UNO women’s basketball player swaps out a basketball for a paintbrush


Megan Fabry

You’ll most likely see UNO senior Claire Killian with a basketball in her hand, but when she’s not on the court, a paintbrush or pen rests comfortably between her fingers.

Killian is studying psychology while also playing for the university’s women’s basketball team as a guard. Killian is attending UNO on a full-ride scholarship, meaning her tuition is completely paid for. Although she loves being an athlete, the strict rules against athletes having jobs during the academic year sometimes causes stress on her and her wallet.

“It’s difficult to manage my money because I have to be cognizant about not spending too much at a time, as I have to make it last,” Killian said.

Luckily for Killian, she found a way to make money on the side and still be able to focus on academics and basketball. Since she was young, she has had an artistic flair. She uses this talent to create acrylic paintings, ink pen drawings and acrylic pour art paintings and sells them to customers.

“I have always liked to draw and paint and didn’t think of selling it until some of my teammates complimented it and said if it were for sale they would definitely buy something like that,” Killian said. “They got me thinking about the money I could make from selling it.”

She created a website and posted about it on social media, hoping to spread the word through family and friends. Killian has had many interested buyers and spends much time ensuring they have a quality piece of art. It takes her several hours to complete an acrylic painting and to finish an ink pen drawing can take her up to 15 hours. Killian sells each piece for varying prices depending on the size and composition.

Being a full-time student while balancing practice, games and a social life can be difficult, but Killian uses her art to loosen up and let her creative juices flow.

“It allows me to escape the stress of school and basketball and create the visions I have in my head,” Killian said.

Killian is unsure whether she will sell her art after she graduates, but she knows she will continue to create it for herself and others to enjoy.