21 SECRETS Spotlight :: Kim Henkel


Every Wednesday at Dirty Footprints Studio Tonia Jenny, the 21 SECRETS Creative Director & Course Manager,  is interviewing one of the talented teachers in our program.  Be sure to sign up for blog notifications below to never miss a spotlight — and CLICK HERE to check out past interviews. 

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Hi there, Creative Dreamer! 

This week’s Spotlight Artist is Kim Henkel. In her  21 SECRETS Paper, Glue, Scissors workshop—Drawn to Collage—Kim shares her lovely process for working her own drawings into collage. In her remote Yukon home, Kim loves using the beautiful natural elements that surround her to inspire a wide variety of artistic pursuits. I’m happy to let Kim share a bit more about herself here 

Who or what has made the largest impact on the artist you are today?

There are two gifts I try to give myself that have made a big impact in my creative journey.   

1.) The Gift of Time: Time to create and explore with no pressure to create a finished piece.

2.) My mantra: “Be Gentle With Self” When something doesn’t turn out the way I imagined or wanted it to, I tell myself that is okay.  I keep in mind that it is a journey and I continue to explore and learn along the way.    

Name three words that sum up the three stages your current work goes through?

Stage 1 – Curiosity/What If?
I am a curious creator and always ask myself, what if I try this . . .?  

Stage 2 – Do It
And so I try it, and it rarely works as I imagined . . .  

Stage 3 – Repeat
. . . so I go back to Stage 1 and think about the “what if” again. 

Over and over I go with these stages. Sometimes an idea is shelved for many months before I come to another “what if” to try, but they ALWAYS come! 

 What do you wish you gave yourself more time to explore?

EVERYTHING! I have so many creative ideas that need exploring! A couple of weeks ago it was spruce cones and paint (which didn’t work, so I am back at the “what if” stage). Soft-covered “collectables folders” were on my mind last week, while this week, I am dreaming about playing more with paper pulp to create some containers (boxes, bowls, boats, vases . . .).   

 Time for creative exploration is one of my favorite ways to spend a day. I never know where it will take me.  

In what do you find inspiration that it seems few others find inspiring?

I find inspiration at the local dump (which also houses a community “Free Store”). I love to find creative ways to use items that have become of no use to other people. Some of my favorites are: old windows, strapping metal, bits of copper pipe, old books, burnt out light bulbs and old medicine cabinets. 

I never know what I will find to create with, but whatever I find, it always gets the creative juices flowing.  

Share something very few people know about you?

I had to think about this one for some time because lots of people already know many things about me. They may already know that I am an introvert and that I live in northern Canada (in The Yukon to be exact). Many know that I love playing ice hockey and have played since I was ten years old, and that my favorite dessert is chocolate cheesecake . . . . Hmm . . . . Oh here is something that few people know about me:  I love peeing in the wilderness among the bushes, trees and mountains. But shhh . . . don’t tell anyone else!  

For a while now, I’ve enjoyed following Kim on Instagram and seeing what new things she’s exploring, which I now understand to come about from all of those “what ifs?” And I bet after this little glimpse of her, you may be curious to see more yourself. Check out her website and social media accounts.

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About Kim Henkel

Kim-Henkel_headshotI am a curious-minded maker of things with a constant need to create. I continually experiment with new ideas and often ask myself, “What if I try this?” The answers often lead me to unexpected creative places. I like working in a variety of mediums and enjoy sharing my creative makings and discoveries with others.

If you are looking for me, you can usually find me out hiking on a trail or happily creating in my home studio in Haines Junction, Yukon, Canada.


Kim teaches Drawn To Collage in 21 SECRETS Paper, Glue, Scissors

I love incorporating copies of my own drawings into things I make.

In this lesson we will be using copies of drawings (mine or yours – it’s up to you!) as the focal point in a mixed-media collage. Besides the drawing, we will add lines and shapes by gluing down layers of hand-stamped tissue paper. Then it is time to mix up the media and add some scribbles and lines before the piece is finished and ready to add to an art journal or hung on a wall.

Each piece we create in this manner is a surprise. We never know what the outcome will be, but we will enjoy the process and keep on playing with it until it feels finished. I hope you will be surprised and delighted with what you create using this technique!

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