Artistry is different for everyone. It can be found in textiles, nature, architecture, people, colors and more. It is how one uses the textiles, colors or nature to express the beauty and message of art. To Kathryn Trotter, her artistry creates a path to explore the world—something that can never be put in a box. Her works of fine art represent who she is and her journey as an artist through her childhood, career, motherhood and family.
It took Trotter several tries to see where her creative passions lie, but her experiences all come together to lead her to be a Christian, wife, mother and artist. She has traveled all over the world with her work, to places like Egypt, Canada, The Netherlands and Australia; but Trotter aims to be a Christ-follower, care for her family and paint.
Trotter grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, where her best friends were the creek and her playhouse in the backyard. She spent hours in her playhouse decorating the walls and the windows. Rain or shine, Trotter splashed in the creek collecting clay to mold into little bowls, plates and figures to decorate the playhouse. Going to the creek was an escape, a place she could recharge.
When Trotter was not outside, she was surrounded and inspired by her mother’s antiques and designs. Her father is an accomplished writer with published works and a photography business. Her parents’ artistic environment and personalities heavily influenced and encouraged Trotter’s creative mind and artistic abilities. They pushed for an emphasis on her creativity rather than screen time where Trotter had the space and freedom to cultivate her creativity and develop her artistry from a young age. She believes she would not be as innately artistic as she is without having her childhood experiences and opportunities.
“(Being in nature) really fed my imagination.” Trotter said, “Creativity is so limitless. I was so encouraged and felt that I could do anything.” Because her parents consistently fostered her gift, she grew excited about anything artistic.
Through high school, Trotter developed a passion for her artistry. “I felt that I needed it. It [my art] came alive,” she said. High school was a time for her to slowly branch out and begin to let the people and the world mold her into the artist she is.
A key memory of Trotter’s teenage years was her father waking her in the morning after she had painted all night long. She would stay up all night, sit on her floor and paint. For Trotter, she had just fallen asleep; but it was time to go to school. “That is when it completely came alive. I needed this in my life, and it gives me such fulfillment,” she said.
In Trotter’s college years, she knew God gave her a gift, and she had a responsibility to use this gift for God’s glory. It would be a waste not to use it. So, she experimented. Trotter dabbled in fashion, textiles, painting and art, interior design and more. The next few years right after college, Trotter experienced challenges that, while hard to endure during the time, molded her into someone who always strived for the positives during the negatives.
Following college and before she began her own business, Trotter worked for a textiles company where most of her work was abroad. Her international experiences introduced her to other artists in their artistic elements. Walking through the streets of London or experiencing The Grand Bazaar where she saw vibrant street art, multicolored murals, gorgeous textiles and exquisite fashion styles, fed Trotter’s mind and cultivated the deep roots of her artistry.
“Everyone has their zone of excellence. At the end of the day, stick with what you’re inspired by, and then success will follow,” Trotter said. She firmly believes in exploring the world’s expressions and staying true to one’s artistic calling. Gaining experience and insight into the world around oneself, especially as an artist, leads to a better understanding of one’s art and other’s art.
Trotter felt that her turning point and true motivator was a quote from William Shakespeare: “A jack of all trades is a master of none.” She was on an airplane, flying to be with her husband after being abroad, when she initially read this quote in a book titled, “Today Matters” by John Maxwell. “The quote changed the trajectory of my career,” said Trotter.
This crescendo was where she realized painting was her passion. Trotter wanted nothing more than to paint and show others her story, experiences and love through her artistry. “If you decide to dabble in different things, you’ll never go to the depths of your talent,” she said. That was pivotal in her decision to pursue painting.
As Trotter navigates motherhood and her artistry, her priority is her family and children. “I get into that studio and it’s as if time doesn’t exist,” she said. However, as she has matured and begun to care for her family, she realizes time does exist. Learning to pivot and manage her time between motherhood and her art is Trotter’s main struggle, but she believes motherhood is a beautiful thing, and it is her priority. However, having to shut off her artistic and creative side is difficult.
The early days of her business were a balancing act for Trotter and her family. Trying to go from painting and the tedious side of business management is a huge adjustment. Having to compartmentalize business management and her painting is the antithesis of a creative. Going from using her right brain to her left brain is difficult. However, the rewards of a piece of artwork being finished, motherhood and her family are great.
The learning curve was immense for Trotter, she would not have made it without her coach, Cody Nall. Nall encourages Trotter to open up and share her strengths and weaknesses and create a healthy work-life balance. She loves Trotter’s obvious passion and love for her art which is parallel to her passion and love for her family.
“Kathryn is so gifted in what she does. She finds so much joy in being a mom and a wife while simultaneously finding joy in her gift and what God has given her,” said Nall. Nall knows that Trotter has learned to prioritize her family and the joy that comes with it while also balancing her passion and channeling that energy into her business and art.
Together, Trotter and Nall analyze Trotter’s outlook on her business and where her priorities are. “Letting go of control over all of that and staying focused on when and where I’m inspired,” she said.
Trotter is excited about her business and her future. To her, it is really hard to tame her passion and creative energies. Her artistic gift is truly unique and full of love. It shows her life experiences, expressions and emotions.