365 New Orleans is focused on local artists and businesses. Every single day, for one year, a new person or place will be highlighted. Follow along on Instagram: @365NewOrleans
Katie Leese, aka the one and only Jeanbird Art, can regularly be found selling her pieces of art in Jackson Square. Katie has lived all over the place and finally became a permanent resident of New Orleans, more specifically the French Quarter, back in 2008.
When Katie was living here for months at a time (right after Hurricane Katrina), then 22, she became a Jackson Square artist by accident. She got a permit and started selling art because she wanted to hold the space for the artists that would be returning. She wanted the city to know that the artists would be coming back.
Katie looks back at that memory and laughs – she had no intention of staying there as an artist. She just wanted to help in whatever way she could in the crazy, post-Katrina New Orleans.
Anyone that knows her is thankful that she stayed put in Jackson Square, and New Orleans.
1. What products and services do you offer?
Mixed media paintings with birds. They mostly have positive affirmations. I also offer prints of my work and an occasional snarky comment on my paintings. Every once a while I have a painting that features another animal. It’s mostly birds though.
2. How long have you been in business?
This is my 13th year in Jackson Square, but my 8th year painting birds.
3. How do people find you online?
4. What is lesser known about your business that you wish more people knew?
I make everything completely by hand. From start to finish, it’s all me.
Also, I have painted over 30,000 of these by hand.
5. What’s your favorite aspect or piece you’ve worked on?
I’ve always been an artist. This is my 8th year of creating the birds, and I’m still obsessed with them. My favorite piece is the one that says “You are my sunshine.” My grandma used to sing it to me as a kid, so it’s special to me. Then I moved here and found out it was the state song. I found that very fitting. People always tell me stories about the what the song means to them. It connects us.
Find Jeanbird Art in Jackson Square!