Category Archives: Art & Craft

Illustration, contemporary art & photography, graphic design, book cover design, interior design, unusual dance, poetry.

Whale: An Illustrated Poem

whale poem, illustrated poem by Katie Ness

Summer Solstice Blessings everyone!
Here is a new illustrated poem. This was created for my best friend but could not get it finished in time to give her a print when I saw her in February.
Whales are part of my animal totem and they represent following your own truth, being both a nurturer and go-getter, whale people recognize there is more to life than meets the eye and they tend to be very mystical individuals.
Dandelions symbolize healing of emotional pain, emotional intelligence, surviving through challenging times and having a youthful joy regardless of lifes difficulties.
I made this for my best friend because we tend to experience similar issues at the same time (soul sisters) and we both love whales because they are like elephants of the sea!

This is another illustrated poem that will eventually go in the poetry book I am creating. I’ve always wanted to publish a book and many people have said they love my poetry for it’s fusion of mysticism, nature, eroticism and magical realism. The same is said about my illustrations so I figured why not bring both forms of creativity together?

I have also decided to include in the book, some collages and black & white photography  that has a strong mystical element. I hope to have about 50+ poems in this poetry collection and I already have 15 that are completed.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. This is the direction my writing is heading which is why I’ll no longer be writing for Yogi Approved soon, I have two articles left to write for them and eventually I will stop writing for Bad Yogi also. I do want to continue writing for online platforms when I feel called to write and if the site or magazine suits my writing style. But I can no longer dedicate myself to writing regular monthly articles, I have other things to work on and I’ve grown so much, I need space to cultivate this new venture which includes more dream-catchers, more poetry and prose, more personal yoga journeys, more content for this blog (such as book reviews, travel tips and yoga thoughts) and more time to set up classes so I can teach yoga, art and dance in my community. It’s time now to show what I am made of.

An interview with Artist Rebecca Liggett


Describe who you are and what you do in three sentences or less.
I’m Rebecca, I’m 27, living in the heart of the countryside in Cumbria. I’m a self taught crocheter and I make toys and blankets.

Tell is your life journey and how it lead you to Art and becoming a Primary school teacher?
Art was my favourite subject at school. When I was at college and getting ready to go to university, I was unsure what I wanted to do career-wise so I chose art as it was something I was good at and I got enjoyment out of. I had a wonderful 4 years at university, surrounded by creativity and like-minded people. Since university, I have moved more towards crafts than fine art. I bought some wool and crochet hooks, and taught myself to crochet by watching tutorials on YouTube, and I’ve been creating since. I have worked in retail for over 5 years, whilst crafting in my spare time. I’m ready for a change that is rewarding and will bring challenges, which is why I’m hopefully embarking on a PGCE this September to teach primary school children.

What are your other passions and interests?
I have an obsession with wool, it comes with crocheting I think! Part of the fun is picking out wool, choosing the right colours and textures for a new project. I have so many bags of balls of wool that I’m ‘saving for something special’ but I just love the different textures and colours. I also do a lot of cross stitching, which I find really therapeutic. My mum always wonders how I
have so much patience for it! I love to read, I’m currently reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams which is brilliant. I also enjoy being outdoors, walking and being at one with nature. I play the violin, too, which I don’t practice nearly as often as I should!

From your perspective why is art a beneficial activity in a school curriculum and in our daily lives?
Without getting too political, it angers me that arts and funding for these are being slashed right across the country. The message being given is that the arts are not important. Art should absolutely be just as important as core subjects in the school curriculum. Not every child is academically wired up to be good at maths, english and science. Children in their early years learn through creativity, play, and express themselves through drawings and paintings. Art has the ability to stretch the imagination, encouraging visual thinking and observation. As they develop, a piece of art that a child has created is a representation of their ideas, emotions, beliefs and values. Being able to represent yourself is really important.

Who or what inspires you?
I find a lot of inspiration in nature. Certain colours in flowers inspire projects, particularly as I make a lot of flower granny squares to join into blankets. There are so many artists and craftspeople that I find inspirational, too many for me to list here!

In your career and life, what’s been your greatest asset? And, if you care to share, your greatest hindrance? How did you overcome it?
I’d say my greatest asset is my determination. If I’m knocked down then I pick myself up, dust myself off and carry on, even if it means taking a different path. I don’t celebrate my achievements nearly enough. Every so often I’ll look back at finished crochet projects and my heart will swell with pride that I taught myself how to do that. I’ve struggled with lack of confidence too, but I’m slowly learning that each stepping stone is a leap to being more confident. Rather than looking at these as hindrances, I try to see them as a work in progress, something that I can be better at.

What is your personal measure of success and what makes you happy?
For me, it’s the small things in life that make me happy. Losing myself in a good book; crafting; being outdoors; spending time with loved ones; music; tending to my ever growing (can also be read as over growing!) collection of plants; feeling the warmth of the sun; a good brew and the smell of rain; all contribute to my happy-o-meter!

Measuring success can sound like an ending, almost as if you have reached the top and can go no further. We all have the ability to grow and even if something has been a success, you can still keep working on it. I’m trying to be better at celebrating my achievements and success. I don’t believe that success should ever be measured by comparing your own life to someone else’s, though!

What is your best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Step outside your comfort zone. I think I’d still be teetering tentatively on the edge of many decisions now if I hadn’t been told by several people to ‘just give it a go, what’s the worst that can happen?’

What’s next for you and what are your life goals? Give us a glimpse into your bucket list?
Well, hopefully I’ll be starting a PGCE in September which will take up quite a lot of my time. I’ll still make time to do the things I love though! I’d love to run an after school club teaching children to crochet! One thing on my bucket list is to travel around Europe. I really want to get out and see some wonderful places and experience different cultures! Budapest, Rome, Prague and Reykjavik are at the top of my list.

Do you have any tips and advice for those wishing to pursue their dreams? Do you have an inspirational quote or mantra you live by that you’d like to share?
Go for something you dream of, even if it’s completely out of your comfort zone. Some of the best things I’ve done have come from stepping out of my comfort zone. I know this is cliche, but you only get one shot at life. Do what you want to do, for you. It’s your life to live, no one else’s. Above all, be happy!

Follow Rebecca on Instagram to keep up to date of all the wonderful things she crafts: Woolly Bee Crochet
Want to read other interviews? Click on the links below.
An Interview with Sarah-Yoga Teacher & Psychology graduate
An Interview with Nicole of Pure Soul Holistics
An Interview with Jenny of Alligator Smiles glass artistry
An Interview with Violeta a Jewellery designer from Surray

Mermaid Illustrations

Mermaid Illustration and poem copyright Katie Ness
Above is a recent illustrated poem I have created which will be another page in my poetry book that I am working on in my free time. And this is another reason why I won’t be a regular writer anymore for Yogi Approved or Bad Yogi. My writing is going in another direction and I’ve grown as a writer that I want the freedom to write what I want and how I want. My illustrated poetry book will hopefully be published through amazon and will have about 50 poems and prose inside plus illustrations and collages by me, making the book a real feast for the eyes!
This particular illustration holds a lot of symbolism. The rose represents Aphrodite the goddess of love & beauty and the arrow is symbolic of Artemis goddess of the hunt & the moon. The mermaid represents the darker,sensual and wild side of the feminine.
I’m feeling very creative at the moment and I’ll be working on some new dream catchers to show soon as well and a few more articles to write up before our holiday in Bulgaria at the end of this month, so stay tuned for all to come!
The two sketches below are cute mermaid doodles designed onto bookmarks for two friends. I like making these and will probably do more just for a bit of fun and who knows, it could turn into a children’s picture book?
All illustrations & poetry on this page are © Katie Ness 2017 all rights reserved. you may not take images or content from this site without written permission.

mermaid doodle

Blackout Poetry

The witch of Portobello
last week was a quiet one for me, it was a time of reflection so I spent my days reading poetry and having a play with my own Blackout Poetry.
So, what is Blackout Poetry? This style of Poetry requires you to have an old book and a marker pen. You then find a page within that book and begin to circle words you like. Once you have picked your words (or small sentences) you blackout the rest of the page, leaving the circled words to form a short poem. This is a beautiful and simple way of introducing someone to poetry, using it in Art sessions and for TEFL teachers who want to make their vocabulary lessons more creative. Marker pens are not the only equipment you can use, you can opt to include Biro pens of different colours, paint, crayon and collage art to Blackout your pages, the ideas are endless.

I was going to buy a book from a charity shop (so that I don’t destroy my own books), but by chance someone had left a few books by the side of the road, (I’m guessing in the hope individuals might pick them up?) and I had seen they left a dogeared copy of “The Witch of Portobello” by Paulo Coelho in this pile of books, I read this novel years ago and loved it, so it was destiny to have this disheveled tome and so I took it home.

Here are a few samples of Blackout Poetry I have created so far. I hope to complete the entire book and perhaps leave it somewhere for someone else to find as a public art piece or as a gift to inspire them to take up Blackout Poetry or do something else with it entirely? What I love about this form of poetry is how nonsensical it is, it really allows you to be playful with the English language and tap into your inner child, it is perhaps a great activity to do with children too.
intro to blackout poetry

blackout poetry

poetry

learn how to make a blackout poem

blackout poem

poems on blog

English TEFL lesson with poetry

Blackout poetry for TEFL tutors

blackout poetry for art therapy

poetry therapy

poems for therapy

poetry for art activity

Bohemian Dream Catcher

bohemian dream catcher
This is my latest dream catcher I’ve recently created and gifted to my best friend as a celebration for being friends since we were 19. This one is larger than the others and it’s centre holds a vintage Bulgarian doily.
Every piece for everything I make is intuitively chosen, blessed with sage and given Reiki.
It also includes: A clear quartz for good vibes, blue howlite for wisdom & inspiration, angel wings charm (because my best friend has a tattoo of wings on her back) and the main colour is green symbolizing nature, trees and the heart chakra.

Two more are on the way in a similar style, and I hope to be starting up an etsy shop for people to commission me for bespoke pieces.
My life and creative projects are leaning towards a more spiritual & holistic path and I’m really happy with that. It feels right, it feels like I am finally being me. I think as even as a little girl, I’ve had a love of the mystical and would collect twigs, leaves and stones believing they had magical properties, or I’d ‘bless’ them with good vibes.

My intention is to offer individuals the opportunity to have something unique and captivating, to feel like the things I make for them symbolizes love, magic and protection. I would love to find that people feel comforted when they look at their dream catcher as a sacred object that brings peace to a room.

I feel pulled even more to the world of the mystical, to be a bridge between worlds and show others a life of light, truth and healing through art making, yoga, dance and meditation.

vintage hand made dreamcatcher