I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination:

Albert Einstein.

Get My Blog updates FREE >>

CHARity: Giving Back



Weston Super Mare College.

I know how difficult it can be, to be an Art Student, it can be expensive to purchase materials, paint, paper, pencils, just  a few basic materials,  yet are so costly, other disciplines can be even more expensive  (sculpture and print making)...

Yes, part of being an artist is to be innovative and make do, but it could be too that you need to visit a gallery or buy a book about an artist, sometimes hard cash is needed!

When I was at college I remember winning student of the year award, receiving a book, the following year I won again and I remember receiving a book token. At the time these prizes meant so much to me, I felt acknowledged,  proud, full of optimism for my future!

I am not wealthy, I am still struggling to make it as an artist but I feel I would like to Give Back!

Here is a little support and encouragement to artists of the future!

At this point I will be giving an award valued at £50 gifted in tokens. £30 Bristol Art Supplies and £20 Waterstone’s Book Token.

I know only a small amount, but I know how this award helped me as a student.

Each year I would hope to match or increase the offer!

Future Creatives: My Contribution

I may not be able to change the world and I may not have any influence over the education system but what I want is to ‘do my bit’, not only for the children of today (the adults of tomorrow), but also ‘do my bit’ for adults and elderly who have already forgotten how to participate in Arts and forgotten how to make Crafts, possibly as a  consequence of the post war introduction of the television?

I have worked with many groups of children of all ages in different schools, clubs and home education groups, with adults with learning disabilities and physical disabilities as well as the elderly.

Profound results can be achieved using creative activities, benefits include;

helping to focus the mind, (similar to meditation) assisting with problem solving and decision making (which is helpful within a mental health setting) physical dexterity helpful for people with arthritis, stroke patients and others with mobility problems, Other advantages to interacting within creative groups include team building, confidence development, or simply enjoyment and pleasure. I could go on...

I wish to to create a charity ‘Future Creatives’ the concept is to supply Artists and Craft Practitioners to visit schools, colleges, clubs, residential homes, (for Children, the elderly, people with learning disabilities and other needs) basically anyone who could benefit, mainly  within groups  (Individual sessions may be beneficial in special cases). The idea of the charity will be to pay for expenses of the Artist /Craft Practitioner and cover all material costs. (The Practitioners would be giving their time for free) I would hope to have Volunteer artists and crafts people. Training would be available from the charity and CRBs would also be paid for by the charity.

As a bonus I also see the charity reviving forgotten and dying crafts, which in itself I feel will be valuable for our culture and history. So that  there are educational as well as research opportunities, creative exploration for participants, opportunities for volunteer artisans to learn and broaden their skills and knowledge. I look forward to a Creative Future!

Volunteers Needed Lets make this Charitable Trust happen!

Trustees and Art Practitioners required.

Please email for further details! :) katrina.atkinson.art@gmail.com

Interesting references:

Will I Am. I AmAngel Foundation. www.iamangelfoundation.org

Ken Robinson. Author of: The Element www.ted.com/speakers/sir_ken_robinson.html

Jamie Oliver. ‘Jamie’s Dream School’ www.channel4.com/programmes/jamies-dream-school

Ron Finley. A Guerilla Garden. www.ted.com/speakers/ron_finley.html

Giving Back, The Student Artist’s Award!

Recipient of the 2013 Katrina Atkinson’s

Student Artist Award - Jamie Chapman

Weston College Graduation Ceremony

Mayor of Weston Super Mare

I am passionate about creativity, using the right side of the brain I believe if you ‘don’t use it you’ll loose it ‘. Not wishing to come across as a philistine, quite the contrary I do believe in progress and development but it has to be properly considered and sensitive, it seems
to me that things are often developed because of financial reward alone no real thought given to the consequences, whether it’s the environment or education etc. It concerns me that we in the West predominantly lead the way forward in development, but very little is really progressive. Because so many people in the West are content with their lives, (or, should I say that people feel ‘this is their lot’), they have what they need or feel powerless to make change? I feel that it seems there is a lack of questioning and a tremendous amount of apathy.

I was born in 1970s, as a child I remember the riots, the protests, Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, people would fight and even die for their beliefs. I’m not saying we should all take to the streets, but I do think we need to question more and be less selfish, rid ourselves of the ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude. We need to  open our minds and maybe take a more creative approach to problem solving not allowing complacency to perpetuate, we need to strive for a better future for our children!

Education is an area that concerns me deeply, our education system was created over a hundred years ago, one system of learning to suit all, in an age
where the majority of children would end up working in factories, the industrial age; yet, very little has changed. Politicians seem to be narrowing the curriculum, in order to gain higher scores in school league tables. Research has shown that people/children learn better when they are hydrated, have a good balanced diet (including breakfast) spend at least an hour on daily exercise, include a variety of teaching and learning techniques that suit different learning styles, thus creating interests that capture the imagination.

Big business had to be inspired by innovative artists, designers and creative thinkers, for instance Apple Mac computers, but Art, Design and Music are not classed very high up in the  school curriculum within many schools; children are not even being giving the options to take these subjects in many cases: How short sighted!

It has also been proven that music not only can change the mood of a person, but can assist in their learning.(Probably the most well known is the Mozart theory used with toddlers). Scientific research proves that creativity can give  beneficial ways for children to learn, therefore nurturing,  encouraging and inspiring. Whereas the reality and the facts of the current education structure shows it is evident that it’s about time changes were made!

For a long time I felt alone, at least in a minority, (I am an artist and we do think ‘out of the box’) I Home Schooled my daughter for a year and a half, not because she was in a poor school, it was probably  one of the best state primary schools in Somerset, but having assisted in the school, I realised early on that ‘Art and Creativity’ were being suppressed, children’s art was heavily directed in order to make ‘good’ wall displays, the children were not allowed to be free!

I have worked in other primary schools as a visiting artist and have been amazed that the majority of children haven’t touched clay, many more  haven’t had the freedom to paint. So often our modern homes are so clean, neat and tidy there is no room to let our children loose with paint and become messy! It’s lovely to hear words from the children about clay, ‘It’s Cold’, ‘It’s soggy’, ‘It’s soft’, ‘it’s dirty’... It’s also interesting how many of them would say how they would never be able to have clay or paint at home, ‘its too messy’? (Televisions and computers are not messy, so clean, they are easy).

We’re in the computer age and therefore need an education system that is designed for the future. I am all for progress, computers, technology and research are all important if they are used to help humanity; however I do question where the intentions are directed by ‘the powers that be’. Computers  are a relatively new innovation for us to know  what long term effects will develop on our society. Although already there are children who have become so addicted to computer games; obesity is becoming a real problem, caused by the sedentary lifestyles of today’s families.

Isn’t this  where our education system should be starting?


It’s a well known fact that we only use very little of our brains (10% or so)? We should be striving to use more of the brain. My concern is that as we are evolving and technology is progressing so fast  we are loosing parts of our brain’s function. Our brains are muscles; what you don’t exercise turns to flab? ‘What you don’t use you’ll loose!’.

So I feel that we need an education system that is holistic, (Whole-istic) that teaches life’s skills, so that all our children can grow vegetables,

‘if children actually grow broccoli they will eat broccoli’, Ron Finley,(see TED talks) A Guerilla Gardener South Central LA.

Children need to be taught to cook and make healthy nutritious meals, able to identify the chemicals introduced into our packaged foods by analysing the ingredients so that they know what they are eating.

There needs to be ways to get kids that are not into physical sports activities to find something physical that they can enjoy; (even if this means walking for an hour a day within the school timetable), enough to be sufficient to keep our children mobile and healthy.

Children need creative outlets which is why in today’s society there are ‘art therapists’, ‘music therapists’, ‘dance therapists’ and ‘drama therapists’, who have been found to be greatly helpful in encouraging ways for children and adults of all ages to express themselves and release pressures from their personal problems, build confidences etc etc. The positive effects from these therapies in non clinical settings can be profound.

Children need to leave school with the knowledge that they can make choices to live a healthy self-supporting life.

The by-product of expanding the curriculum in these directions could mean children could surpass any examination results required, after all ‘variety is the spice of life’.