Full CV + kind words
The Kind Words
Executive Director and Master Coach at The Leading Clinic
"You would be fortunate to learn from Kara and become certified as a Creative Grief Coach. She is warm, kind, caring, compassionate and committed to ensuring that each person grows personally and professionally. She has deep knowledge of all aspects of using art in healing, is an amazing artist and healer herself plus she is a deep and respectful listener and coach."
Artist & RN
"As an artist, taking the You Have Permission workshop was quite a stretch for me. I went into the workshop thinking, "Oh I can do anything I want, I don't need permission to do anything." However what I discovered was quite the opposite. Working through each session, working through each meditation, I realized I put loads of expectations upon myself and upon others. This workshop helped me understand that allowing myself to be, just the way I am, allowed me the freedom to love and accept others just the way they were, it was a real eye opener to me.
The 1000 Permission Granted book that I got as part of the workshop was phenomenal! One that really spoke to me was "You have permission to become a non stick surface." WOW, how powerful! To me that was reminding me I did not have to take on every little thing; I did not have to save the world; and given that as a nurse, that have been ingrained in me since I began my caretaking profession, this was a very important message to me. I am sure one or more of the messages in this workshop will resonate with you.
Another favorite was, "You have permission to make mistakes and know you are still worthy," which reminded me that being perfect is not a requirement; that this life of MINE is riddled with unsure decisions, and no matter how they turn out, guess what? I am OK and will be ok.
I love the sense of play that Kara implemented right from the beginning. The book I would recommend completely to anyone, as it is very empowering to give yourself permission 1,000 ways. And more empowering still to then take it a step further and make your own permission slips using the empty ones at the back of the book.
Take this workshop. While the premise seems simple, and it is, we often forget we have permission to be. This workshop reminds us of this. It's a very empowering and fun workshop. Karas gentle voice makes you feel cradled and protected.
Thank you Kara!"
"Kara is a gifted, compassionate and intuitive person, who knows how to direct her creativity in unique, caring and insightful ways. Her talent in mentoring and assisting others to find their own voice and heal their own paths, is simply amazing."
Licensed Massage Practitioner & Reiki Master, Rising Bird Healing Arts
"Kara is a healing soul, who embodies creativity and empathy in everything she does. When I held an art show at my home business Rising Bird Healing Arts, Kara was my guest henna artist. She adorned participants with gorgeous and meaningful henna designs on their hands, leaving them oohing and ahhing in delight at how well Kara *understood* them and their vision. Kara connects deeply and creates with such heart. I even received my own bird design and was delighted to wear it on my skin for a whole week."
Bringing 7th Level Wellbeing™ to Healthcare & Corporate America
"Our mutual dedication to helping others navigate the what's next after loss impacts their lives brought Kara and I together. Her invitation for me to guest blog led me to spend significant time reading through her posts and getting to know her services. The creativity and hope she inspires through all the tools and insights she shares is so valuable. Kara is supportive and visionary and it is an honor to know her."
Mystic Mentor Coach at Life Transformations Unlimited
"Kara has assisted me with publishing my first book and producing former website(s). She did an excellent job on both counts, and I admired her high integrity with her work. I would also highly recommend her other services; she is a talented artist, henna healer and a supremely capable and compassionate grief coach."
"Kara is a truly inspiring and amazing coach. Her visualizations and experiential exercises helped me work through my emotions creatively, bringing me out of my own downward spiraling mind and opening me to my own depth and aliveness at a very difficult time in my life, simultaneously connecting me to a virtual community."
Editor + Author
"Kara's contributions to a book I edited (They Were Still Born: Personal Stories of Stillbirth, Fall 2010, Rowman & Littlefield) about the connection of grief and creativity are inspiring. Her exuberant art and clear writing style make her a powerful voice in the field of pregnancy/infant loss."
The Full CV
As seen in...
For Creative Grief Studio, November 2016, Contributing Author
Featured Guest, Good Grief w Cheryl Jones, July 29, 2015 episode, Voice America:
Paper Doll GRRRRLS, "five." exhibit, Mulberry Art Studio, Lancaster, PA, January 2012
Handmade Deco'd Sugar Skulls, Day of the Dead Collaborative Show, Cafe Luna Vashon, October 2010
*Poster Exhibit, Excerpt of 1,000 Permissions Granted, creative permission slips, Vashon Bookshop, July 2010
Kabuki I, Mixed Media, 16x20 canvas, All-Island Art Show, Valise Gallery, July 2010
Handmade Mixed Media ATCs, Art in Hand 2: Artist Trading Cards, The Historic Smithville Mansion Annex Art Gallery, Curated by Lynn Lemyre, Burlington County Division of Cultural Affairs & Tourism, Eastampton, NJ, April 2010
Danger Danger: Sketchbook Project, Volume 4, Art House Coop, Brooklyn NY, 2009 (finished sketchbook was included in national tour and now is in permanent library at Art House)
Handmade Mixed Media ATCs, RAG 4th Annual Artist Trading Card Exhibit, September - October 2009
*The GRRRRRRLS exhibit, mixed media, Cafe Luna Gallery, August 2009
Hand-carved stamp, proof print ATCs for Art in Hand: The World of Artist Trading Cards, The Historic Smithville Mansion Annex Art Gallery, Curated by Lynn Lemyre, Burlington County Division of Cultural Affairs & Tourism, Eastampton, NJ, April 2009
1,000 Faces excerpt exhibit during “A Peace of…Vashon” show, Café Luna, November 2008
1,000 Faces excerpt exhibit during Mekosun GURU show, Mekosun Loft, August 2007
CreativiTEA: tea themed art; joint show with illustrator Lynndee Lebeau, Vashon Tea Shop for
Island Art Tour, May 2007
Photography & Henna Art, Mekosun Gallery show at Hengst Studios, February 2006
Photo Study of The Womb Book, contributing artist to The Secret Club Project, internationally traveling exhibit, curator Laura Seftel, 2005
*Henna Arts: More Henna Off the Bod’, showcasing henna and henna style art on wood, canvas, paper, and photography, Natali Clinic Gallery, May 2005
*Henna Arts: Off the Bod’, a show of henna on wood, paper, cloth, and in photography, Café Luna Gallery, February 2005
Henna Hands (original designs collaboration with Hawk Jones presented for his show), Café Luna Gallery, July 2004
Wombs (mixed media, handmade books), VAA show “Women’s Bodies Violence & Healing,” February 2003
Sampling of Past Speaking Events, Workshops, Presentations
Ignition Talk on Grief + Creativity
Spring 2015, Crossroads Conference Presentation, see video above, Pittsburgh, PA
Creative Grief Education
Fall 2012, Conference workshop, Co-facilitated with Cath Duncan, Phoenix, AZ
Grief & Creativity Keynote
Spring 2010, SHARE Annual Auction & Dinner, Lancaster, PA.
Using Poetry to Document the Grief Experience
Winter 2010, University of WA, Tacoma Campus, for students in seminar with Prof. Rich Furman.
Grief & Creativity Workshop
Fall 2009, for LIOS first year students, half-day module with Prof. Alex Onno.
Hero's Journey & Losing Layla:
personal retreat & professional training
Summer 2009, three day workshop & training for bereaved parents and those who care for them.
heART of the Hero, small group session, 2009
Getting to the heART of it, small group session, 2009
Poetry UNslam, conference workshop, 2006 & 2008
Grief: Finding Our Way, conference workshop, 2007 & 2008
Writing to Heal the Heart, conference workshop, 2006
Exploring with heART, conference workshop, 2006
Grief & Ritual with facilitated screening of Losing Layla
Summer 2006, WA State MISS Chapter Retreat
Give Sorrow Words; and Poetry As Healing Art
2004 and 2005 MISS Foundation International Grief Conferences
2002 and 2004 WA State Poet's Association and Burning Word Fest
Stillbirth: Giving Birth to Death
2001, feature spot on NPR's "The Human Condition" hosted by Megan Sukys
Additional Workshops and Presentations
Spring 2016, Self-care: tending personally, professionally, communally, weekend retreat, Pittsburgh, PA
Spring 2016, ADEC Annual Conference, Fiction and grief: The creative road to healing and transformation, panel discussion, Minneapolis, MN
Spring 2015, Crossroads Conference, A Salon Discussion on Grief + Creativity, Pittsburgh, PA
Summer 2011, The Leading Clinic, The Hero's Journey, Vashon Island, WA
Summer 2010, Vashon Bookshop, The Story of KOTA: Knowing Ourselves Thru Art, Vashon Island, WA
Spring 2010, Mills Mall Borders, Woodmont Ave: Grief & Creativity thru the Generations, Pittsburgh, PA
Spring 2010, Lancaster SHARE, Keynote on Grief & Creativity in Bereaved Families, Lancaster, PA
Winter 2010, UW Tacoma, Using Poetry to Document the Grief Experience, Prof. Rick Furman, Tacoma, WA
Fall 2009, for LIOS first year students, half-day module with Prof. Alex Onno, Seattle, WA
Summer 2009, Hero's Journey & Losing Layla: 3-day personal retreat & professional training for bereaved parents and those who care for them, Vashon Island, WA
heART Celebration 2010
Winter Holidays 2009
Day of the Dead 2009
Summer Solstice Hero Dance 2009
Sweater Fest 2009
Celebrate your heART 2009
Honoring the Neighborhood 2008
Creative Approaches To Grief Experiences, group exhibit, 2017
Day of the Dead, group exhibit, 2014
Handmade Valentine heART swap, 2014
Day of the Dead, fine handmade art, 2013
heART Swap, 2010
Handmade Holiday heART, Gift Exchange, 2009
Day of the Dead, fine handmade art, free photo book, 2009
heART of the Hero/Shadow, Graphic Novel, 2009
heART Cards, 2009
Inspiration Deck, 2008
Kara has offered body art as ritual for various clients and events including:
Rising Bird Healing Arts, Café Luna, Vashon Allied Arts World Music on the Rock, Sunday Sacred Play Days, MISS Conference, Guest Artist at Little Red Studio, Red Sky Studio/Kotagraph Photoshoots, Oasis Belly Dancing Market, Starbucks, Seattle University India Nite, McMurray Middle School Rec Nite, MehndiAid, Tsunami Relief Concert Night on Vashon, June First Friday at GRACE, Late Nite at the Library (Vashon Branch), Seattle University Student Break Nite, Island Earth Fair.
Co-founded The Creative Grief Studio in partnership with Cath Duncan, 2011 to present
Founded Grief + Creativity (formerly MotherHenna/Henna Healing), 2003 to present
Co-founded KotaPress in partnership with Hawk Jones, 1999 to present
Creative Consultant with the MISS Foundation, 1999 to 2012
ADEC 2016 Annual Conference
VerbTribe: Creating A Sustainable Writing Practice
Level I with Patti Digh
Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy
Level III Narrative Therapy Training with Stephen Madigan
Coaching Certification, Appreciative Inquiry and Whole System IQ with Hero's Journey as Key Model
2007 – 2010
Vashon Island Reiki
Master-Teacher Training and Certification
2003 - 2007
Medicine Buddha Reiki Certification
Write From the Source
Poetry Expression with Shelley Tucker, Seattle, WA
1998 - 2000
Language and Production Internship
Family Communications, Inc + Mister Rogers Neighborhood
Under Mentorship of Fred Rogers, Hedda Sharapan, and David Newell
1992 - 1995
Carnegie Mellon University
BA, Poetics and Cultural Theory
1992 – 1995
Minor, Early Childhood Development
1992 - 1995