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. I have been an artist all my life. 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. My body shut down. I was bedridden, I couldn't work and I didn't know what was wrong with me. I struggled through the simplest of tasks. I had brain fog. My system suddenly couldn't handle foods. I had hit rock bottom. I spent a fortune trying to find help, and through many poor results, I finally found some incredible practitioners.
In the midst of my own inner turmoil, I learned how to heal. It has been a very slow journey, but I feel like I can be a functioning human again, although I will have to carefully manage my Hashimotos Thyroiditis disease.
My healing has taught me how to live a life of gratitude and love much deeper than I ever did before. I have learned how to speak my truth and put up healthy boundaries. And in finding courage and facing my fears, I was able to find a home of my own and move a province away, back to where my roots are.
My experiences have made me realize that my calling is to help facilitate people in expressing themselves through their own art and to help them grow and heal. Although this shouldn't surprise me, as I've been a teacher for years and have always wanted to make a difference to others.
It is my soul’s purpose to help light you from within in finding your own woven path of Life through Art.
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 help empower 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 to weave our journies together!