WORKSHOP: YOUR VISION for 2018 through creative process

WORKSHOP: YOUR VISION for 2018 through creative process



LOCATION: West End Vancouver BC



ONLY $40 per person until January 31, 2018! 

Contact me at for CUSTOMIZED CLASSES 

Start this new year on a creative note by creating your own evolving vision for 2018 using creativity.

In an intimate setting in my art studio, I will guide you through multiple exercises to enable you to focus on YOUR SELF– and to come away with a unique very personal vision board. This vision board will be YOUR SAFE PLACE.

We will use processes such as:

• Journaling

• Drawing

• Collaging

• Mindmapping and Action Planning

• Big Vision Visualization

• Right Brain Tools

• Whole Brain Engagement

In order to bring my creative adventure to fruition, I will visit this fortress, this safe house, many, many times. Gradually I will assemble the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle I have stored here. Finished, it will provide the ideas, moods, and ingredients that will feed my dream.

– Phillipe Petit




Some pre-work will be encouraged.

Love, Katarina

Contact me at for CUSTOMIZED CLASSES 


Mind maps integrate both right-brain and left-brain thinking by capturing your stream of consciousness in a structured way.

– Jennifer Lee



The Trout Lake Youth Council owls! @HELPPBP outreach project #education

Last night, I had the pleasure of facilitating an introductory session to the Trout Lake Youth Council as part of the HELP YOUTH CANADA Outreach Project.  I am using creative engagement in order to dialogue on EDUCATION with youth and program leaders at a variety of organizations in the Lower Mainland- to learn from the participants, gather data and to build connection and awareness about HELP YOUTH CANADA’s bursary program.

My main creative engagement tool for this project continues to be sock monkey making as a means to create safe space for dialogue– but last night, as it was a short intro session, we improvised and using only felt pens and crayons, speed-drew OWLS and then wrote answers to pertinent questions.  I will be transcribing the outcomes, but needed to share these images right now!  The owls from last night are absolutely charming.

The youth will be signing up for three different projects:

• Project Backpack

• Sock Monkey Workshop

• In-depths youth forum on education

I obsess about the power of drawing, the mark making by any of my participants and the beauty of the results.  ALWAYS.


Huge thank you to Bernie Dionne and the council for hosting me and to my friend, Beverley, for assisting me!


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Sock owls and creative engagement



These crazy little sock owls are wonderful for creating dialogue around the craft table!




OWL talking piece for tomorrow’s professional development day at a local middle school.  The owl feathers- a gift from Kevin Cowan








Our intergenerational sock owls will be on display next week at Mulberry PARC’s Ignite Your Passion event (September 28, 2017 2-4 PM) as part of ACTIVE AGING WEEK!

See also:

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The Mulberry @ParcLiving Fox Panels

Without art we do not die.  But without art we do not live. 

Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society participant, 2012

I have the pleasure of working with an extraordinary group of individuals at Mulberry PARC doing art projects that range from drawing, interactive art, sock animals and group painting/quilt!

Our latest session involved drawing the fox and creating two panels for tomorrow’s art show!

Fox animal symbolism takes a turn of intelligence in the Celtic realm, as the Celts believed the fox to be a guide, and was honored for its wisdom. The Celts understood the fox knows the woods intimately, and they would rely upon the fox as their guide in the spirit world.

At tomorrow’s art show ART IN THE PARC we will be showing our Fox panels… 



… our owls/bunnies/hummingbird/ladybugs embellished panels…

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… and our sock owls!

See also:

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The Mulberry Panels: art project with older adults

I have the pleasure of working with an extraordinary group of individuals at Mulberry PARC doing art projects that range from drawing, interactive art, sock animals and group painting/quilt!  We have had 5 sessions so far and, at this point, confirmed 10 more that will take us into November!

My goal with the art sessions is to not only teach fun arts and crafts techniques to the students, but to build connections and provide a safe and healing space.  My students are very courageous, daring to dive into challenging work, working through frustrations, laughing at the outcomes, letting go of attachment to personal projects in order to create group pieces, embracing challenges such as hearing and sight issues, arthritic hands, and anxiety- being present and curious in the moment and meeting it all with a sense of humour!  I am very honoured to spend time with each and every one and treasure the experience and grateful to the Mulberry staff for inviting me!



The evolution of the panels:


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This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Cheryl Bain, who has the greatest gift for working with older adults and who inspires me to no end each and every day.


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Joyful Living: Relaxation and Creativity with Michele Lilyanna


Unfortunately due to personal issues, I am unable to facilitate at the Aug 22/23 workshops.  Sincerest apologies.  But I am happy to write that Michele will be facilitating! 

Love, Kat



with Michele Lilyanna



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1549 Ocean Beach Esplanade, GIBSONS

ADULTS*: AUGUST 22, 2017 7:30-9:30 PM $60.00/participant

TWEENS: AUGUST 23, 2017 1:00-3:30 PM $50.00/participant

CHILDREN: AUGUST 23, 2017 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM $40.00/participant

Each session begins with a guided meditation. We then move on to joyful creativity and round out the session with a healing practice. Nourishment and fun at its finest!


* Teachers may use this class for Professional development. Check with your district as it will give you practices to share in your classrooms as well as provide you with ideas for wellbeing.

 Class size limited so please sign up early!

To register and pay course fee contact Michele at: Email


About the Workshops:

ADULTS: AUGUST 22, 2017 7:30-9:30 PM 


TWEENS: AUGUST 23, 2017 1:00-3:30 PM


CHILDREN: AUGUST 23, 2017 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM


About the Facilitator:

Michele Lilyanna:


Michele Lilyanna taught in the Canadian public education system for over thirty years. Her teaching focused on social and emotional learning and artistic expression.   She is the co-author, with James Baraz of Awakening Joy For Kids, awarded the 2016 Nautilus Gold medal. She is a featured parenting writer for Dr. Rick Hanson on both his website and in his Ten Pillars of Happiness course. When Michele is not teaching parents, educators, or children, she is awakening joy on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia with her partner, Peter, and her two sons.

Michele’s Website:



Surprising the inner critic with group art projects

Regarding my creative process, I welcome the conversations my inner critic instigates. [This is not the same voice that picks at my skull with negative self-judgment.  That’s another thing all together].

I have learned how to dance with the inner critic in my art process, welcoming its critique versus criticism, allowing mistakes, experimenting, allowing editing, willing the throwing away of crap.  It’s not about silencing the inner critic and pretending EVERYTHING I MAKE IS GREAT.  It’s about allowing its presence as a natural part of being a creative human.

The participants in my art sessions have ranged in age from 2 to 105.  And depending on the age group, the specific program, the vulnerabilities, the style of the students- the inner critics become vocal in varying ways.

Some inner critics are happy and healthy.  There is nothing quite like working on your own art beside a 5 year old who so naturally dances with their inner critic as they work– joyously creating while making decisions on color, shape, style.  Happily sharing techniques, insights, asking questions.

My nephew Henrik’s latest book cover

But some inner critics are negative, detrimentally vocal and hurting.   When do some of us lose this joyous ability to dance with the inner critic?  When does it become an inhibiting monster as opposed to an ally?  How do we tame it?

Adults in particular struggle with perfectionism during my drawing classes.  That is why I don’t hand out erasers (the eraser can become a crutch, and the participant may spend too much time “fixing” as opposed to diving in to the process).  That is why I do a follow me technique so that we are all literally on the same page.

I have found an easy and magical way to create joy and surprise in my art classes that in turn surprises our inner critics– collecting and collaging the class’s drawing.

For example, last Monday, I facilitated my third session with older adults in Burnaby.  The group bravely dove in to the session.  My students quickly realize my exclamations of delight at what they draw are authentic- I get SO EXCITED about the way people make marks on paper.

There is a lot of laughter, a lot of concentration and dialogue, a lot of self-judgment and some express disgust at their drawings.  So how do we tame that inner critic so as to not wallow in self-judgment and crumple up our work and throw it into the recycling bin?!  How do I lift my students?

The real magic happens with we let go of our work, cut them out and create collages.  TOGETHER- the drawings become MAGICAL.  The class expresses surprise and delight and take ownership in the most delightful way.  One participant expressed her delight- “I thought my drawing was so bad compared to yours and everybody else’s.  But when I see it up there now in the midst of the rest of them, it looks so wonderful.”  On Monday, we created 4 panels (which will be embellished with feathers and embroidery and exhibited at the residence).

Session 1: OWLS

Session 2: Bunnies

Session 3: Hummingbirds, Ladybugs



It has become a theme in my art teachings- collaging work as a group- be it on the streets or onto boards.  I just love it.


Our inner critic is surprised.  Our work as a group looks amazing.  And we are building CONNECTION.  By letting go of our work, by sharing it, combining it, we become a COMMUNITY.


“The Dead Heron.” #100Herons Art Project

I am between contracts– creatively hustling while applying for new contracts to survive and to be able to provide specially requested arts programming for refugee youth (at no cost to their program).  That is what my 100 Herons Art Project is all about.  

HERON’S MOST SIGNIFICANT ESSENCE: aggressive self-determination and self-reliance

Check out:

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I am focusing on the Pacific Blue Herons who are nesting just down the block from me in Stanley Park, Vancouver:

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Recall that on June 15, 2017, I took a walk to the heron nests to look for some feathers in the grass for collaging… and I came across a LARGE pile of scattered heron feathers– obviously from a heron who fell or was pushed out of the nest and who likely lost its life to a predator.  A teen heron perhaps?  I gathered as many feathers as I could– thanking and honoring the heron’s life by incorporating the feathers into the art.

A feather from a heron symbolizes patience, grace and confidence…

Recall as well that I took the feathers home, soaked them in gentle detergent to clean and disinfect, and laid them out on newsprint to dry them.  I then categorized them and collected them into mason jars.

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I have been incorporating the feathers into the 100 Herons Panels.  For example:


A week ago, I came across what was likely the body of that heron whose feathers I collected.  I felt so moved.  Compelled to examine.  (Yes, those are maggots and blow flies doing their work).

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In fact, I have been a bit obsessed.  I kept walking back to the spot witnessing the taphonomy process: the transition of animal remains from the biosphere into the lithosphere.

Biosphere: the regions of the surface, atmosphere, and hydrosphere of the earth occupied by living organisms.

Lithosphere: the rigid outer part of the earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle.

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Yesterday, I decided to sit down beside the decaying remains and draw the little thing- thanking it and honoring it.  I was, in all honesty, tempted to take the skull, but sitting there under the nests– the atmosphere strangely silent– I knew I was simply there to be a witness.  And to leave the heron to its process.

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I left a little flower and went home to incorporate the moment into, what is now, the 5th panel.


$375.00 of the $2500 goal raised so far.  My goal by the end of this long weekend is to reach $750.00.  My first session with the refugee youth group is booked for July 13, 2017, and I hope to be able to bring not only drawing supplies for the session but art kits for the 26+ youth on that day that they can take with them.

Thank you to my donors so far and for all of you spreading the word.


I am creating of twelve (OR MORE 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons between June 14 to July 31, 2017.  The panels will be exhibited and sold.

For every $25 raised I will draw a heron!

THE SPONSORED ART will allow me to develop and provide FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program. Funds go to program development and facilitation fee, art supplies, art kits for participants, travel costs.



I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer  I can provide receipts.

Check the panels at:

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I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!


The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

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Drawing Herons and Hummingbirds with Grades 1 and 2’s!

I had the pleasure of visiting with my dear friend Teri’s grade 1 and 2 class today in a Vancouver school!  (Teri is a SUPERSTAR teacher and her classroom is a creative paradise).  These incredible young artists created a beautiful heron mural as well as hummingbird studies.

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I am so grateful for their generous bake sale donation towards the 100 HERONS project!  I’ll be drawing more sponsored herons this week!

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I am creating of twelve 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons [between June 14 to July 31, 2017].  

For every $25 raised I will draw a heron!

THE SPONSORED ART will allow me to develop and provide much-needed FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program in July and August.



I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer  I can provide receipts.

Check the panels at:

Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 2.25.06 PM

I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!


The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

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The art is drawn in my signature style–

– then collaged onto 20″ x 30″ foam board panels–

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– and embroidered with additions of discarded nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads, and sponsor names.

100 HERONS Art Project


I am creating of twelve 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons between June 14 to July 31, 2017.  

For every $25 raised I will draw a heron!

THE SPONSORED ART will allow me to develop and provide FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program.




I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer  I can provide receipts.

Check the panels at:

Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 2.25.06 PM

I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!


The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 10.01.22 AM


The art will be drawn in my signature style– collaged onto 20″ x 30″ foam board panels and embroidered with additions of discarded nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads, and sponsor names.

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Sample drawing showing chinamarker on newsprint, embroidered, with additions of discarded heron nest stick, found heron and seagull feathers, recycled beads


I have been asked if I can provide art lessons to a group in Surrey, BC, that provides support services for youth ages 16-24 who have experienced extreme trauma and life disruption.  The youth comprise of refugees from war-torn countries.

These particularly vulnerable youth face challenges and barriers that may include: lack of employment, experience of violence / trauma, lack of education /interrupted education, cultural shock, family size / issues, little or no English, social isolation, mental health/chronic health issues, lack of financial means, criminal justice issues, housing issues, alcohol/drug addiction, lack of support…

The group meets twice a week and the youth have expressed a strong desire arts-based programming.  

ART and creative expression breaks down the barriers, builds connection and resiliency, and strengthens the participants’ abilities in making healthy decisions about their futures.  Participation in therapeutic art programming provides participants with the opportunity for developing healthy relationship skills, learn stress and anger management, and build the confidence to be the best possible versions of themselves.  Art connects us beyond language.  We connect with the heart, within a safe space.  We express together and move towards healing.

The program staff, who I met during an inclusion focus group, are incredible and dedicated.  They provide extraordinary services on an extremely tight budget.  I have been asked me about my services and fees.  I am so honoured to be asked.  Creating art and helping others express themselves creatively is what I am on this planet to do.  This is EXACTLY the type of work that makes my heart sing!  But there is no way I could/would/should charge a fee for my services and supplies to this group.  


Unfortunately, I am between contracts and currently not in a financial position to be able to volunteer my time to develop and facilitate the program and nor provide supplies.  And the need is urgent.  This is not the time to wait for months and months for grant opportunities.

What to do?

I took a walk into “my backyard” the other day– Stanley Park.  I stood for a long time under the heronry wondering about my own life, my work, about my desire to provide free programming to youth, at a loss as to what to do next.  I bathed myself in the sounds of the heron chicks.  I continued on a long walk into the trees, around the lagoon, listening.  Walking with the question.

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I dreamt that night of 100 Herons, walking among them.  A mixture of being up in the trees with them, under the trees, in the water.  I had a peaceful heart, feeling this was a message about the healing power of art– about my need to make personal commitment to my true path:

TO CREATE, to focus on my gifts.  To stop searching elsewhere.


 You are being called to take courage and follow your true path, which will be discovered through exploring your inner self.  Find what draws you to action.

[Message of the HERON]

And so the 100 HERONS art project is born!


Funds raised go to:

• Art Supplies 

• Creation of the twelve panels

• Program development (will include drawing, painting, journal exercises, sock monkey therapy)

• Facilitation

• Transit fees

• Free ART programming at the Refugee and Immigrant Specialized Experience Program (RISE), Surrey BC [Youth ages 16-24]

Donation Button 


I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer  I can provide receipts.



CREATE twelve 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons between June 14 to July 31, 2017!

IMMEDIATE GOAL: RAISE $2500.00 CAD by June 30, 2017

Art classes with youth will occur: JULY 2017 and AUGUST 2017

Art lessons include: drawing, painting journaling, sock monkey therapy, one on one and group projects.

Completion of the panels July 31, 2017

Art exhibit and sale: AUGUST 2017


Thumbnail list of panels plans

  1. Nest and heron silhouettes (The Stanley Park Heronry)
  2.  Heron portraits
  3.  Heron portraits
  4.  Heron portraits
  5.  Heron portraits
  6.  Herons on West End buildings
  7.  Herons in ocean
  8.  Herons at Lost Lagoon
  9.  Herons at Beaver Lake
  10. Eggs and chicks in a nest
  11. Heron nest with eagle in background
  12. Heronry trees

Total of 100 Herons drawn!

Each panel will include surprise additional Stanley Park characters: racoons, mice, squirrels, sparrows, chickadees, owls, insects…

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Each panel will also contain additions of discarded heron nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads…

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Interested in pre-purchasing panels?

$375.00 CAD per panel [plus $40.00 shipping fee if panel needs to be mailed]


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June 13, 2017

The first four out of 100 ready for embroidery and embellishment!  (The donor wishes to remain anonymous)


No. 5 out of 100:

Sponsor: Terry Cowan

See you at #SKiP 2017 June 23-24! @sketchapractice

I’m so excited and honored to be hosting two sessions at SKETCHING IN PRACTICE (SKiP) 2017 June 23-24, 2017 at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre!

SKETCHING IN PRACTICE (SKiP) is a two-day symposium that explores the construction of meanings through sketching. In 2016 we brought in scholars and practitioners from diverse backgrounds to explore the question, What happens when we draw? Last year we looked inward. This year we peer outward, asking Where does sketching lead to action? This year we are focusing on the HOW and WHY particular visual strategies are used to achieve a goal.

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Keynote speaker, artist-ethnographer Dr. Andrew Causey

Keynote Topic: The average person reads and interprets thousands of images per day–not surprisingly doing most of it with little more than a glance. According to Dr. Andrew Causey, the cost of this massive amount of processing is that we end up missing the deep content and context of the world around us.  At the 2nd Annual 2017 Sketching In Practice Conference, Causey will share insights from his recently published book, Drawn to See: Drawing as an Ethnographic Method, on how line drawing can be used to build a more attentive, and deeper form of perception.

Remember | Resist | Redraw: Creating Radical Graphic History Posters with Kara Sievewright  and Robin Folvik

Workshop overview:  The Graphic History Collective (GCH) is a group of activists, artists, writers, and researchers passionate about comics, history, and social change. In 2017, we launched a collaborative project called Remember | Resist | Redraw: A Radical History Project to critically intervene in the Canada 150 conversation. With this project, the GHC hopes to encourage people to critically examine history in ways that can fuel our radical imaginations and support struggles for radical change in 2017 and beyond.

Sketching Off the Page with Lorraine WhiteWilkinson

Workshop overview:  Sketching Off the Page takes drawing into the 3-dimensional realm and into a full body physical expression of the elements of visual art as they intersect with the elements of movement. As an experiential learning workshop, participants are taken through a full body warm up that introduces the elements of dance and warms up the mind to creative possibilities linking the visual page to embodied representations.  The act of solo and co-operative sketching on paper weaves its way into  remarkable ‘sketchings off the page’ : sketchings that invite a sense of presence that  moves from the connection of pencil to paper, into body-to-body connections through dance, which further invite the connections of heart and mind.  These connections are revealed as complex and profound as they challenge and broaden the perception of what sketching is and what it can be.

Creative Nomad with Vjeko Sager

Live sketching demonstration / performance: “I practice “nomadic creativity” on a daily basis. I carry a portable studio (backpack filled with drawing & sketching materials) and a sketchbook, looking for hidden corners in coffee shops, where I sketch and draw my ideas. Over time, this ritual has evolved into a large body of works (containing more than thousand drawings).  My presentation involves setting up a pop-up studio and performing my sketching rituals. Additionally, I will  present my sketchbooks and engage in a conversation with SKIP’s participants. This project/presentation aspires to stimulate creativity and promote sketching as the most versatile and engaging creative strategy.”

Reclaiming Writing –  Adapting Writing Systems as an Expression of Cultural Autonomy with Gabe Wong

Workshop overview: Writing is a visual act. How we write is an expression of our culture. Through different orthographies, the form of our writing is loaded with meaning, creating references to a culture’s history and relationships. Often, a writing system can be seen as a product and tool of colonization and assimilation, and once it exists, it cannot be taken away. By reclaiming the way we write and taking ownership of our own writing system, we can also take ownership of our own culture and identity. Even a subtle change in the way we write can be an expression of our individual and cultural autonomy.  In this workshop, participants will sketch and develop alternative ways of writing that best represent their culture or history. Culture in this workshop is wide ranging, it can refer to a nation, but can also refer to groups with shared experiences, e.g. second-generation or queer culture. Participants can draw and develop new glyphs, draw new calligraphic approaches or explore different ways to writing. They will then share their developments, through their novel writing, with their peers.

How smooth is a mountain? Exploring the texture of lived space with Suk Kyoung Choi

Workshop overview: We attempt to communicate when we draw, but how do we connect conceptual form with the marks we make? Does this connection suggest we live in similar or very different visual worlds?This workshop explores the use of drawing to explore the textural geometry of embodied space. The workshop will take the form of a mediated experiment where participants sketch their interpretation of an automatically generated inspirational phrase describing a scene. Starting from a brief presentation of my research interest in the conceptual metaphors of texture and their relationship to environmental frequency, we will explore our individually embodied understandings of the space – time we inhabit. This exercise offers an increased awareness of how meaning is wrapped up in embodied (personal) metaphor, and a deeper understanding of how we may access previously hidden dimensions of experience. Come to experiment, explore, reflect, and engage in imaginative play! Drawing reaches into the subconscious: If you can feel you can draw. All levels of drawing welcome.

Peripatetic lines: on reading (and ‘writing’) wordless stories with Stef Lenk

Workshop overview: The intent of this workshop is to introduce the skill of ‘reading images’ without language as a crutch. I will present two self-created wordless graphic narratives; participants will ‘read’ and then write their interpretations down. We will then share and compare these interpretations, discussing what does and doesn’t work (relative to the initial goals of the narratives), how visual stories differ from text narratives in terms of reading experience, and how visual metaphor can open up a story to create more universal significance to audiences.

What tool when: Developing a vocabulary of visual heuristics with Patrick Pennefather 

Workshop overview: Facilitating learners with clients in meetings and ideation sessions in a project-based learning environment is a complicated yet rewarding teaching and learning opportunity. Participants will learn a vocabulary of strategic maps that learners at the MDM Program draw from to organize sessions, rapidly generate ideas visibly, align stakeholders on prioritized needs, identify problems to solve, propel projects forward within limited time-frames and more. Participants will also be exposed to specific use-cases where strategic maps were used in addition to trigger phrases that led teams to draw from specific visual tools and maps during ideation sessions with clients. 

Dark matter and dinosaurs: Sketching the invisible with Joshua Korenblat 

Workshop overview: How can we illustrate an idea when all of the actors are not visible or even tangible? We’re familiar with the idea of systems through ecosystems, which manifest themselves in observable natural events. Donella Meadows of MIT applied ecosystems toward human communities, coining the term “systems thinking.” A system is greater than its constituent parts, which interrelate for a natural function or human purpose. Today, systems thinking drives many innovative initiatives in science and economics. Whether the system is natural or human, we can identify common qualities. Patterns of behavior that change over time can be identified, creating surface events. Structures create these patterns, and we can even draw the deeper mystery of how a function or purpose activates these structures. In a system, sketchers can create portraits of actors, contain them in hierarchical frames, and draw relationships with arrows. These parts can then be organized meaningfully in space. In a virtual Realtime Board, we’ll sketch a system that connects seemingly unrelated events—dark matter, the demise of the dinosaurs, and the rise of mammals. We’ll discuss how this exercise applies in practical contexts.

Using comics to rehearse best practice with Jessica Motherwell, Ph.D. with Co-presenter: Krista Lambert, M.Ed.

Workshop overview: How students used a comic book app, Blackboard blog and ticking clock to co-create course content and demonstrate social justice action: An example of upstanding to sexism and homophobia.  Our learning challenge was to have students generate their own scenarios, stop wrongful behaviour and bring everyone back into right relationships — a process using students own social construction of knowledge.  Rather than lecture, we challenged students to dramatize best practice via a series of comic book panels. Teams of students were given an iPad with a comic book app to create the photo-based comic representations of the witnessed scenarios. Then each team contributed its comic book page to our collaborative, “Upstander’s Comic Book” (a.k.a. – a Blackboard blog). Then everyone engaged in rich feedback on each teams comics using the blog comments option. There was one catch — the comics had to be storyboarded, created and posted in less than 10 minutes!  Come and join us for this fast and fun session. And yes, there will be a ticking clock!

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Session 1 JUNE 23, 2017 2:00 – 3:00 PM:

Molly- a true crime analysis online graphic novel [PRESENTATION]

Participants will learn about Katarina’s 14+ year involvement in Canada’s most important unsolved cold case- The Babes in the Wood (as profiler, researcher, now writer/illustrator) and how she now uses an online weekly serial format (Jan 15-Nov 19 2017) to present her work.

Participants will learn:

• about the case and how Katarina got involved
• how her relationship with the case evolved over time
• how drawing is essential to the work
• how the decision to go online came about
• the importance of visual storytelling and the use of music to enhance the experience
• simple visual techniques to tell their own story

Katarina will share openly about her passion project/life’s work through audiovisual and take the participants through a Lynda Barry inspired story project.


Session 2 JUNE 24, 2017 1:30-2:30 PM:

Drawn Together Wheatpaste/Street Art Project [WORKSHOP]

Participants will:

• learn how creative engagement builds connections, creates safe space and fosters dialogue
• learn about the use of street art techniques to engage community
• experience hands on drawing and introduction to wheatpaste techniques and group will create a temporary mural.

Kat uses a friendly “follow me” approach that takes the participants through in depths drawing techniques.  The resulting drawings are cut out and used in a group mural.

No previous drawing experience necessary!
Project tools will be supplied!

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Friday, June 23rd,
Saturday, June 24th

This event is held in partnership with Simon Fraser University’s, Faculty of Communication Art and Technology; School of Interactive Art and Technology; Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences; and the Teaching and Learning Center.

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Cost for the two days is $35.00, is non-refundable and  is a flat rate for both days.  We have made every effort to keep the cost of the symposium down and part of this is managing administrative costs, we thank-you for understanding.

Event Details 

SKiP will be held at SFU’s World Art Centre.  See presenters page for more information  A schedule will be up soon!

Day 01: Friday June 23
Registration begins at 8:30 AM
Symposium starts at 9:15AM
Day 01 closes at  5:00PM

Day 02: Saturday June 24
Welcome back begins at 11:00AM
Sessions start at 11:30AM
Symposium ends at 4:00PM




Teachable moment during drawing session! 


I have been incorporating How to Draw an OWL in my creative engagement for years.

My must-bring tools always include:

The china marker is the essential drawing tool.  It is not only my favorite medium, but a great teaching tool as you can’t erase it.  This encourages participants to let go and quiet down the inner critic.

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Yesterday, I co-facilitated a session with SFU Restorative Justice students with Miko Philip, as part of the YOUTH INCLUSION PROJECT (more on that later).

I love using the creative process as an empathy tool, to illustrate the type of emotions the students will experience in their work.  For example, the angst the students may feel as we start a drawing lesson is a reminder of the angst their clients may feel in victim-offender mediation.

OWL was a big part of the agenda last night.  As we were setting up, I looked in my supply bag and only saw a hell of a lot of felt pens– NO CHINA MARKERS!

But I am old enough now not to sweat it.  So Miko and I had a quick dialogue and we handed out materials.  I had no idea how we could draw this:


using kid felt pens…

TEACHABLE MOMENT: MAGIC always HAPPENS when you throw your agenda over your shoulder and pull things out of your ass.

The results?


Change your perception — see the root cause as a blessing in disguise. – Tiny Buddha

Huge thank you to Asad and all the students for a wonderful experience.  The room was infused with safe space, restorative practices and inclusion.  The closing circle, led by Asad, was one of the most moving circles I have ever participated in.

“To prepare a face to meet the faces…” the Williams Lake portraits

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet
– TS Eliot

On my way to Williams Lake to co-facilitate forums with youth and program leaders for the viaSPORT YOUTH INCLUSION PROJECT!  So excited to spend the week with this extraordinary community!

Bringing along the last batch of portraits I drew from last year’s art camp (based on photos by Rick Magnell)!



Part 1: Preparation

Part 2: Travel

Part 3: Art Camp Day 1 

Part 4: Art Camp Day 2

Part 5: Art Camp Day 3

Part 6: The Photographer


Recalling a declaration from “my future self” on July 25, 2015


Working on my graphic novel, I pull out research and reference materials from my files and come across a journal entry from July 25, 2015 created during Peter Breeze’s Be a Star workshop.  This is truly why I keep everything for what an incredible reminder to myself that I am fulfilling my dream by whatever means necessary.


Dear me,

You now stand fully naked, fully present, fully you.  Gone are the shackles that pulled you downwards into self-doubting, crippling anxiety.  No longer do you hesitate before expressing.  But most importantly, no longer do you collapse in shame and doubt after you expressed yourself.  

Speaking your truth used to cause you to feel like you were choking on amniotic fluid.  Felt like it came at a price.  

Now you can breathe in and breathe out with open mouth, open nostrils, open sinuses, open throat, open heart, open eyes, open mind without fear.  

You release your truth, your art, your work onto and into the world and receive back the conversations/communications with an open and fearless heart- a heart that is ready to dialogue.  

Your work used to require boundaries.  Your life used to comprise of self-imposed boundaries to protect your heart from rejection and loss.  But now you are boundless.  And so the work you have built on awakening creative expression in others- a gift you truly were born with and have worked so tirelessly to deliver- takes on a new level on a global scale.  You are not in need of accolades.  You are simply expressing, thereby allowing others to feel the same freedom.  It need no longer be frontline work (in person), it is a new principle and way of living.  

Full presence.  

You have taken all the heartache, all the joy, all the blood and guts of life and built a mission and vision that has created true abundance.  

You will never be anxiety-free and you will never not have heart-shattering challenges, but you now have a giant delicious toolbox with which to meet those challenges and easily process, die into them and rebirth from them.  You are truly living with ease.  

All is as it should be.  


Love, me 

Thank you, Peter.

Check out my daughter’s message to her future self:


Mind mapping creates, hears, discovers, gathers, teaches… #graphicrecording

What is mind mapping?

A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance. – TONY BUZAN

I use mind mapping in all my facilitation work (one-on-one, in group, with youth, in organizational meetings), in my work with, or in my creative projects in order to:

create participant engagement, capture dialogue, make discovery, educate, gather data in order to write reports, address needs, develop customized workshops, deliver tools, and plan projects.



Beverley Pomeroy’s Living Grief Workshop,



Big Draw Vancouver

Big Draw Vancouver