SUU to Illustrator | USU

Originally published October 13, 2022. Kirsten Beitler, a composite art major with a concentration in illustration at SUU, is now applying her degree as a full-time sign artist for Harmons Grocery Store in Santa



Originally published October 13, 2022.


Kirsten Beitler, a composite art major with a concentration in illustration at SUU, is now applying her degree as a full-time sign artist for Harmons Grocery Store in Santa Clara, Utah.

“I love getting paid to draw all day and the freedom I have to use my sense of humor and illustration background to enrich our client experience,” she says. “I do whatever type of sign the store needs. They are usually made with a pigmented pen on Sintra cardboard, but some signs are just letters and prices. I have carte blanche to do just about anything I want.

She has a successful commercial art career that supports her family in addition to building a satisfying personal art portfolio as a contemporary figurative and portrait painter. And for a few years now, Kirsten has run her own teaching studio and has also produced several nationally award-winning paintings.

Additionally, Kirsten is involved with the Southern Utah Art Guild, Arts to Zion Studio Tour, UTU Business of Art program, and as a volunteer mentor for women going through the trauma of betrayal.

Kirsten is grateful to SUU faculty members Perry Stewart and Brian Hoover for teaching her how to be an artist. The two remain good friends and she says it’s fun to watch her mentors continue to grow as artists and support each other in the art world.

“Perry was a tough teacher who expected a lot from us. He emphasized strong drawing and design skills that I use every day,” she says. “Brian Hoover taught me how to paint in oils and opened my mind to the idea that I could be an illustrator and a good artist. I didn’t have to choose one or the other. He championed my quirky style and challenged me to become a better artist.

Kirsten is a second-generation SUU graduate, as her father Ferron Holt (’76) and brother David Holt (’98) also attended SUU.