FEATURED ARTIST . Kathy BoettcherKathy is a local illustrator and ceramics artist, who moonlights as an instructor at Pinot’s Palette-Appleton. She’s been with us since we opened our doors in October 2014. Kathy brings a creative vibe to our team that exudes bold passion and playfulness. With an ear to hear the needs of our customers, her calm demeanor and creative skills help to bring paintings to life.
I caught up with her last week and sat down to chat with her about what it’s like to be a real, living and breathing, true to form, artist.
» So Kathy, tell me about your day job:
Which one? Haha. During the day I work at The Fire [pottery, mosaic and glass fusing studio]. I help in assisting people with projects. Painting pottery, working on mosaics and glass fusing. I help people learn new techniques and give guidance when necessary.
» What else do you do besides work at Pinot’s Palette and The Fire?
I create my own works of art as well. And I dog sit from time to time.
» When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An Artist! I’ve been painting ever since I could. We have a decent amount of childhood sketchbooks filled with old paintings and drawings. My grandma was a painter, so my mom says I probably got that creative gene passed down from her.
» You have been working on a lot of custom pieces lately, what do you enjoy about creating commissioned pieces?
It's really fun because I am able to share my creativity with others. It can also be a challenge because I am limited, in a sense, to produce from the idea that they’ve given me. It’s cool to see the reaction in their response when I unveil what I have created for them. There is tension in wondering if they will end up enjoying it or not. But most of the time it goes really well and they are pleased. The biggest sense of accomplishment is being able to bring joy through your art.
» What has been your favorite custom piece to create?
That’s a hard one. There are so many great ones. I most enjoy combining silkscreen prints and my own illustration onto ceramics. The more I work at it, the more I have been able to mix different techniques and continue my practice in experimentation.
» What inspires you most as an artist?
I try to get inspiration from almost everything. I pay close attention to patterns and color combinations. For my illustrations – I like to people watch, and look through magazines, to catch people’s facial expressions.
I also take inspiration from seeing how other people create. Like “Oh hey- that is a really cool technique” and try to store that away so I can try a go at it myself later on.
» What’s your favorite color?
Paint color? I enjoy warm colors, and deep aqua. I’ve also been on a coral kick lately. But overall the colors 60's and 70's are kinda my vibe. (Cue us reminiscing about avocado colored cabinets).
» What is it that you feel you bring to the studio environment?
I believe I bring knowledge and ease to the customers.
I like being able to help customers achieve their vision by communicating with them how to go about creating something.
I enjoy helping others, and I like to take a calm approach to situations when something might not be going “just right”.
» What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received as an artist?
It’s okay to make mistakes. Don’t dwell on the mistake, but rather take those mistakes and create something new with it. Expand on what went wrong and use that for inspiration to make it [your art] into something more.
» Anything I missed that you’d like to share?
I’m learning to do what I love and to not worry about societal norms. I understood awhile back that I would have to work for it and make it work for me too. I’m looking to create, work hard and see what happens.
I encourage everyone to shop local! We’ve got some talented people in the Fox Cities. I’m hoping to see how the art scene grows and expands in the future.
Kathy has participated in local art events such as Art On The Town and The Artery in Appleton. She’ll be publicly showcasing her work once again this upcoming fall at the Bazaar After Dark on September 28th. If you’re interested in commissioning your own customized piece, feel free to visit her Facebook at KAFFERS ILLUSTRATION