Katarina is a visual artist, passionate in her belief that art can build connections. As writer, illustrator and researcher, she published her first book, Drawn Together – Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Art, in 2013. Katarina’s current project is a graphic novel series, Joseph (working title) – a true story and family saga based in Vancouver BC. The now 20 year project was born out of her volunteer work as researcher on the Babes in the Woods Cold Case Task Force from 2003 to 2004. The graphic novel will be published with Conundrum Press in 2025.

Katarina uses creativity to engage whole brain thinking, to foster meaningful dialogue, and to provide safe and inclusive space. She has worked in custody centres, community programs, care facilities, restorative justice organizations, a variety of school districts and within alternative schools. Katarina’s own artwork can be found in private collections in North America and Europe. Her interactive art events and street art encourage participants to become part of the creative process.

Born in Sweden, Katarina is deeply grateful to live, work and play on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səlbílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

2013 Drawn Together – Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Art (book)
2022 JOSEPH, The Prologue (Limited edition Broadsheet)

Awards and Grants
2010 City of North Vancouver Civic Youth Award – Outstanding Supporter of Youth
2014 Women of Worth- Humanitarian of the Year
2021 Yosef Work Publication Fund at Vancouver Heritage Foundation
2023 British Columbia Arts Council Individual Arts Award – Creative Writers
2023 Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Residency Scholarship

2023 Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Residency Spring Thematic – Graphic Novels and Visual Narrative

CONTACT: katarina@katthorsen.com

LINKEDIN: www.linkedin.com/in/katarinathorsen


Creative Engagement and Therapeutic Art Clients and Collaborators include (but are not limited to):

School districts: North Vancouver, Burnaby, Vancouver, Coquitlam, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island, Cariboo-Chilcotin

Schools: Mountainside Secondary, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary, Alpha Secondary, Byrne Creek Secondary, Strathcona Elementary, West Pointe Grey Academy, Roberts Creek Elementary, Elphinstone Secondary, Kwayhquitlum Middle School, Minnekhada Middle School. L’Ecole Maillard Middle School, Hillcrest Middle School, L’Ecole Moody Middle School of the Arts, École Rochester Elementary, Fraser River Middle School, Riverside Secondary, École Montgomery Middle, Lake City Secondary School, Small Talk Preschool for Language Disorders, Bayview Community School, SelfDesign Home Schooling, Rhodes Wellness College, Stenberg College,  Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia

Youth Programs: Canucks Autism Network, HELP Street Youth, The Foundry, Intensive Youth Outreach Services, Hollyburn Family Services, Frames Film Project, Drive Youth Employment Services, Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society, Burnaby Neighborhood House, Burnaby Youth Custody Centre, Pacific Community Resource Society, Passion to Lead, Strathcona Community Centre, YouthCO

Restorative Justice ProgramsNorth Shore Restorative Justice, Punky Lake Wilderness Society, Shaking the Movers, Centre for Restorative Justice, Circles of Support and Accountability

As well asCity of Surrey, City of Vancouver, viaSPORT, NGU Consultants, Spruce Harbour Marina, Tapestry Retirement Living, Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities, Hawthorne Memory Care, Evergreen Extended Care, Concert Properties, Leisure Care Canada, Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health, Bayshore Home Health Care, Beauty Night Society, Friends for Life, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Operation Sock Monkey, DIVERSEcity, Place des Arts, Tri-Cities Overdose Community Action Team, Solid State Community Industries


Katarina with her daughter and dog Tobey in 2013 at the collaborative street art wall.





Katarina Thorsen, BSc (1984, University of British Columbia) is not a board-certified art therapist but a creative engagement facilitator.  Katarina has over 30+ years of frontline experience with vulnerable populations,  facilitating artistic expression in one-on-one and group settings.

52 Comments Add yours

  1. Maj-Lis Thorstensson (Korhonen) says:

    Hejsan Katarina!
    Härligt att se att du är aktiv inom konstformen!

    Nu när OS startat så råkade jag se Anders med sin fru och sökte på dig och fann denna site. Jag blev så glad av att hitta spår av dig! Hör av dig så vi får uppdatera varandra.
    Kram Maj-Lis 🙂

  2. Maria says:

    Hej gumman,

    Tänker så ofta på dig men kom på igår att jag måste söka dig på nätet och det är klart att du var lätt att hitta. Hur mår ni? Bor ni kvar i Seachelt? (stavning???)

    Tänkte på dig lite för att din dotter ju fyllde igår med mig och att jag vill gratta henne även om hon säkert inte minns mig. Sen har vi ju dina tavlor uppe och får ofta komplimanger och frågor….

    Kul att du jobbar med barn med annorlunda talanger. Jag läste till specialpedagog för några år sedan och jobbar också med elever med adhd, dyslexi etc. Underbart. Jag har verkligen hittat det jag vill göra.

    Vore så kul att höra lite från dig. Jag finns på facebook men hittade inte dig…

    Jättekram och många tankar


  3. Hi, nice to meet you !

  4. Lucinda Thomas says:

    Your work with teenagers should be the lead story of every newspaper! I am a Recreation Therapist on a Level IV prison located in Los Angeles County and a lot of these guys could have warded off the boredom and anger of being a teenager by making art,
    Thank you for changing lives-
    you are an inspiration!

    1. Wow! You made my day! I would love to write a blog post about what you do and share some photos of the art! Have a great day and please let me know if you’d like to share! Katarina

  5. Tracy J says:

    Katarina! Your art STILL inspires me. I remember as a kid staring up at your pieces, not quite understanding and yet being blown away by their power. The painting of the woman having just given birth will always be my favourite. I am so glad to see you are still up to it and using your gift to help others.

  6. Millie Ho says:

    You’re very talented, Katarina. Look forward to more.


  7. Brandi says:

    Kat, love the sock puppet therapy. I have a “craftavist” in my house and she’s nine. I am currently sitting on what I think is fantastic first installment to a graphic novel script and am trying to find someone who sees my vision for the art. Any ideas? I love your art and sketches and what you’ve put together for “Molly”. Just a Canadian, in Kansas, doin’ my PTA thing and writing stories…

    1. Brandi- would love to hear more about your graphic novel idea! Are you looking for an artist? I’m sure there are some incredible artists out there hungry to offer their services! Say hello to your CRAFTAVIST! Much love Katarina

  8. Tori Rosales says:

    like my page please, im a 16 year old artist trying to get known 🙂

  9. Maria "Andrea" Romero says:

    Thank you so much Katarina for sharing your time, talent and resources with us (THRD1117) at Stenberg today. Wish your stay could have been longer than half a day. I personally was very inspired by your works, past and present, and would like to follow your footsteps in changing lives! More power to you and regards. – Andrea-

    1. Kat Thorsen says:

      Thank you Andrea for an amazing morning! 💕 best of luck with your career! Keep in touch! 💕

  10. Core says:

    I have a original Joe Average painting from 1987 that might make you laugh, not many people have ever seen it. I would be happy to email you a picture.
    I also have this outstanding giant schnauzer pup that would like to nibble on your charcoal.

  11. Hi

    Laurie Ebenal from Hillcrest Middle has recommended your name as someone who could assist us in developing a school vision. I look forward to talking with you to explore this possibility. I am the Principal of Ecole Montgomery Middle.

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