Artist Spotlight :: Karen Campbell


Welcome! Today begins our second Artist Spotlight series where every Tuesday and Thursday Tonia Jenny, the 21 SECRETS Creative Director & Course Manager, interviews one of the talented teachers in our 21 SECRETS program.

To never miss an interview be sure to sign up for blog notifications located at the bottom of this page and CLICK HERE to check out past interviews. Enjoy!

Hello Creative Being!

I’m happy to be back sharing with you Spotlight-Artist interviews! In this new round, we’re going to be getting to know the talented artists who will be inspiring you through 21 SECRETS Face Time. (Pssst, tomorrow is the final day of the pre-sale, so get in there and sign up now!) Face Time opens one month from today, so let’s start dipping our toes in the inspirational waters and learn about our first artist instructor, Karen Campbell!

I am getting to know Karen, myself, a little bit and I adore her wildly-excited energy! I was also enamored with her cat, Zoe, whom you’ll meet in Karen’s final video. She is a prolific author of step-by-step drawing books and can I just say, how can you not be inspired by the bravery to dare your art supplies to betray you? Love it . . . And I know you’re going to love having her teach you to be bold throughout her Face-Time workshop, The Fickle Fairy. Let’s just dive right in and learn more about Karen right now!

Name a time you “felt the fear and did it anyway” with regards to art making.

I actually thrive on fear when doing my projects! So, I often DARE my supplies to betray me. Making bold and brash decisions with my mixed-media materials or my subjects is so freeing and I equally love the challenge of having to problem solve my way out of my crazy choices. I LOOOOOVE that art lets me embrace my craziest human tendencies (which I almost always have to tether to fit into society, to set a good example as a mother, etc.). As a person, I am often brash and sloppy and make snap decisions and dive into things head-first and think about it afterwards. It is pure unadulterated FUN to work this way and I love to encourage my students to be the same way!

What was your last happy accident?

Oh I’m so glad you asked! I’ve been leading this #100funfabface drawing challenge on on my YouTube channel and each week I give a full tutorial for others to follow and do their own versions. Last week in the middle of filming, my paintbrush snapped in half and blue (iris color) splashed over my subject’s cheek. So I transformed that into a drippy tear and the result was totally awesome! If I hadn’t had that accident, that project would have ended up only half as good! Ha! You can watch it here!

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

Literally everything but mostly fashion illustrations. I did an entire series of learning videos for myself where I invited the world to learn along with me (on YouTube) and I had such a fun time with it! I want to really sit and draw fashion girls and dresses and chic clothing for hours! Sadly, between teaching and my three kids, there just isn’t enough time in my day!

What is the one thing you hope we remember from your workshop?

The attitude to just GO FOR IT!!!!! Think less—paint MORE!!!

Share something very few people know about you.

I studied monkeys in college because I wanted to be Jane Goodall!

Funny, Karen makes me almost want to invite more accidents and mayhem into my own creative process!

And she loves monkeys . . . this woman is killing me! (In a good way!!) And if you’d like to get to know Karen and her work better, don’t forget to check out her YouTube channel and follow along with her bold escapades on Instagram!

💜 Tonia

About Karen Campbell

Karen Campbell is a New England native and currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, three boys and two cats. She is a full-time mixed media artist and is the Founder of

Karen has also authored 5 books including the popular, “How to Draw Fun Fab Faces” series, “For the Colorful Teacher” (co-author/illustrator and soon-to-be-series), and her latest book, “Mixed Media Magic” (all available on Amazon). She started teaching both children and adults (privately as well as big art party bashes) in 2011 and switched to becoming a full time online educator in 2016. Her primary goal is to make art accessible to ANYONE with an interest with a primary focus on pure, unadulterated FUN!!! She also believes in fairies (for obvious reasons).


Karen teaches The Fickle Fairy in 21 SECRETS Face Time

In this magical workshop, I will show you how to create an expressive and GORGEOUS fairy from a myriad of mixed-media materials!

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