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About the Artist

Origin

Originally born in Texas, grew up in Atlanta. I went to Samford University in Birmingham, AL for my BA in English. I minored in fine art and freelanced every creative project I could.

Whereabouts

I moved to San Diego with a 1-way ticket four years ago. I currently run a brand strategy and copywriting business and I travel often for conferences. I also go on bi-annual trips with my 30+ friend clan called “The Avengrs.”

Values

  1. Health | Wellbeing
  2. Faith | Alignment
  3. Intimacy | Communication
  4. Essentialism | Clarity
  5. Beauty | Wonder
  6. Innovating | Pioneering

My story is about moving from fear and silence to just feeling happy.

The full story is below.

I also post personal thoughts frequently on Instagram @katy__ward.

Your feedback means a lot to me. I want to know what you love and what you want to see.

Please comment or email me about any thoughts or questions you have. 😉

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Like all personal stories, mine has a dream, a fall, and a new opportunity.

When I was little, I had 3 truths.
  1. Dad says I am a masterpiece.
  2. The world is a magical place.
  3. And God has a beautiful story for my life, bigger than I can imagine.
I had a lovely childhood with my dad, mom, and two younger brothers. We were very poor, but I didn’t know. I only started to notice when my youngest brother was sick all the time, and my mom became more and more fearful. Dad’s ministry job wasn’t making enough to cover John’s medical bills, and my mom was depleted from working full time and being up all night with him. She was nearing collapse, and very afraid.
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When I was 9, she took my brothers an I on vacation to see our Nana, her mom, in Atlanta. Two weeks later, they sat us down at the kitchen table.
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My mom looked blank, like the stress had finally overcame her. Nana looked sad, which was unusual. Even on the hardest days Nana was a storybook fairy godmother, singing and dancing all over the place. But in this moment, I could tell something was about to happen.
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“We’re not going back to Texas,” Mom said. “…And dad’s not coming to get us.”
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Three things shattered that day.
  1. I am no longer a masterpiece.
  2. The magic world has vanished.
  3. And God needs me to be responsible.
Deep in my belly, I vowed I would never let a happy, magical, loving place or person be taken from me again. I would be stable and I would never rock the boat. I also decided I must not be the princess that lives in a magical world, though I had believed it with all my heart.
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That day I decided a whole bunch of things to protect myself from the pain that froze my heart. But those are important for this story.
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From then on, numbness took me over. I made it my job to ease my mom’s load.
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I became responsible, perfect when I could be perfect. I grew confused about making friends or playing. Those things didn’t come naturally or make sense any more. My mind ran the show entirely. Analyzing, worrying, intellectualizing, pleasing.
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This went on for 11 years. I seemed pretty average, normally awkward and a good student. I developed an anxiety disorder, then digestive and hormonal issues. But everyone in my family had those, and many people had worse lives, so I assumed “this is how life works.”
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Now I know… this is not how life works. It’s how life contracts. And it didn’t matter that my timeline included only normal-level traumas. When you have an expansive spirit dosed to you in childhood, the fall to normalcy is like ripping out your wings and getting by. When completing daily tasks and satisfying others expectations is your life support, something has gone terribly wrong. Your fall is your fall, and if you have a big heart, the heartbreak is significant no matter the form.

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But, from there I did begin to let people in. I started to take risks. I met people different than me and began my entrepreneurial  – or, freelance – efforts as a creative. I was a makeup artist, journalist, model, professional dancer, face painter, stylist, and art museum event intern. I started dating (lightly). By my senior year in college, I took the risk to work at a hostel in San Diego for our Jan Term month, and I fell in love with the city.

 

Eventually, I would move to San Diego on a 100% faith step. I just felt called to move. I knew no one and had no money, but I wanted to begin testing if the magic my Dad had taught me about and the epic stories I grew up on in the Bible were actually real for me.  I figured, if I feel called to this city, then things will work out beyond my ability to control. IF this magic, this faith stuff is real.
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I walked into a coffee shop on the second day while a girl was giving notice. They offered me a job. Then, I found a room for $500 a month within 2 weeks, which is absolutely unheard of for San Diego.
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From there, I built a branding and copywriting business that allows me to travel and work remotely, and I’m exploring how to use art and writing to help change the cultural paradigm.
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COVID has made it CLEAR to me that our systems just don’t work for us – or for the planet – anymore, and I’m compelled to share the breakthroughs I’ve had, and pass out the red pill. 💖

Wow, you’re still here.

Here’s some cool stuff to click on.

Current Favorite Things

Building a Story Brand by Don Miller | My Oura Ring | 100% dark chocolate | Guatemalan single-origin coffee | Lara Croft | Crying in Disney live-action remakes | My KILLER Spotify playlists | My epic younger brothers, John and Daniel | Waking up at 6 am | Benefit Corporations and B Lab

Current Fascinations

The Gene Keys | Jungian Symbology | Quantum physics | Epigenetics | Exponential technology | The UN Global Goals | The Sartorialist | My Paris Google Maps list of healthy cafes | How to retire early | States of consciousness and medicinal psychedelic micro-dosing | How to throw otherworldly events and parties | The singularity & futurism

Top Books and Media

  • The Narnia books and Till We Have Faces
  • The Bible
  • The Go-Giver, Bob Burg
  • Mastery by Robert Greene
  • Essentialism by Greg Mckeown
  • The Gene Keys by Richard Rudd
  • Peter Pan, The Little Prince
  • Studio Ghibli films
  • Kieth Herring
  • Nick Broadhurst & Melissa Ambrosini
  • Garance Dore

Top Thinkers / Philosophies

  • C.S. Lewis
  • Joseph Campbell, Kierkegaard
  • Heidegger, Werner Erhard
  • Peter Diamandis & Dan Sullivan
  • The Impressionist painters & Jazz Age authors
  • Greek and Roman mythology, platonic philosophy
  • Chesterton, Tolkien
  • Norse mythology
  • Naturopathic & bio-feedback health practices

100 Friends for 100 Years

 I’m part of a friend group we call “The Avngers.” We meet twice a year internationally and just build relationships and grow together. On the left there are some videos that the organizer, Skip put together. 

This group changed my life, and showed me how critical community is to happiness… it’s as important as my health, totally non-negotiable.

Interview:

Why I Believe Brands

Can Transform Culture

 This interview (right) is about how to find your ideal customer and tell your brand story clearly.

I also share why I see brands as the #1 agent in transforming people’s mindsets… and how we can do it through social good business.

❤