We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie m. Berggren and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katie m., can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I grew up with three siblings, my mother and father, in a small town in North Washington State. We had 9 acres, most of it fields and forests. We, of course, didn’t have computers or cell phones, and being very rural, we could access only a couple tv channels. This meant cartoons on Saturday mornings, but most of my days were spent exploring the creek and trees, the barn fort, the grassy fields and muddy puddles. My friends lived up and down the hill from us and we played in haylofts and under branches. My sister and my brothers and I spent a lot of time building forts, playing with animals and wandering. I suppose we knew when to come in for meals, but I imagine we played right through sometimes. We raised kittens, chickens, bunnies. We had a horse, a goat, a couple dogs over the years. When it was dark and we were in, we wrote stories, drew pictures and built cardboard villages. We’d use the Pictionary game cards to give us a word, then we’d all frantically write a story about that word, swap papers, pick another word, and go again. My brother was the first to start drawing, I’d say, and my mom would get photocopies of his art and his twin brother and I would color them. I was raised on creativity and freedom. And today those are two of the most important parts of me. I am stubborn and like to create alone. I like to explore and hate feeling penned in. I imagine that if I was raised inside with screens or without acreage, I’d be a very different person. Not worse or better, just different. My sons are being raised indoors with screens (and outdoors with walks, nature and family time). They have different sensibilities than I. They are quicker, smarter, better at computations. I “feel” things out, I sit with them, roll them around, and need time to solve problems. I need to say things (or draw them) multiple times to make sense. They are lightning fast at understanding and choosing. I wouldn’t change a thing. My growing up years held a fair amount of loneliness, loss, confusion, but those tender spots within me allow me to create artwork that feels tender to my collectors. I can contentedly be alone for hours with paint and stories and a place to write my own words. Silence doesn’t scare me, my inner voices don’t scare me. I don’t always know exactly how to interact with other humans in certain situations, but my painted women and children are great friends to me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My favorite subject in my paintings is motherhood – and the human connection in general. I love capturing skin against skin and the way bodies fold together. I love the way hair can flow and dance and interact. I love energy and movement and sparkle and glow. I love the interaction between mother and child, and friends and family. I am both fascinated by and baffled by human relationships. Everywhere in my studio workspace is PAINT. Painted, painty, crusty. I am a bit of a clean freak and a BIG clutter-phobe, but for some reason I let my studio be… BE messy, BE paint-splattered. No way to keep it under control AND be freely working at the same time, I guess. Today, I mostly create paintings inspired specifically by the moments between mother and child and families ~ my goal is to honor these moments and encourage stopping and realizing the beauty and blessings we have within our families. I hope to inspire mothers to look into their children’s faces and recognize the tenderness of a child’s heart and feelings. In ways it has been easy to get to where I am today, because I am stubborn and have listened to an inner voice that has not quieted in over 16 years. But it is also hard. So hard. It is difficult to take something from within your heart and soul, pour it out onto canvas so that your eyes can finally SEE what you feel… then turn the canvas around and show it to others. THEN… to ask people if they want to buy it. It is absolutely not easy to turn an urge to create into a business. But it is worth it. Slow small step by slow small step, keeping integrity and purpose top of mind, we can get there. Not jumping too quickly, but stepping just fast enough when opportunities come along. Keeping open eyes and an open mind, but being willing to walk away from ideas, people or activities that are harming the creative urge or business motivation. Along the way I have had many many ideas. I write them down. I have thrown out many many ideas. I keep journals of my drawings and inspirations, and I often forget them the moment they are written down. As soon as I hear my self say “I’ll remember THAT!!” I know I will forget it and it needs to be written down. I have filled over 50 journals over the last 7 years. And to me they are like treasure troves. A lesson is to go back over your collected ideas, because sometimes they were excellent but were just destined for a different time. A lesson is to ‘share’. Show what you are working on, even if you are nervous. Just jump in. To not be afraid to call something done and put it out into the world. Perfection can be a killer. I’ve had paintings that I’ve called done 6 or 7 times, only to keep taking them back to the easel!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Ben has been on my side since day 1. The day that I was laid off from my Graphic Design job and decided to immediately start my own business, he was behind me 100%. He listens, he gives honest feedback, he calls me out when I’m off track. He’s my best friend. Steven Pressfield’s book The War Of Art was a catalyst for kicking me to my next level. Straight facts, beautiful metaphors, stories and insights. I highly recommend this book for anyone on a creative journey. My friend Dana. She inspires, teaches and doesn’t take excuses. She listens. We cry. She doesn’t run away.

Website: www.Shop.KmBerggren.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kmberggrenart/
Twitter: @KmBerggren
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kmberggrenfanpage/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/kmberggren
Other: Blog and updates: www.KmBerggren.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.