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Meet Katy Bradshaw David

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katy Bradshaw David.

Hi Katy, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My story is more of a zig-zag than a straight line. I grew up in Austin, then got a BA in English at the University of Wisconsin. I always assumed that I would be a writer of some sort. I spent several years working as a stand-up comic and was eventually invited to the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal for the New Faces Showcase. Exciting! This led to me moving to Los Angeles where I quickly realized I did not belong. There wasn’t one thing that made me want to leave, but I started to doubt that it was a good fit when I found myself performing at an open mike in a laundromat. And then there was the show at an AA meeting. You just couldn’t get stage time out there! I quit comedy, moved home and tried to figure out what to do with my life. To fill the hours while looking for a job, I started making Ukrainian Eggs, a folk art that my grandmother taught me. That soon got to be more interesting than anything else I was doing and that is when I realized that in order to be happy, I was going to need to follow the creative urge to make actual, physical things with my hands.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest challenge is my very active and critical inner voice. I try to find ways to short-circuit that inner criticism but it is always a struggle against that part of myself. I try to ignore the “no” and pay attention to the “yes, and…”

The challenge that most artists face: if you have enough time to make art, you can’t pay the bills but if you can pay the bills, you don’t have enough time to make art.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I create abstract landscape paintings with gouache and acrylic paint on either birch panels or paper. I was originally known for my batik eggshells, but eventually my ideas needed a larger space to be expressed so I moved to painting. Gouache has a luscious flat velvet matte texture, acrylic is glossy, dimensional and bouncy and I enjoy the contrast between the two. Even though I always strive for perfection, I love lines that are a little wobbly. I like that my art looks like it was made by a human.

In addition to painting, I love to experiment with other materials and processes like porcelain clay, polymer clay, printmaking, beading and paper marbling. Pretty much anything where I can use my hands to manipulate a physical object. The messier, the better.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
Learn to trust the mystery of artistic inspiration. No one else has to like what you make, but if you stay true to your internal voice then the art will be true.

Guard your time! Make sure you are giving yourself the time you need for your artistic practice. Even if it looks to other people that you are doing nothing, your mind needs the space to wander. My brother once told me that I always look like I am just hanging around not doing much of anything but I am actually busy all the time. I’m still trying to figure out if it was a compliment or not.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Personal photo – Image by David D. Bailie All other photos of artwork by Katy Bradshaw David

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