Kat Frick Miller was born in Brampton, Ontario and came to Nova Scotia to attend NSCAD University, graduating in 2009 with an interdisciplinary degree. Following commencement, she took part in the yearlong NSCAD-Lunenburg Studio Residency on the South Shore and moved to the area permanently there after.
Working largely in watercolour, she has merged her training in painting and textile design creating a collection of art prints and textiles available through independent shops and at craft and farmers’ markets within Nova Scotia.
I joined VANS after graduating from NSCAD University because it was important to me to feel engaged with the arts community. Living outside of Halifax, the VANS newsletter has kept me in touch with what’s happening. Programming held locally in rural communities is a wonderful asset to have and has allowed me to participate in workshops that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.
new worlds of research
My practice is most influenced by my environment and new worlds of research I throw myself into. When I fall into a new theme I submerse myself in the subject trying to learn the ins, outs and hidden details. The resulting work is how I process this new information. During a 2013 Parks Canada residency in Gros Morne, Newfoundland I was drawn to the local culture built around the now defunct cod fishery. Since then those investigations have driven my studio practice. I have continued to build on that initial body of work and am now working with the Atlantic Fisheries Museum on a research based collection on fisheries throughout the Atlantic provinces. I enjoy creating work that encourages people to interact with the history of our region in a constructive way.
running a business without any business training
It is exhilarating and empowering to be able to support my practice by selling through retail and at markets, but it also brings a whole new set of challenges with it. I found myself running a business without any business training. It has been hard to identify my priorities as a businessperson while maintaining a studio practice and I struggle to find where the two meet up. I try to keep the business side of my practice organized and running efficiently so I don’t have to stress about it. Sometimes I still have to ignore it all to allow myself uninterrupted creative studio time.
I consider myself fortunate to have a flexible part-time job at The Lunenburg Makery, a textile based creative workspace that hosts a variety of workshops. My work there keeps me on my toes creatively, tackling new projects and mediums I may have not otherwise explored in my own practice. I also have a chance to teach both art and craft practices to all ages, which is an important skill to be able to develop alongside my creative work.
My own studio is upstairs to the Makery and that means every working day, be it a studio day or a Makery day has a similar structure. This routine helps to keep me disciplined and on track in my studio practice.
Halifax Crafters Winter Market…
In the short term, the Halifax Crafters Winter Market is just around the corner running from December 5 – 7. This is our 10th anniversary show and our first three-day event and I’m very excited to be a part of it.
In the coming year, I’m collaborating with a local writer on a book idea relating to rural life in Nova Scotia, which will be my first steps towards illustration work. My exploratory work on the fisheries continues to grow and I have plans to compile it into an illustrated book.