Artist Interview: Meet Kathryn Barber


Who are you?
My name is Kathryn Barber.  I am a mechanical engineer and artist by trade.

Where are you from?
Ashland, Kentucky

What is your medium(s) of choice?
I started out doing only color pencil. In 2012 I took 3 watercolor workshop classes and fell in love with painting. Then, I moved on to acrylic painting. The very first acrylic thing I painted was a hat for an 8 year old girls birthday party, it was Thomas the Tank Engine themed.  That was the very first job that I was paid for. After that job, I started to paint shoes! I painted only shoes for years with the occasional purse here and there. In 2015 I got an insane opportunity to paint with Disney Fine Artist, Greg McCullough, and he taught me how to oil paint. In the spring of 2019, I painted my first cup! I love painting cups, there is so much that goes into the process with glitter, vinyl, and resin. I try to go above and beyond to give the customer exactly what they want. I always put myself in their shoes as the customer and ask myself, “Would I be satisfied with this cup? Does this cup meet their expectations?”. I have also recently gotten into resin pieces as well, a lot of molds and even earrings!

How did you get started in your craft?
I was 10 years old and I drew Donald Duck that was on a tissue box sitting in front of me at home. Ever since that day I have been obsessed with drawing and painting.

If you could give one piece of advice to all up-and-coming artists, what would it be?
Don’t give up, if you love it, pursue it with all of your might.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I graduated in May 2020 with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. I have been an intern at NASA, and my favorite (and dream) job was a Show mechanical engineering intern at Walt Disney Imagineering for 2 internships. The first was January- August 2018, and the second, May-August 2019. Both internships I worked on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. I loved that I was able to combine my love of engineering and art together.

What's your favorite color palette to work with? 
Yellows, soft pastels, and also glow in the dark UV bright neon’s

How do you work through slumps in creativity
Oh yeah, definitely, What helps me a lot is watching my friends(@r2jade2 @theenchantedbrush @kimjoyart) @whimsyreverie) succeed, seeing the work that they are producing is usually the kick in the pants I need to get me back to being productive.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Norway, my fiancé and I are obsessed with Vikings.

What would you say is the best part about being an artist? What about the most difficult?
The freedom to do what you want and the expression. The most difficult part is not knowing whether your idea will be successful or lucrative. One hard thing about an artist is having hobbies and not turning everything that you are interested in into a side business.

"Thank you to my fiancé Richie Swigert who always supports me and always has! Also shout out to my parents and my family who has always kept me busy and pushing me to always improve on my art."