to use her experience for good. Because she had dealt with anorexia before when she was 13, she vowed to do recovery differently this time. She opened up about her struggle online and documented the entire process on YouTube, using her journals, art, video footage, and photography. In 2009, Susie released a documentary titled “Retreat Behind Ribs”, which exposed a tortured yet honest depiction of the daily life of a recovering anorexic. The video garnered over 96,000 views on YouTube. Then, in 2011, Susie raised over $600 for the National Eating Disorder Association and participated in her first NEDA Awareness Walk in NYC across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Her senior year of college, Susie was granted gallery space in the Gmitter Scholarship Juried Exhibition at Edinboro University. She used this opportunity to bring awareness to mental health topics using controversial video, sculpture, book art, and documentary photography. The Exhibition was called Case Study and showed the detached, cold, and medical perspective on mental health, raising questions including “are we really just a number?” and “am I really just a diagnosis to you?”  She won the Biennial Art Conference’s Social Justice Poster Contest in which she spread awareness for the FREED Act– the first comprehensive eating disorder bill to encourage  insurance companies to cover eating disorder recovery expenses.

Unfortunately, an unexpected illness affected Susie in mid 2012, when she woke up one morning in agonizing pain. Her life has since been altered due to the physical and mental deficits that came with the illness. But once again, Susie uses her experiences to raise awareness and spread education. She is a contributing writer for one of the most well known chronic illness websites– The Mighty, and discusses topics such as mental health, neurological disorders, chronic fatigue, dysautonomia, and POTS. Her YouTube account was rebranded in 2013 when Susie decided to take down all her old videos. She started the Stay Tuned with Sooz series, which included before-and-after content that reflects on mental health recovery: where she’s been, how it affected her, and how she’s trying to live a better life regardless of the effects. She now works with other entrepreneurs and counselors in the area to develop self-help material for those dealing with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Her ultimate dream is to help others “Stay Tuned In” to themselves and their desires in life by empowering themselves through expressive therapies. This– she has found– is the key to personal love and transformation.

Susie recently participated in Erie’s first Co.Starters program, which aims to educate and prepare entrepreneurs with information and resources to start their own business. While involved, Susie further developed a recovery kit she had designed periodically throughout college, which was geared toward helping people with anxiety and eating disorders recover. The kit uses creative outlets and tools and is like no other therapeutic tool on the market. She hopes to offer the kit to the world by June 2019.

Classically Trained Fine Artist

Beyond photography and video, Susie is a classically trained painter with an eye for impactful composition and vibrant colors. 

Susie’s favorite fine art mediums include acrylic paint, watercolor, and oil pastels– though she also doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty with a bit of black charcoal every now and then. Despite a natural at depicting realistic figures and still life, Susie prefers allowing herself to “go with the flow” and create abstract expressionistic paintings. She is a current member of the Presque Isle Artist Association (PIAA).

Years of Photography and Video Experience

Years of Design and Marketing Experience

Years of Fine Art and Writing Experience

Her Age

Music and More

Susie served as Development Director for the Erie Philharmonic Chorus, and is an avid musician who sings and plays ukulele. She enjoys writing her own songs and brainstorming musicals in her spare time. When in doubt, she will offer to create a jingle for any business or event. Susie grew up in a very musical family, where her mother is a pianist and organist, father a retired music professor and jazz musician, and she and her 3 siblings play multiple instruments, sing, and pursue musical performance in their daily lives. Basically, it’s in their blood. She has also acted on stage since the age of 7, highlighting in plays and musicals throughout her career, including “Miracle Worker”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Barefoot in the Park”, and hosted various Talent Shows. She has sung in choirs since the age of 9, consistently until the age of 26, when she decided to pursue more solo musical career as a comedian ukulele player. As a ukulele player and songwriter, Susie goes by the name: A Serious Artist, because she creates funny (and definitely not serious) music to help lift people’s spirits.

Singer/Songwriter

Writing songs in her spare time is a great therapeutic and fun outlet for Susie. She goes by the name “A Serious Artist” because she specializes in comedic songs that are anything but serious.

Ukulele Player

Susie picked up the ukulele after, quote “The guitar was too big and ouchy” and was told the ukulele would prepare the way for better guitar skillz. Well, she never returned and fell head over heels for her tiny Uke, Luis.

Acting/Voice Acting

Need a poem read? A voice for your telephone system? Or maybe a voice over for your next commercial? Yep– Susie has experience in those areas. She has been acting since the age of 6 and has been told she “has the voice of an angel.”

View Full List of Services Susie Offers

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Susie would love to hear from you if you need marketing services, a commission, or other projects. She enjoys collaborating with like-minded creative individuals.