Artful memory-keepers: an interview with Kate Crane

I’m so happy to bring you another interview today. Today you’ll meet Kate Crane, who has taken the art journaling world by storm with her fun, bright and heavily layered pages. Kate regularly teaches at Art from the Heart in Harrogate, and has her own set of art journaling DVDs out (you can see my review of the first box-set here). She’s also in her 5th year of doing monthly art journal pages.

Over to Kate…

artful memory-keepers: an interview with Kate Crane

Please tell us a little bit about yourself

I live in the north of England with my husband, two children, several small animals and a dog! In real life I’m a school teacher, but in my free time I love to play with paints, inks, rubber stamps, and anything else I can get my hands on!

I have written regularly for Craft Stamper magazine (UK) and have been published in several Stampington magazines. I have made four art journaling DVDs, which were published by Traplet (UK) but have been sold internationally. I have a passion for teaching and sharing my ideas and hold regular classes in various locations. I also love social networking and blogging. My style is colourful, quirky, honest, and a little off the wall!

What’s your preferred medium?

My preferred medium is acrylic paint as I love to build up my art in layers and acrylics allow me to do that. They are also very forgiving and allow you to cover up the not-so-good bits easily! However I would describe my art as mixed-media which means I’m quite happy to add a bit of anything that I have to hand, and often use ink sprays, oil pastel, washi tape, rubber stamps and anything else that takes my fancy.

What parts of your life inspires/ motivates your artwork the most?

I have always had the urge to make and create things, even as a very small child, and as an adult that urge never went away. Although I often love to make art for arts’ sake, the desire to preserve memories is driven by my family and the fact that I never want to forget a moment. I have been keeping a daily art calendar for 5 years now, but I wish that I had started many years before when my children were younger because many of those days are now forgotten.

Artful memory-keepers: an interview with Kate Crane

How often do you work?

I work almost every day, even if it is just for a few moments. Some days life gets in the way and there’s hardly any time to do anything other than get through the day, and if that’s the case I’ll jot down a few thing to remember on my i-pad. Other days I’ll have plenty of time and will spend happy hours creating. I rarely leave the house without a sketchbook, or journal, or something to play in if I find myself sitting still with the dreaded ‘nothing to do’.

How do you keep track of your ideas? Do you keep an idea journal or do you make things as they come up?

I keep an art journal which I work in fairly regularly, but I also keep an art calendar every month where I jot down daily happenings and family events both large and small. I have been doing this for 5 years now, and although sometimes it is a challenge to keep up to date I’m very happy to look back over the last 5 years and see what my family and I have been up to. I’m very keen to preserve the memory of not just the major events in life (we tend to remember those anyway) but the smaller everyday things that would otherwise get lost in the mists of time. I hope that in the future my children will look back over these art calendars with great interest and see what they were up to when they were younger.

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to get into artful memory-keeping, even if they don’t consider themselves an artist?

You don’t have to be a great artist to preserve memories, although you may find that you become a better artist the more you do. I would say, grab a scrapbook, art journal or smash book, and start collecting every day memorabilia such as tickets, and take lots of photographs and don’t be afraid to print them out and use them! There is always a temptation to say that days can be boring and there is nothing worth writing about, but I would say look for the interesting moments in every day however small they may seem. When you look back at these moments in the future, they will surprise you!

Artful memory-keepers: an interview with Kate Crane

You can can keep up to date with Kate here:

Blog, Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter

And if you like what you see here, why don’t you come hang out with Kate and I at the artful memory-keeping Facebook group. We’d love to see you.


  1. What a fantastic idea to create monthly calendars! A special keepsake for sure!

  2. Paty Shaulis says:

    Great interview Carin! I do love the idea of jotting down the little things on a calendar!

  3. Fabulous interview Carin…. love Kate’s inspiring artwork… and was so lovely to read more about her…

    Jenny ♥
    Jenny recently posted…[A weekend workshop with Tracy Verdugo….]My Profile

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