Katrina Thibodeau is a Canadian self-taught contemporary artist.
Opening her first business at age 17 this young artist was awarded the Young Entrepreneurship Award of Ontario and has since gone on to be featured in Bridges to Better Businesses, CTV News, and was awarded the Excellence in Entrepreneurship for Sault Ste Marie in 2018.
Katrina was a Featured Artist at the OSA Opened Juried Exhibition November 4th to December 31st 2020 and her oil dry brush paintings have been featured in a Solo Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Algoma and the National Art Platform, Culture Days. She currently is in an exhibition in London England and has an exhibition this coming Jan in Milan Italy, where she is the only Canadian artist selected.
With hyper realistic portraits being her main focus due to the boldness and simplicity monochromatic brings in allowing her to capture emotion, this artist's raw talent is depicted on the canvas as she lets the art speak for itself to draw out deep emotion from her viewer.
By leaving the background of her works predominantly untouched, it intends to draw focus onto every expression, no matter how subtle, hoping to impact the viewers in different ways.
“So many of us go through life not feeling. We avoid emotion, self reflection or simply being alone with our own thoughts. Acknowledging an emotion and expressing it through vulnerable presence is liberating.
One of the most life changing things I have done is allowed myself to feel. Whether it’s an emotion society deems negative, or true joy, there is tremendous value in stepping into it, feeling it and letting it pass through you. So many of us suppress, ignore, pass by and judge our emotions. I want people to feel, relate and reflect when they view my work. My intention is to provoke emotion and vulnerability.”
When did you first begin creating art?
I have been creating for as far back as I can remember. However, around the age of 11, was when I began viewing the world through an artistic lens. Soon thereafter, I was diagnosed with Dyslexia, which I believe helped amplify my creative mind and how I view the world visually.
When did you first consider yourself to be an artist?
There is no specific moment in time that stands out to me, but I have experienced different levels of self-expression and confidence through my journey as an artist that has brought me deeper into that title.
Who or what influences your practice?
The first artist that ever inspired me when I was a child was M. C. Escher. In more recent years, I've been inspired by living artists such as Kit King, Mike Dargas, Gottfried Helnwein, among many others, who keep me striving for more. Their hyper-realistic contemporary art is so impactful, and their ability to capture vulnerable emotion is my biggest inspiration to create.
Tell us about a specific moment in your career that you would consider a turning point.
A turning point in my career was when I was overcome with anxiety and stress due to the multiple unpredictable lockdowns in my home of Ontario, Canada. Simultaneously to this, a loved one of mine was suffering from an opioid addiction, which left me feeling helpless. This was the first time consciously, with artistic intention, that I used creating my art as a way of healing. It was nine months total that we were in various lockdowns, and during this time I explored oil painting for the first time. Stepping into this new medium two years ago, I have since then had a solo exhibition, been in two group shows internationally in the UK and Italy, and have an upcoming solo exhibition in Seoul, South Korea in the spring of 2023. Choosing to utilize my pain, make the best of my situation, and turn it into art during a period where I felt so powerless was the biggest turning point in my career.
Where would you like to see your artwork go in the future?
For my future as an artist, I'd like to widen my vision, and use my artistic intention to impact others with what I create. I hope to make the world tap into their feelings, whether they are emotions that society may deem negative, or on the opposite end, feelings of true joy. Regardless, I want my paintings to help people look inward and to step into their true emotions.