Susie Hosterman is a professional artist, designer, and photographer who offers services both remotely and locally in Erie, PA.
She has over 16 years of experience offering businesses portrait photography services, website design services, logo design services, social media management, digital marketing services, and video production services in Erie, PA, and beyond. She serves B2B companies spanning across the USA, as well as working remotely for creative agencies based as far away as Utah.
Her previous experience working as a Branding Specialist and Commercial Photographer, and interning for the Erie Art Museum has given her a wide breadth of expertise who has the ability to view a creative project from many angles. This strategic advantage has helped her client’s companies have an edge over their competition, while still remaining authentic to their mission, and sharing messages with integrity.
Susie is a national award-winning graphic designer, who has displayed her digital art creations, as a National Gold Key Finalist for The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, in an NYC art gallery. Her photography has been published nationally as well, including in Photography Forum’s 28th, 30th, and 32nd Annual College Photography Contest, and as the cover of “Spring Melt”.
Education and History
Multi-passionate Creative – since pre-school.
Although on the surface, it appears Susie Hosterman is just another run-of-the-mill Graphic Designer, she excelled in many different artistic areas and has received national attention for her dynamic and impactful photography style and fine art nature photography. Her decision to pursue a graphic design degree at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania was because Susie knew it would give her the opportunity to explore many of her other artistic interests in one form. As a multi-passionate woman, Susie answers that “Her ‘Art’ is Heart” when people ask what she “does” in life. Her interests include fine art, photography, video, writing, poetry, singing, acting, songwriting, music, mixed media, and fashion, and she is always exploring other mediums and expanding her interests. Because of this unstoppable curiosity to learn more, Susie gives her whole heart into any creative endeavor and never feels limited.
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!).
High School Legacy
Susie wins it all!
In High School, Susie became a two-time Gold Key Recipient of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in the Region-at-Large sector. One of her winning digital photographs went on to win a Gold Key at the National Level and was displayed in a NYC Gallery. That same year, Susie won 1st Place at the Pennsylvania State Computer Fair in the Graphic Design Category (A $500 prize) and also snagged a winning photo for the Discovery Channel Photography Contest (a $200 prize) during the event. Although Susie returned to the Pennsylvania Sate computer fair the next year, she received an Honorable Mention for her art. Susie also won Best In Show title at the Lock Haven University Juried High School Art show in 2006. All this encouragement in the arts led her to sell her art work at any Art Walk, as well as carried a portfolio of her art around high school on a daily basis. She began taking college courses while in High School, as well as took part in the Co-Op program, which allowed students to leave school to attend a job in their perspective field. Susie worked at Reese’s Print Shop during her Co-Op, and at the end of the program, during their yearly reward ceremony, took home Best Portfolio for the work she had done at the print shop. During her senior year of high school, Susie’s peers surprised her with the unexpected superlative nomination for (*no pressure) “Most Likely To Become Famous”, 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.
RealisT & Abstract
Fine Art Painter
Classically trained painter with an eye for 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).
Erie News Now Interview with Artist Susie Hosterman
Listen to an Interview with Goerie.com about a recent Gallery Night show Susie was involved in and what inspires her art.
Exhibitions & Past Gallery Shows
• 2020- PASNWPA Virtual “Celebration of Life” Photography Art Show- Erie, PA (https://www.pasnwpa.org/gallery)
• 2019- Safe Harbor Behavioral Health of UPMC“Sources of Strength” Art Show- Erie, PA
• 2019- Tipsy Bean Café and Bar“Healing the Dreary Erie Blues” Solo Art Show- Erie, PA
• 2019- Women’s Club of Erie – Your Energetic Health Event“Discovering Your Energetic Health” Solo Art Show- Erie, PA
• 2018- Erie Art Museum – Gallery Night“First Class Show” Erie, PA
• 2018- Jennifer Dworek Photography Studio – Gallery Night“Art Heals” Solo Art Exhibition- Erie, PA
• 2018- Community Room Exhibition – Warner TheatrePresque Isle Artist Association Fall Art Show- Erie, PA
• 2017- 319W2 – Selfie Show – Gallery Night“FOTO BOOTH” Selfie Exhibiton- Erie, PA
• 2016- St. Mary’s Art Space – Pitch Night“EndED Recovery Kit” Co.Starters Program- Erie, PA
• 2012- Bruce Gallery – Edinboro University“Case Study” Gmitter Scholarship Finalist Solo Exhibiton- Edinboro, PA
• 2012- Bruce Gallery – Edinboro UniversitySenior Graphic Design Show – Edinboro, PA
• 2012- PGH365 – AIGA Pittsburgh Exhibition, Pittsburgh, PA
• 2011- The 2011 Fall Student Film Festival- Edinboro University“Constant: The Experience” – Edinboro PA
• 2009 – Bruce Gallery – Edinboro UniversityAnnual Student Art Exhibition. Edinboro PA
• 2008- Bates Gallery – Edinboro UniversityUsed and Abused Graphic Design Show, Edinboro PA
• 2006- Sloan Gallery – Lock Haven UniversityLHU’s High School Juried Student Gallery, Lock Haven PA
• 2005- Millcreek Playhouse Gallery“Weaving Our Voices- A Tapestry of Women” Gallery, Lock Haven PA
Awards & Recognition
• 2010- Best of Show – Biennial Art Conferenc’s Social Justice Poster Contest
• 2008- Best In Show – Used and Abused Graphic Design Show- Edinboro
• 2007- Gold Key at National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
• 2006- Best In Show- LHU High School Juried Student Gallery, Lock Haven PA
• 2006- 1st Place at Pennsylvania State Computer Fair for Graphic Design
Publications & Press
• 2020- “Erie artist mixes realism, abstract work for Gallery Night”, GoErie.com article, written Feb. 27th, 2020. (GoErie Susie Hosterman Article)
• 2012- “SilverVision”, Edinboro University Photography Juried Publication
• 2012- “Photography Forums Annual 32nd College Photography”
• 2010- “Photography Forums Annual 30th College Photography”
• 2009- “Spring Melt” chapbook, Seven Kitchens Press
• 2008- “Photography Forums Annual 28th College Photography”
Affiliations & Organizations
– PASNWPA- Photographic Arts Society of North Western PA – since 2020
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.