About Kat Kirby
Kat Kirby is a retired Board-Certified Art Therapist, a studio artist, creativity retreats facilitator, SoulCollage® Trainer, and lover of all things book-related. Kat Kirby teaches workshops in her light-filled studio in Prescott, Arizona, as well as in beautiful places throughout the US and around the world. You can find her at www.2katstudios.com.
Why do you do what you do?
Ever since I was a child I have been making books and journals. My background as an art teacher and Expressive Arts Therapist has made me appreciate the power of creativity. I enjoy offering creative workshops and retreats in my studio in Arizona as well as in beautiful locations around the world. And I love seeing people re-ignite their creativity. I believe that everyone is creative. Many people just haven’t discovered their creative voice yet.
How do you work? What is your teaching style?
My teaching style is relaxed and encouraging. I demonstrate how to do something, and then my students put their own style into whatever it is. With this Art Walk, we will be collecting all kinds of papers and materials during our walks. Then we will use them in our Keepsake Journals. Once we’re back to the hotel, we will use a variety of art materials, embellishments, and our collected treasures. Students will learn how to construct them into a one-of-a-kind handmade journal with pockets, flaps, and other surprises.
What is your background?
I was born into a family who valued the arts. That set the stage for my education as an art teacher and then an Expressive Arts Therapist. I had a pottery studio for many years. I started breaking some of the pieces I wasn’t happy with. Using those smashed up pieces, I made mosaics. From there I began working with mixed media materials. Now I incorporate the idea of turning various small pieces of something into a new work of art in most everything I do.
I have taught Expressive Art Therapy courses at the graduate level at both UCSD and Prescott College, and am happy knowing that this important modality is continuing.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by my surroundings and what materials might be available to create something.
Inspiration also comes from working with a group of like-hearted people. It’s in sharing the experience, questions, and suggestions that come from that. I am inspired by people who are able to make something new out of materials and items they have collected. To me, it’s the best of creativity: to transform. Like alchemy.
What attracts you about travel journaling?
I have always enjoyed traveling, and started keeping scrapbooks about 30 years ago when I lived in England. Then travel to other European countries was easy. I saved tickets, brochures, playbills, notes, and scraps of papers that had meaning for me. I love the idea of creating a keepsake journal in order to remember the trip long after I get home. Since I don’t draw realistically, my travel journals are filled with all kinds of scraps, papers, place mats, postcards, collages, and such. It brings the trip back into focus long after I have returned home.
Why do students attend your courses?
Students attend my workshops and retreats because they wish to try something new or improve on a technique or project they have already started. My studio is a space for anyone who would like to explore their creative voice, especially using a variety of art materials. I have developed a teaching style that is inclusive and encouraging. People like to take what I have taught them and put their own creative spin on it.
What have you learned from creating while you travel?
Whenever I travel, I pack some art supplies. Sometimes I buy new supplies wherever I am. I enjoy seeing what artists in other countries use. Working small helps, as does finding a way to transport the materials in a compact and convenient way. I love to create when I am traveling. It is my way of remembering moments along the way. It’s almost like my “camera”, providing me with a different kind of visual souvenir.