Ep 33 Featured Image Podcast

Looking In – Kim Krans – Ep 33

June 8, 2022


It was about a year ago, during Covid lockdown, when I happened to pull a random card from a tarot deck. The drawing and the words on the card immediately stirred me. So much so that I sought out the artist. 

Her name is Kim Krans. The drawing on the card I pulled was hers, but so were all the others. She had created the whole deck. The descriptive words, artist, teacher, and musician usually attributed to Kim, although true, are too small in my opinion, to describe her and her work. Kim’s life and art are inextricably linked to life force. To shakti, energy and flow state. There is a palatable raw and wildness felt in her words. I believe Kim holds a rarely found knowledge about truth and vulnerability – that it can be found by bravely looking in the shadows within ourselves. 

Our journeys are all different but similar in that much is not seen. Much is so easily overlooked. I hope this conversation can serve as a reminder, an invitation to take a moment now, a breath, and to consider the extraordinary, almost miraculous intelligence found not just in our art-making but in our lives as well.     

Listen if you are interested in…

  • The power of pairing image, word, and symbol [3:54]
  • Chasing energy in our artwork [8:14]
  • The beauty of disappearing in your work [12:52]
  • The secret weapon to art and life-making [18:14]
  • Drawing our way towards truth and healing [26:09]
  • Kim’s perspective as a musical artist and how her artistic worlds collide [37:10] 
  • Synchronicity plays in art and life [46:18]
  • Kim’s next chapter and final thoughts [52:58]

Create meaning through compelling images

As an illustrator, I loved creating art that gave words a deeper meaning. Echoing Kim, there is something about having a project with a rigid scope. It presents the unique challenge of coloring inside the lines while still making the work your own. That is exactly what Kim did with her tarot deck. She took something so universal and timeless and captured it with her own unique style and flavor. Making art that is both personal and universal is what being a successful artist is all about. Kim believes this is why all artists should draw the tarot deck at some point in their practice. For her, it was a personal creative exercise. She wanted to buy a deck for herself and couldn’t find one that she liked, so she saw it as an assignment to draw her own.

Symbols like those found in the tarot deck have this generative, giving, open-ended way of never being able to be pinned down. They will always be at the mercy of a beholder’s eyes to find new meaning with each gaze. When talking about the power of symbols, Kim gave the spot-on analogy of a stop sign. When pairing image and word in your art-making, you would not combine a red octagon with the word “STOP”. No one is spending their coffee hour digging into the complexities of that piece. And complexity is what we want as artists! We want our art to ask questions rather than give everyone the same answer. People connect with what they can engage with.

Art with energy

One of the things I focus on in Art2Life is helping other artists get into the flow of their own energy because it’s when we do our best work. That kind of energy strongly translates to the canvas. Other people can feel when we paint from that place. Energy plays a big role in Kim’s drawings in both style and subject matter. These landscape-based works focus on portals in the earth, sky, and altar spaces that Kim feels have compelling energy. That is the true focus of her work. There is a consistent interest in energy force fields and how that energy can draw someone in and lead them into their own door or landscape. Much like the intention of tarot cards. 

Finding the flow

Kim describes the entire purpose of her life as figuring out what images draw people in and why others don’t. She wants to create art that can neither be fully defined nor ignored. Art full of Shakti, or life-force, that entices and empowers the admirer. At 15 years old, Kim began training to recognize this Shakti in creative works. She would look at classic paintings and practice identifying the energetic focal points of the piece. Her instructor would ask, “Where is the line alive and where is it dead?” 

Another way of asking that is, “Where was the artist most confident and where were they so stressed about perfection that the work lacks life and energy?” After some time, Kim began to develop a sensitivity to the artist’s emotions in their work. She can actually pinpoint where the artist was feeling anxious or bored. When they felt bold or became confused. And really, what it boils down to is, Kim can recognize whether an artist was in their flow state or not. For more, have a listen to this episode.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kim Krans

Connect with Nicholas Wilton and Art2Life


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Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

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