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Welcome to Tart Cardinal Creative

I’m Kara Carr, a NY-born, KY-grown surface pattern designer and illustrator living in Lexington, Kentucky. I create artwork that makes the right person beam; cute and quirky delights that bring a smile to the face and a flutter to the heart.

I have over 12 years of experience in creative fields all of which combine to inspire me to create illustrations and prints that inspire joy and makes love shine in the young at heart–the kind of designs that make you feel giddy to show off.

This is  where my thoughts and dreams become reality– where I take the subjects I obsess over and honor them through art, then share them with you so you can delight in them as well. Tart Cardinal is inspired by the pure joy we feel when completely nerding out about what we love. My work is quirky and joyful;  for the young-at-heart along with their children, best friends, family, loved ones, work wives, and kindred spirits.

Whether it’s about a lifestyle, a spirit animal, a collection, or a pop culture obsession; we all love what we love and we love to show it off. Through Tart Cardinal I strive to provide heartwarming and quality products, patterns, and illustrations that you can feel excited to display on your person, in your home, or otherwise in your life.

All Tart Cardinal artwork is hand-created with a variety of techniques and media. My passion is not only sharing these works, but the act of creating them and the process of creation itself. I love to share this passion with anyone who cares to wax poetic.

Let’s Work Together!

Want to license one of my collections?
Dreaming OF APPAREL with a print based on your fav show?
Want a CUSTOM portrait of your pet?

With over 12 years of creative experience in art, graphic design, and illustration, I  have worked with clients and collaborators large and small. I strive to make any fan of my work happy, whether that means being inspired by their desires for a future project, a commission an entire collection of patterns for exclusive use, or anything in-between.

I change my media from project to project, and I love to work in both illustrative and realistic styles. If you enjoy my work and would like to be involved in a project together, just holler!

Contact me at kara@tartcardinal.com to let me know what you have in mind!