Literary, Music, Visual
Contact: Susie Hosterman
Erie, PA 16502
She has over 16 years of experience offering:
- portrait photography & wedding photography services
- website design services & logo design services
- social media management & digital marketing services
- video production services
- fine art paintings and more
PHOTOGRAPHY & GRAPHIC DESIGN:
Education and History
Susie is a nationally 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”.
Although on the surface, it appears Susie Hosterman is just another run-of-the-mill Graphic Designer, she excels in many different artistic areas and has received national attention for her dynamic and impactful photography style and fine art nature photography. 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 and has the ability to view a creative project from many angles.
Susie decided to pursue graphic design at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania because she knew it would give her the opportunity to explore many of her other artistic interests in one degree. As a multi-passionate woman, Susie will answer 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.
FILM, DOCUMENTARY, & VIDEO PROJECTS:
Susie Creates Art and Tools to help others overcome Anxiety, Depression and Eating Disorders
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. Despite those 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. The walk happened to occur on her birthday so Susie found it extra special that she could celebrate that day, having survived anorexia to be there.
Her senior year of college, Susie was a finalist for the Gmitter Scholarship Juried Exhibition at Edinboro University and was granted gallery space. 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 narcolepsy with cataplexy. 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 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 tools and is like no other therapeutic resource on the market. She hopes to offer the kit to the world within the next few years and is currently looking for investors and collaborators interested in helping her make the project a success.
REALIST & ABSTRACT FINE ART PAINTER:
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” to create abstract expressionistic paintings. She is a current member of the Presque Isle Artist Association (PIAA).
MUSIC AND MORE:
Susie served as Development Director for the Erie Philharmonic Chorus, and is an avid musician who sings and plays a few instruments. She enjoys writing her own songs and brainstorming musicals in her spare time. 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 singer/songwriter.