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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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.


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


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









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


For more information on my services



Check out:






Partnering to Create a Culture of Care.


I am happy to announce a new site: my collaboration with Beverley Pomeroy!



Earlier this year, Bev and I were invited to facilitate a pilot project with the upper management of a national independent living brand and operator.  

Little did we know, that we would become deeply involved in developing and advocating for a culture of care in community and community living sectors for aging adults.

A culture of care, in our definition, is the quality in a person or society that is providing what is necessary for the health and well being of ‘someone’, in this case, ‘someone’ being an older adult or senior, through developing communication, building respect, mitigating risk and fostering growth.



We know our communities of care are being effected by a rapid and changing environment.  

We understand that developing a culture of care with front line staff is a high leverage point for communities and commodities in order to attract, retain and grow the brand as well as address the transitional needs.  

We provide front line staff, supervisors and managers with deep, rich learning experiences that translate into immediate benefits and build capacity.  


Read more: SOLUTIONS

Workshop Examples:

Inter-Dependence of Community Engagement (Care, Concern and Belonging)
• O.W.L. – Observe, Wait, Listen (Team Training)
• Core Values, Esteem Heart (Team Training)
• Reflective Listening, Effective Management
• Living Grief: 5 Phases of Family Caregivers Profound Journey of Ongoing Loss
• Older Adults’ Behavioural Management (Aging in Community)
• Older Adults’ Creative Engagement Workshop: Living Grief and Sock Monkey Therapy (Residents, Caregivers, Staff, Train the Trainer)
• Mind Mapping Techniques: Project Planning and Communication Techniques (Train the Trainer)
What to know more?!  
For more information on our services: CONTACT

Ingesting information using mind mapping.

I use mind mapping when I plan a project.

E.g. as in Molly, a true crime analysis:


I also use mind mapping when I ingest information.  It is a way to take non-linear notes, engage the whole brain and create one easy visual that allows me to remember what I read with a single glance at the completed map.

“Normal linear note taking and writing will put you into a semi-hypnotic trance, while mind mapping will greatly enhance your left and right brain cognitive skills.” – Tony Buzan

For example, reading the Power Path’s August Forecast

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As I start to read, I write down main points and let them interact with each other, one leads to the next, one might direct you to another area etc.

Once I get the overall main points, then I add more detailed notes (this can evolve overtime), and though from your point of view, the result may look chaotic… for me, the map makes sense to me as I remember physically creating the whole map.  In one glance, I can recall ALL the material that I read.


Then I gather related material to develop and enhance.

Keeping the mind maps for future reference is useful!  For example the business plan mind map I created in 2013, which helped my daughter and I produce a highly praised  business plan, is being pulled out this week to utilize it on another project.  IT ALL RELATES and EVOLVES.


Mind map tutorial:

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Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 5: Day 3 Celebration 



Part 1: Preparation

Part 2: Travel

Part 3: Art Camp Day 1 

Part 4: Art Camp Day 2

Part 5: Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society Summer 2016 Art Camp Day 3- Celebration

Photo by Rick Magnell


Sitting here in my lovely hotel room organizing supplies and reflecting on this week…

It was the final day of the art camp today.  It was Punky Lake Wilderness Campy Society’s first ever art camp and I could not be more honored to have been able to facilitate it for the past three days.

We started the day with a beautiful OWL story and song from Elder Gary- speaking of our need to LISTEN and LEARN from animals for they are hurting too.  He spoke of animals, in particular owls as messengers.   I then led an owl drawing session- I loved that youth and adults alike dove right in using the techniques I have been sharing with them for the past couple of days!  FAST and VORACIOUS learners!

A team of students then pasted the rest of the drawings (wheatpasting is delicious fun!).  We were joined by photographer Rick Magnell who delivered print outs of his extraordinary portraits of the participants (blog post on Rick and his photography next week).

We pasted the photos in the midst of all the beautiful drawings and after a lovely lunch, spent time in circle reflecting and thanking each other.

I was gifted a most beautiful drum that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  There are no words to suffice to describe its beauty.

Elder Gary who shared so many empowering prayers, stories and songs this week infused my drum with his healing energy:

I have fallen in love with these beautiful people, their hearts, minds, spirits, traditions- in love with the stunning Chilcotin landscape on which we created so much art work and made so many lovely connections and new friendships.

I look forward to gifting them all with hand drawn portraits. <3

I want to thank and acknowledge the Toosey (Tl’esqox) and Tsihquot’in First Nations, Old School Training and Recreation Complex and Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society (Sarah Jackman, Samantha Dick, Bruce Baptiste, Ann Guichon) for hosting the Summer 2016 Art Camp. I also want to thank and acknowledge the chef, the photographer, the chaperones, youth workers and the participants!

Latest Inside Out Project prep at Intersections Media, Vancouver (March 2019)

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Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 3: Day 1



Part 1: Preparation

Part 2: Travel

Part 3: Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society Summer 2016 Art Camp Day 1 

Executive Director Sarah Jackman picked me up this morning…

… and drove me through extraordinary scenery…

… to the Old School Training and Recreation Complex in Riske Creek.

First days are always about gaining trust and reading the room and getting a feel for the dynamic of the group.  As this is a group art project that starts from scratch (the end goal is a collage wall of participant drawings), it may be hard for the students to understand what I have in mind.  But these courageous and hilarious kids worked SO HARD!  They created countless drawings and tomorrow we cut out the first batch and do a test wheatpaste.

I was joined by Punky Lake staff and several chaperones (and I am very grateful for these individuals’ support and participation throughout the day.)

We started the morning with an introduction by Bruce Baptiste, followed by smudge, song and drumming by Elder Gary, and housekeeping rules (the kids are staying at the centre this week).

I introduced my drawing techniques with a raccoon drawing:

We were joined by photographer Rick Magnell who took incredible pictures of the participants for both adding to the wall: JR style(!) and for references for me in order to gift everyone with handdrawn portraits! (These will be completed once I get home and mailed to Punky Lake!)

Photo by Rick Magnell

We worked on a journaling technique and then drew anatomical hearts- definitely messy hands time and faces!

We chose a wall and the day continued with personal drawings and doodles as well as an empowering body mind and spirit talk from Gary as students drew. 

Sleep well kids!

The heart of communication is to observe, wait and listen…

A major part of my role in any workshop that I facilitate is CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT.  I am currently sitting at gate B25 at the airport in Toronto prepping to head home after an incredible experience co-delivering workshops that address challenges and provide staff team training in a particular residential living community. 

To engage the participants in whole brain thinking and to fully bring them into the room, I like to start by taking them through a fundamentals of drawing exercise. 

A current team training workshop (that I have co-developed and now deliver with community engagement strategist Beverley Pomeroy) centres around COMMUNICATION.  We include the strategy of OBSERVE WAIT AND LISTEN, i.e. O.W.L.  Naturally, the drawing exercise in this workshop centres around the OWL image. 

The resulting 60(!) owls from this week are absolutely amazing! Though each participant was given exactly the same instructions, guidance and tools- the results are all so magically different- yet the goal was the same.  What a great metaphor for understanding what we each bring into our workplace. 

We also explored our core values to better understand our differences and similarities. The participants added their core values to a drawing of an anatomical heart, which they then decorated and brought into circle for an in depth dialogue.  The owl drawings will be incorporated into a Living  Wall Street Art piece in the staff room and the hearts will be collages into a framed art piece!

The owl theme continued in the talking pieces I created for the circle. 

So somehow I’ve been able to bring my skills, my lived experience and my passion into a new environment- enhancing the profound delivery by Bev, the key facilitator, while facilitating participants in drawing and street art and sock crafts! Amazing!