Katie Benn



Katie Benn is a multidisciplinary artist from San Francisco living in Southern Oregon. Inspired by her dreams, general states of awkwardness and all things color, she explores themes relating to the human condition and her inner world. She is a painter, muralist, illustrator, textile designer and creator of zines and various art products.

“Mistakes are gold.”

Have any special tricks or insights into how to connect with your audience and make ‘em respond?

Make the work that is gnawing at you. Try your hardest to stay potent and don’t water yourself down for an audience. Let the real you come out to play in your work.

What was your favorite thing to draw as a child? Why did that lodge in your head?

As a kid I liked to draw the world as I saw it. A preschool friend would be depicted covered in rainbows because I loved being around them. Adults were always depicted as complex and a bit fussy. Animals would be portrayed as mythical gods. Not much has changed. I’ve always had a need to process my perspective of the world on paper.

Where do you work? What’s your workspace like? Any objects you’ve had a long time?

I live and work in a house on an old farm property. My second bedroom functions as a studio but I work all over the property. Sometimes I’m in the garage. Sometimes I draw in the backyard when the weather is nice so I can spend time with the birds, the deer passing through and the gang of feral cats that roam the grounds. My studio is always really messy. I’ve been collecting a lot of odd old antiques and things for many years, so those are all over the house, and that vibe bleeds into my
studio as well. This is a maximalist household.

What’s your biggest art inspiration? This may not be visual. Like, anything!

Staying attuned to silliness — the nonsense and absurdity of life’s little moments and overarching themes inspires me most.

How do you celebrate the completion of a big project?

I’ll eat some carbs and then go to bed without setting an alarm. In the morning I’ll go out into the backyard and talk to bugs. I have the soul of an 18th-century garden hermit.