Chris Karpiak - Mixed Media Artist
I’ve always lived a creative life, exploring a variety of media with passion and soul, using every bit of nature, thread, colour, fabric and paper I could get my hands on. But things took a turn when I was finishing up my Masters in 2016.
I was heavily encouraged to explore my learnings through Art, which re-ignited the love I had for creation in a way I’d never experienced before, and it blew the doors off the art education I’d studied in my Bachelor’s. I began to look at things differently. I starting learning how to use a variety of media together to create pieces that sent my soul soaring and my heart aflame with life and excitement. And, most importantly, I learned what Art Journalling was, which, unknown to me at the time, was about to change my life forever.
Two months after I graduated, I got news that crumpled me to the ground and nearly made my heart stop. My sister had suffered two aneurysms that had suddenly taken her life. She was 46. My 1 1/2 hour flight to Edmonton felt like an eternity of surrealism and nightmare. When I got to the hospital, it was as if I had just gone through this the day before. In fact, it was 6 years prior, when my mom, visiting me for Christmas, was hit by a truck and suffered major bodily harm, including trauma to the brain. She never made it. Suddenly, I was back in the ICU dealing with brain trauma and intubation again. The world around me was swirling. This wasn’t possible. My two closest loved ones in the entire world, half my family, were leaving. I have never been the same.
As my sister had suffered a brain death, she was eligible for organ donation. It was the most difficult decision I ever had to make, but as she gave so much of herself in life, she also gave in death and helped change the course of life for four people. Her legacy, and that of my mom’s has given me strength in ways I never could have imagined.
I found solace in art journalling as I fumbled through the ensuing weeks. I scribbled and painted through the tears and layer after layer, I gradually began to feel a fog lift. I was utterly blessed that I had discovered art journalling as it had become the best source of expression and counselling I knew.
Between the trauma and my inner struggles trying to keep a happy home life with my husband and son, in 2019 my body gave up and spun me into autoimmune disease. I realized I had to speak my truth and move on with my life in my own space.
So here we are today! Although I still struggle with the loss of my girls, the changes within my own family, and my health, I am strong and empowered and becoming healthier and full of vitality bit by bit. I have learned so much about life and how to live authentically and gratefully that I am able to use the strength I found from my experiences to help facilitate people in expressing themselves through their own art and to help them grow and heal.
My soul’s purpose, as it always has been, is to help and inspire others. My life’s journey has made me who I am today and I am honoured and blessed to have the opportunity to inspire, encourage and support you through your life’s creative journey! For we Creatives, I believe Art is Life, and Life is Art. One cannot be without the other. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in your life through Art. I know how Art heals and I am honoured to share my life and art journey together with yours. Let’s go forward together!