“Write the f*!king book.” The importance of mentors in creative projects.

I am all about creative process.  I am not worried about that.  I have creative process down to a science.  No worries.  It’s a habit embedded so deep that it literally is part of my every breath and heartbeat.  I got this.  Yep.  And if you want help to do the same- believe me… I…

Autopsy and the somewhat autobiographical nature of my graphic novel

I have been on a bit of blog-haitus of late.  Just experienced an amazing pull back into the past as a dear friend spent 9 days here visiting from Sweden.  We dove deep.  Real deep.  Drenched in Swedish.  Endless necessary exhilarating conversation. Fully open and torn open- finding old wounds long hidden- releasing them. Reflecting…

Lilla My #fanart custom made composition books. 

I love customizing composition books.  Prepping a new one for today. I am particularly in love with this one so I’m making this version available to you!  Lilla My fan art custom made composition books: Ready to contain your hopes, wishes, dreams, ramblings, musings, to-do’s, purges, goals etc. A safe place to vent as you…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No.10: Moomin Frida.

I’ve been celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo. — For 10 Tuesdays, I have been creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo (plus some additional posts here and there) in some form/medium or another. It may be a…

Limited edition hand-embroidered print sale #graphicnovel

— I am making available 10 hand-embroidered prints entitled Who is it that can tell me who I am? featuring an original image from my graphic novel, Molly. —  — The print captures the moment a crow, the magician of the forest, adorned by a child’s skull as a crown, looks, with intense curiosity, into Lost Lagoon…

Conversation about art, artists, creativity w. Tharp, Miller, Walker, Petit

I love that I can have a sit down with my heroes on a warm Saturday night and just shoot the shit.  Tonight we contemplated creativity, the artist and the why. Here are some highlights: I believe that we all have strands of creative code hard-wired into our imaginations.  These strands are as solidly imprinted in us as…

“Crime Scene” creative process #graphicnovel

   — “CRIME SCENE” Testing chapter heading visuals for: Molly, my graphic novel. Creating on nickels and dimes. ‪ “… even if I had to paint my pictures with my wet tongue on the dusty floor of my cell.” – Pablo ‪Picasso‬ I can’t stop despite money worries and fatigue-inducing insecurities… Can I pull this off?…

VanCaf Reflections Part 6 of 6: Moen, Boumeries and take aways

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival on May 23, 2015! I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts: 1. Julian Lawrence, Drippy the Newsboy, Conundrum Press: BLOG LINK 2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK 3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic BLOG LINK 4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic BLOG LINK 5. Inspector Pancakes BLOG…

VanCaf Reflections Part 5 of 6: Inspector Pancakes- lessons on marketing

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival on May 23, 2015! I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts: 1. Julian Lawrence, Drippy the Newsboy, Conundrum Press: BLOG LINK 2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK 3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic BLOG LINK 4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic BLOG LINK 5. Inspector Pancakes…

ART SALE: Graphic Novel Paper Dress and Update

So the theme of the month of May was, according to the Power Path, NEW ALIGNMENT. We have been shaken, rattled, taken apart, and sideswiped by the unexpected. We have had to accept change and embrace the unknown. The eclipses of March and April affected us on a very deep level, with core issues needing…

VanCaf Reflections Part 4 of 6: Jasmine Schuett, Queer Artist, Cartoonist, Space Club

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival last Saturday! I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts: 1. Julian Lawrence, Drippy the Newsboy, Conundrum Press: BLOG LINK 2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK 3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic BLOG LINK 4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic 5. Inspector Pancakes 6. Erica Moen,…

VanCaf reflections Part 3 of 6: Emily Cowan, comic artist

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival last Saturday! I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts: 1. Julian Lawrence, Drippy the Newsboy, Conundrum Press: BLOG LINK 2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK 3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic 4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic 5. Inspector Pancakes 6. Erica Moen, Boumeries…

VANCAF reflections Part 2 of 6: @VERWHO and Towerkind on @ConundrumCanada

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival last Saturday! I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts: 1. Julian Lawrence, Drippy the Newsboy, Conundrum Press: BLOG LINK Update: Julian’s book is a FABULOUS READ and VISUAL FEAST!  Truly the kind of comic you read lying in the grass under a…

VanCaf reflections Part 1 of 6: Julian Lawrence and Drippy the Newsboy

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival! Such an incredible treat to take it all in- immersed in the work of great artists. I was struck by their insatiable drive to create and share and the realization that I have finally found “my people.”   And today really lit fire under my ass…

I won Space Club stickers!!! #spaceclubcomic by @nightmareofhair

Recall my post back in October about SPACE CLUB COMIC by Jasmine Schuett: SPACE CLUB is about ALICE, a human girl traveling through space with her new friends: some rando aliens she met while clubbing one night! Over time she comes to realize this wasn’t the best idea, for several reasons. Space Club is also about exploring how relationships…

Why receiving a NO from @writehedgebrook was a YES.

December 19, 2014: Dear Katarina, Thank you so much for applying for a 2015 Hedgebrook residency. We received 1,466 applications for 2015 and are able to offer 40 residencies. Though your application did not advance into the final round this year, we want you to know that your work resonated with our reviewers. Sending your work…

Space Club- a new comic by Jasmine Schuett

The other day, I let you know about Boundary, the new delicious comic by Emily Cowan.  Emily’s living quarters can hardly contain the creative genius it houses within.  Jeeeeezus.  It is BURSTING at the seams, for indeed, Emily’s roommate, Jasmine Schuett, has also released a GLORIOUS new comic: Space Club.  CHECK IT OUT! I am so…

Boundary- a new comic by Emily Cowan

I am so excited that Vancouver artist, Emily Cowan, has now launched her extraordinary comic BOUNDARY online! BOUNDARY is a long-form comic about being stuck, difficult families, changing friendships and the different kinds of boundaries in our lives.  Mostly though, it’s about adolescent frustration and the unbearable tragedy that is being fifteen.   The worst part of…

Join the ‘100 Faces’ Street Art Project for instalment 1 of my graphic novel.

Molly, my graphic novel, is not just an illustrated work of creative non-fiction, nor is it simply about one cold case- it is a Vancouver story.  It belongs to the people of Vancouver.   I am presenting my work in 5 instalments as a broadsheets in newspaper form. You can read more at: PREVIEW and GRAPHIC NOVEL POSTS…

World Health Day #authorsfestival with @InfluencePub and @chaptersindigo Apr 4-7!

  The Books and Authors featured in the World Heath Day Authors Festival: Cracking the Dementia Code – Karen Tyrell An Unexpected Miracle – Jennifer De Pippo What Patients Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask – Dr. Manon Bolliger Drawn Together – Katarina Thorsen Relentless –Josh Wood Hello Susan, It’s Me, Cancer!– Susan D’Agostino Event…

The power of art to heal and to build connections: Drawn Together

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world. I miss my father so much.  Last night I spent some quiet time watching Swedish films and allowing the feeling of intense loneliness flow through me as I embraced the fact that I…

“After a sixty-foot plunge off the Georgia Viaduct…” Nov 6, 1947 10:15 AM. Molly, a graphic novel.

MOLLY, A GRAPHIC NOVEL NOTE: this is a work of creative non-fiction inspired by true facts, evidence and events.  It is an artistic interpretation and no more than that.

I miss his pep talks. Roar Thorsen Aug 8, 1930- Oct 25, 2012

A year ago, Dad passed away.  It feels shorter.  It feels longer.  It feels at times overwhelming.  But I am at peace.  Dad left me with is a profound sense of empowerment.  I miss his pep talks though.  He, like nobody else, “got me.”  I am blessed to have inherited his gift of art and…

“Samson found it hard to wonder about the war.” 2084- a novel.

Indiegogo campaign: From the campaign page: This campaign funds two very important things. [One] While I’m confident my novel is publishable, any writing greatly benefits from (nay : requires) professional editing. I’m raising funds to participate in an editing program in which I’m paired with an established (re : published) Canadian author, who will provide…

The author and his main character. 2084- a novel in need of editing and illustration

Recommended reading: BRING BACK THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK! “What is the use of a book without pictures?” wondered Lewis Carroll’s Alice, and anyone raised on illustrated classics like “Charlotte’s Web” or “The Phantom Tollbooth” might secretly feel that she has a point. Writers may still demur, reasonably concluding that they are only accountable for, in Henry…

“… its alarm will sound.” 2084- a novel in need of editing and illustration

Matt’s Indiegogo campaign: From the campaign page: This campaign funds two very important things. [One] While I’m confident my novel is publishable, any writing greatly benefits from (nay : requires) professional editing. I’m raising funds to participate in an editing program in which I’m paired with an established (re : published) Canadian author, who will…

One year ago, he said “never give up.” I won’t. #drawntogether

Excerpt from DRAWN TOGETHER: — Available at Salmagundi West:

Molly, a graphic novel IN 5 ACTS #showyourwork

Molly, a graphic novel IN 5 ACTS Installment 1: EXPOSITIONSYMPATHY THE BABES IN THE WOOD1953-2013 Installment 2: RISING ACTIONCONCERN THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE1953 Cold case, unidentified The suspect Installment 3: CLIMAXSUSPENSE FILICIDE – SUICIDECIRCUMSTANCE 1940’S OCT 5, 1947 Installment 4: FALLING ACTIONREST MOLLY O’DWYER TIMELINE1924-1947 Installment 5: RESOLUTION/CATASTROPHESATISFACTION THE CRIMEOCT 5, 1947 THE SUICIDE NOV 6,…

“He is one feeling.” 2084- a novel in need of editing and illustration

On Dec 4, 2010, Matthew Roy asked me to read part 1 of his manuscript and requested some feedback… I was so impressed, moved, wowed by Matt’s writing… We have since become very close friends and colleagues- united in our love for literature, art, street art, food, family, china markers etc. Cut to today.  I…

Why use seemingly unrelated vintage photographs as sources for a true crime story?

There is no end to the inspiration I get from looking at vintage photographs- through immersion comes awakened imagination. The central characters in my graphic novel are real people but as I am doing an artistic interpretation of real events, I revel in the freedom to flesh out the central characters using old photos as a starting…

The Waves- Matt Roy’s addition to our COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! #drawntogether #recycledart

My father and I kept mutual journals and one of our original journals was pulled apart and offered to the community. — I am so excited to be witnessing my Father’s dream project of community journals unfolding.  The latest addition is by Matt Roy: He added a page from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves to create…

Molly- a graphic novel and the 5-act structure. #showyourwork

I have been intuiting to structure Molly into 5 sections.  I scratch on the back of books, in their margins, in my journal, on napkins… It’s a fascinating process to try to organize the research and fit it all into pertaining sections. My friend, writer Matt Roy, suggested I look into the 5-act structure of…

Waterlogged: new anthology from @CloudscapeComic!

I just purchased the latest beautiful anthology from: during their launch at the Vancouver Maritime Museum [perfect setting] last night! It’s a delicious voyage to embark on!!! You can purchase your copy at: STORE Let’s take a peek at my copy! — The Cloudscape Comics Society is a community of comic creators in Vancouver, BC who together…

A visit to Riverview Hospital (Essondale)

I am often drawn to visiting the grounds of Riverview. Recall, for example: Asylum, Bedlam, Essondale. Last Friday, I brought along my daughter and dog Tobey. I was struck by the unkempt lawns and the significant deterioration since my last visit not too long ago. I was also struck (as always) by the intense beauty…

This poem, this city, closing its doors, barricaded, almost empty… #graphicnovel #inspiration

9:09 in the morning, the taste of liquor and cigarettes, no police, no lovers, walking the streets, this poem, this city, closing its doors, barricaded, almost empty, mournful without tears, aging without pity, the hardrock mountains, the ocean like a lavender flame, a moon destitute of greatness, a small music from broken windows … a poem…

We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery, rumors of death, beauty, violence. – Annie Dillard #graphicnovel #inspiration #forest

I long to fully immerse myself in Molly, to give the project the attention it needs.  Yet at the same time, I suppose, I am fully immersed in it because I am infused with it, even when working on other things and just living my life.  I trust the project has a life of its…

Image idea file/ collage to get at the story. #graphicnovel process. #autopsy

  Molly, the Graphic Novel

Molly- A Graphic Novel 2 minute trailer

Molly- A Graphic Novel Trailer Editor, cinematography: Julian Bowers Writer, researcher, illustrator: Katarina Thorsen

I love to stay home. But every day I travel the world, through time, through space.

Sometimes I just sit look at my crowded bookshelves in my tiny apartment and breathe in feeling the comfort of being able to stay home, yet able to travel anywhere I want.  Where else can you visit a forensic lab, learn grammar at a Grade Four level, have a drink with Bukowksi, cruise through SFMOMA,…

Dementia Dad: A story about the Caring Relationship by Hannah Miller

I was delighted to receive the mini-comic Dementia Dad by Hannah Miller in the post today. The book is a simple, heart-warming, insightful and empowering piece. With her profound illustrations and humorous text, Hannah manages to paint a portrait of the effects of dementia on daily life. A simple short story says SO MUCH. We…

“Never forget you are Daddy’s girl.” Drawn Together excerpt series Part 4

 Drawn Together excerpt series Part 4: My father always ended his letters to me with: Truth. Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke. YOU CAN BUY THE BOOK HERE: – NEXT STEP: Workbook/workshop series under development to…

Helena, the film. A script idea by my father. Drawn Together excerpt series Part 3

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke. My father drew inspiration from many sources.  His newspapers, his readings, his scrapbooks.  Films like Hemsöborna. He not only drew, but wrote and wrote and wrote.  Drawn Together excerpt…

For it is a Vancouver Story. #graphicnovel study

For it is a Vancouver Story. MOLLY- the graphic novel The TIMELINE of the story ranges from 1891-1968.  The main event in Stanley Park occurred in 1947. — GRABLINE: He brushed the leaves aside and uncovered the most baffling double murder Vancouver has ever had. – The Vancouver Province April 15, 1953 –

Change comes upon us, not slowly, but suddenly, abruptly. Drawn Together excerpt series Part 2

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke.  Drawn Together excerpt series Part 2:  Roar’s journal entry: YOU CAN BUY THE BOOK HERE: – NEXT STEP: Workbook/workshop series under development to accompany the book. MISSION STATEMENT To…

“… just two people, riding the waves of life.” Drawn Together excerpt series Part 1

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke.  Drawn Together excerpt series Part 1: She could not tear herself away from the old man.  She clung to him and wiped her eyes on her apron, her manner…

“Do you ever stop? I mean truly just stop?” How the #RightBrainBusinessPlan is helping me quiet my mind.

Kat, do you ever stop?  I mean truly just stop? Just taking a day and doing nothing, just drinking tea in pjs and doing nothing? – Maryellen to me I have to say the answer is no.  Or more accurately, yes- sometimes– but when I do, I feel my body reacting.  I feel the migraines…

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” #graphicnovel study

A cold case is a cold case is a cold case.  Family secrets. MOLLY- the graphic novel Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. ― Benjamin Franklin A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know. ― Diane Arbus — GRABLINE: He brushed the leaves…

Big-vision visualization #mindmaps inspired by #rightbrainbusinessplan

Recall my journey with visionboards, mindmaps using: My previous posts: For I dipped into the future… Who looks outside, dreams.  Who looks inside, awakes. Making the task more me Right-brain entrepreneur Jennifer Lee is a certified coach, writer, artist, yogini, and the founder of Artizen Coaching. Before pursuing her own passions full-time, she consulted for…

Making the task more ME… #mindmaps #visionboards #projecteverything

On this rainy Saturday, it’s time to re-focus on the projects I am working on by using: I am getting clearer as to the multiple directions in my life and how they actually all relate nicely to each other and feed each other into A LIFE OF ART.   Each category needs full attention to…

DOCUMENTARY: Drawn Together- Roar Thorsen’s Recovery through Art

Thanks to my backers on our Indiegogo campaign, Drawn Together, I was able to fund the making of the documentary short, Drawn Together: Roar Thorsen’s Recovery through Art, directed, edited and filmed by Julian Bowers.  And I am honored to have original music created by J. Lastoria and Julian Bowers, members of the band, Sleuth….

Check out what attendees did to the portraits at DRAWN TOGETHER @bypoststreet LAUNCH EVENT @1181Lounge

Check out what attendees did to the portraits I created as we celebrated the launch of ‘by post street‘ and the pre-release of Collaboration 1 [KAR] today at 1181!  Thank you everyone for a wonderful day! ‘by post street’ is a limited edition t-shirt and deejay company started by Anna & Kat Thorsen. at 1181…

Molly’s confession. #graphicnovel study #openingsequence

I am going to tell the story of my life in an alphabet of ashes. – Blas de Otero — GRABLINE: He brushed the leaves aside and uncovered the most baffling double murder Vancouver has ever had. – The Vancouver Province April 15, 1953 MOLLY- the graphic novel —

DRAWN TOGETHER INTERACTIVE ART and LAUNCH EVENT @1181Lounge April 14!

CELEBRATE the launch of ‘by post street‘ and the pre-release of Collaboration 1 [KAR] at 1181! ‘by post street’ is a limited edition t-shirt and deejay company started by Anna & Kat Thorsen. at 1181 Lounge, 1181 Davie Street, Vancouver BC ‘by post street’ t-shirts are designed by Anna and feature fashion icons and international…

Say Yes to Saying No- new book by @LeslieFierling via @InfluencePub! #drawtheline

Last July, I had the pleasure of being in same the InspireABook workshop as Leslie Fierling! She is a dynamic, inspiring, dedicated, focused, no-holds-barred individual.  I learned so much about finding my voice simply by spending time with Leslie that weekend. Since then I have witnessed her transformation to author and I am loving calling her…

It doesn’t stop him. My death stops him. #graphicnovel study

Recall March 7, 2013, photoshoot at Salmagundi West for my graphic novel. I am struck by the ability of my model, Jocelyn Louise, to convey, in a simple glance, the pain of my main character as she tries to escape the memories of childhood trauma. Asexual. Living in church, reading about God all the time, getting callouses…

Jennifer of @SketchChange’s genius addition to our COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! #drawntogether #recycledart

Our original journal was pulled apart to offer to the community. — I am so excited to be witnessing my Father’s dream project of community journals unfolding.  Take a look at what my dear friend Jennifer did!!! — Jennifer Lyons pulling apart the journal and choosing her pages! Take note of the spiral binding from the…

With a faery, hand in hand… photo shoot for the #graphicnovel at Salmagundi West!

On March 7, 2013, I was humbled at the generosity of Salmagundi West owner Anna Banner who allowed us to use her store as a back drop for our latest photoshoot! I was joined by Jocelyn Louise (who portrays Molly) and stylist Jay Fisher… … and my daughter Anna Thorsen who took the main shots…

The purpose of the design is to unsettle the bee. #journalexercise #anxietytool

ANXIETY is part of life.  It can beneficial.  It can hinder.  When I am overwhelmed by it, to the point of distracting me from enjoying my life and making it hard to live in gratitude,  I pull out my copy of A Slender Thread- rediscovering hope at the heart of crisis and read the following quote….

Edwyn Collins Home Again: reawakening empowerment after a stroke with #art #music

Edwyn Collin’s journey after his stroke reminds of my father‘s. — Check out Edwyn’s post-stroke drawings: — DRAWN TOGETHER: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS AND NAVIGATING LIFE’S CHALLENGES WITH ART ADD TO THE JOURNAL PAGES AND BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT!  Join now on ETSY: Sign up for $30! YOUR PURCHASE INCLUDES TWO ORIGINAL HAND-MADE DOUBLE-SIDED THERAPEUTIC…

“Where white is black and black is white, I won.” #graphicnovel study #crowskull

When Crow was white he decided the sun was too white. He decided it glared much too whitely. He decided to attack it and defeat it. He got his strength up flush and in full glitter. He clawed and fluffed his rage up. He aimed his beak direct at the sun’s centre. He laughed himself…