Purpose Behind Black Cat Studio
Growing up, Kayla always enjoyed crafting. When she was a young girl her grandmother used to teach her sewing. She would follow the lines on a piece of paper with a needle and thread. Crafting evolved into a creative outlet which Kayla uses for awareness and expression. When a close friend passed, she did a water color series to collect donations for a fund in her memoriam. When Kayla went to college for social services, her experiences and others’ also became an expression of her art. For Kayla, her crafting is done with meaning and purpose to express herself and others. For every card, decor, and pouch sold Kayla donates a portion of proceeds towards Safe N Sound. This organization provides support services for mental health and addiction. They also work in poverty advocacy and prevent homelessness. They provide basic needs as well such as daily meals, internet, laundry, and peer support. This organization does so much more to help our community and those who suffer from isolation and poverty. To learn more about the wonderful acts they do and how to support, click here.
Trying Something New…
The year 2020 brought many obstacles we could never foresee having to face. For Kayla, she took this opportunity to explore crafting more, investing in a sewing machine and trying new hobbies. By exploring YouTube and Reddit, she came across paper art. Paper art is a new craft and hard to define but one could say it is reprocessing paper to create mixed media art. She tried it the first time with her daughter. Outside of course, as it became a big mush of shredded paper and water. It was such a process and that at the time, her wife was pregnant and had become nauseated by the “flop”. Fortunately, the final product was perfect which for Kayla was a fulfilling experience. When trying something new, it's difficult to produce a product you’re proud of on your first go. Thus Kayla knew she had an affinity for the craft.
A Sustainable Craft
Because Kayla is upcycling paper, she began to notice what wasn’t paper. Specifically, the plastic lining on paper that is difficult to see with the naked eye. Only until it's dissolved in water do you see bits of plastic floating around. This makes one wonder about our products and how much plastic has become a core part of our society’s consumerism. Even on a cardboard box that seems recyclable, Kayla finds a piece of plastic that is added only for aesthetics. People have to pay attention to make sure they’re recycling properly. Through this craft, she has become more aware and finds herself seeking knowledge about the waste and recycling system. What happens to plastic lined paper at our recycling plant? Kayla has tried emailing, but with no reply. A wonderful part about Kayla’s art is that there is no linear cycle. Barely any material goes to garbage, and in fact, if she ever messes up it goes into the next batch.
The year 2020 allowed Kayla to explore her art and her own mental health. Mental health is often a struggle expressed in our society, but not openly discussed. Unfortunately, it is the lack of communication that causes a disconnect and negatively affects our mental states. Kayla creates art that she describes as “cute” which I also think means makes-you-smile. Her art is a reminder that we deserve to be happy which is self love. Self love is a core part of mental health. For Kayla, completing a stamp is a creative expression that provides a sense of accomplishment. This isn’t a social media post with 182483 likes, because it’s something that she made and makes her happy. In turn, her art makes others happy which is a wonderful gift (for both gifter and receiver!)
Black Cat Studio and the Potions
The name Black Cat Studio came from when Kayla’s family adopted 2 black cats. Some people are still superstitious about black cats. A long time ago, they were thought to be familiars of witches. However, in Kayla’s case it works! When she mixes the pulp, flowers and dyes she describes it as a “potion”. That is, a potion that turns into beautiful art everyone can appreciate! Certain batches have different mixes, and each piece is an original. Kayla adds flowers like chrysanthemums and herbs like russian sage and eucalyptus. The sage was donated by a neighbor, so she sources locally too. Kayla is also open to customizing her work. She has been hired for wedding signs and is able to provide the invitations too! She can also do this for other events like fundraisers, birthdays, and holidays. A new exciting project with Black Cat Studio is seed bombs! They’re the perfect gift for a novice or master gardener because it’s an easy and fun way to grow! Plus it will promote another indoor (on the windowsill!) and outdoor activity everyone can enjoy during this time of lockdown. Keep an eye out!
These are short write-ups about each vendor and who they are as a person. We share a bit about their background and their journey. Each one is incredibly unique and connects you to our community!