Katy grew up in Southern California where she learned how to surf cold waves, sit patiently in freeway traffic, and wield a paintbrush. She has a BFA in Illustration from Laguna College of Art and Design and an MFA in Art & Design from Cal State Fullerton. She is a professional content creator, self-proclaimed naturalist, and contemplator of God and (human) nature.
Katy's career began with exhibiting oil paintings in galleries. Her numerous travels to Europe during college to study art sparked a love for storytelling through symbolism. She began to find her artistic voice and style through making large paintings inspired by the old masters, but with a surrealistic flair. Showing work in galleries has been an outlet for unrestrained creativity and experimentation of various media. She continues to actively participate in shows and is an associate artist at Valkarie Gallery & Studio in Denver.
The whimsical narratives in Katy's surrealistic paintings and assemblages led her into the children's book industry, where she illustrated books and magazines. After several years working in the publishing industry and learning the craft, she began writing and illustrating her own stories. She is proudly represented by Heather and Ethan Long as an author/illustrator at Tugeau 2 Art and Literary Agency, and currently developing a middle grade action/adventure novel.
No matter what medium or context, nature themes are ever present in Katy's work. Her passion for the great outdoors, hiking and bird watching have led her into interpretive illustration for museums, nature centers, and parks, where she has partnered with interpretive designers to educate the public about natural history, stewardship and conservation. Oftentimes, the research involved in these projects cross-pollinate with her concepts for books and gallery work. She is a commercial member of the National Association of Interpretation, and is likely to be found in the field with a pair of binoculars.
In addition to working as a professional artist, Katy has taught at the college level for over a decade. She was a full-time professor of Illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design, where she served as Interim Co-Chair and taught abroad in Italy. She now serves as Head of the Illustration program at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Colorado.
Katy's love for art and the natural world, combined with her experience as an educator, has influenced her aesthetic and career. She has an imaginative, playful yet reverent approach to her subjects. Her favorite thing about being an artist is exploring concepts through symbolism and storytelling. She finds great joy and purpose in sharing her ideas and discoveries with others, along with helping others find their creative voice.
Katy aims to create space for imagination in her work through the elements of curiosity and empathy. She invites others to join her in imagining what it would be like to be someone or something else, in perhaps a different time or place. Within this imaginative space, curiosity and empathy are engaged to develop an emotional connection to the subject. It is in this moment that delight, appreciation, and wonder are formed, which are keys to lifelong learning and love for life.
May we never lose our wonder.
Katy Betz Studio provides custom artwork that will visually enrich and emotionally enhance your project. As a creative thinker, educator and storyteller, Katy has the unique ability to combine information with expression to transform content into a memorable, heartfelt narrative. Her expertise in a variety of media gives range to her style, and allows her to create the exact mood needed for your story.
Katy Betz Studio offers consulting services for companies and projects in need of aesthetic direction, as well as students wanting to develop a portfolio for acceptance into art college.
Email Katy at email@example.com to discuss your goals and needs.