We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Shapiro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My work life balance has changed dramatically since having my two boys aged 2 1/2 and 1. I have a harder time finding the mental space it takes to produce artwork, let alone the actual studio time. It’s made me work faster, and in spurts. Now when I want to work in the studio I need to ask for help with the kids so I can go in there where as before I could work at my will whenever I wanted to.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My photography is a blend of representational imagery with collage over the top. In graduate school at UC Irvine, I began getting interested in abstraction and wanted to find a way to blend that with my interest in the real. I was used to taking straight photographs and displaying them simply as that. In school, I discovered that I could make images differently, using materials I was drawn to including lights, lighting gels, crystals, prisms and other attractive materials. The resulting images were simply based on form and color and not so much on an actual photograph. It was a change from having to go out into the world to create my images. So now, I blend that abstract way of working, while still using straight photography, merging my two interests together. It’s been a long road and there have been little encouragements along the way to keep me going. Whether that’s been inclusion in a show, or acceptance at an artist residency, I’ve been inspired to continue on. I’ve learned that you need to put yourself out there. Nobody is going to do that for you and it’s important to believe in the work you are doing and to show it to the outside world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would drive us out to Joshua Tree and visit Pappy and Harriets, for dinner and a concert. I would also drive up the coast to Malibu or even as far as Big Sur, if time allowed (my favorite place in the world). The coast is so awe-inspiring and there’s so much beauty and great things to do.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shoutout to Amy Russell who was my high-school photography teacher and a very talented artist herself. She believed in me wholeheartedly and has supported me every step of the way. She showed me that being an artist was not only possible, but a worthy pursuit.