Presenting May’s Woman of the Month”
Katherine St. Denis
Here’s a little bit about her:
Katherine moved to Vancouver from her native Melbourne, Australia in 2009. A trained photographer, Katherine’s career – plus a recession – forced a path other than initially intended and she has worked in local and state governments for many years specializing in corporate reporting and strategic planning.
Never forgetting her artistic roots, Katherine actively seeks opportunities to let her creative side express itself – in both her personal and professional life. Being a visual learner, Katherine utilizes her ability to take complex wordy documents and turn them into simple diagrams – after all, a picture tells a 1000 words! (This also helps her deal with the language barrier between Australian and Canadian – and don’t think there isn’t one!! LOL) Her photographs have also graced the publications of organizations for which she has worked.
In her personal life, amongst other things Katherine loves to cook – especially for friends. Spending the day puttering around the kitchen creating a feast for friends is how she likes to relax. She likes to experiment with dishes – rarely following a recipe – and is often on the lookout for test subjects.
Her love of art, music and in particular, photography is never far from her thoughts and although it may have stagnated over the past few years, reviving her photography is an increasing priority.
Community minded and a strong supporter of the ‘act local, think global’ concept Katherine enjoys working for organizations or causes that contribute to the betterment of our communities.
And here’s how she answered my 6 questions about creativity:
What does it mean to you to be creative?
For me, creativity is about having the courage to expand your horizons, challenge the social norm and to think outside the square – it can be through art, music, writing, cooking, the way you decorate your house, what you wear, your work or just your attitude towards life. Everybody has the ability to be creative and to express it, unfortunately not all do. Granted we can’t all produce a ‘Mona Lisa’ – unless its paint-by-numbers! – and while it may be considered the epitome of fine art, we arguably owe more to people such as Picasso and Dali who challenged what was considered ‘normal’ and expanded our minds to embrace the unusual and stretch our perception of what defines ‘creativity’.
What triggers your creativity?
Hard to pin that down – it could be anything! From the magnificence of nature that surrounds us, to the more personal inspirations such as friends, stories, events, artists and music. My career path has taken me away from an artistic career, but no matter what role I take on, I always find a way to incorporate some creativity – and that is, thankfully, something appreciated by those around me!
What hinders your creativity?
Close mindedness, ignorance, negativity, prejudice and anything else along those lines.
What’s the wildest journey your venturesome spirit has taken you on?
I believe the journey I am on now is without doubt the ‘wildest’ of them all. I have embarked on an inner journey – challenging what I ‘know’ about myself, learning more about my ‘blind spots’. What brings me joy, what makes me happy and who do I want to be when I grow up!! Learning to be more kind and forgiving to myself, accepting my shortcomings and celebrating my strengths!
What does being bold and provocative mean to you?
Challenging the norm, speaking your mind (in a respectful manner of course – sometimes tricky for me!), not being complacent and encouraging and influencing people around you to challenge the way they think about life, the universe and everything.
What’s next for you?
Continuing to learn Canadian…it’s a challenge to put ‘eh’ on the end of every sentence!! Learning French – my apologies to all French speaking people – getting off my butt and taking some photos. Continue with my quest to be a better human, bring love and kindness to those around me and keep myself open to opportunities that come along. Having said that, since moving here I do need to spend some time familiarizing myself with the region, so am considering a ‘bucket list’ of things to do in the Pacific Northwest in 2011 – so any suggestions are welcome!
And some of the things that inspires Katherine’s creativity:
Clichéd I know, but I draw inspiration from everywhere and everything – nature, people, places, art, music, cultures, films, books, causes that improve our life and the planet we live on – it’s really hard to pin down!
A few random examples are: Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe, Annie Leibovitz, The Impressionists (Artists and Photographers), Cubists and Surrealists and I LOVE Jeff Koons’ s giant balloon dog sculpture – it makes me smile from head to toe!
Merci Katherine, we Canadians welcome you, eh!
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