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Art & Life with Kate Barbee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Barbee.

Kate, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
So I grew up in Dallas, TX. I became really infatuated with painting at about age 7, when my mom pulled me out of school and started homeschooling me. This gave me the time and space to open up more creatively. I would go every Tuesday to this painting class in this woman’s garage, and for hours experimented with all of the warm vibrant colors that I am still very influenced by today.

For undergrad I went to the University of Texas at Austin and received my BFA in studio art, and recently moved to Los Angeles last August to pursue this dream of being part of the art world.

In that process, I have managed to make and sell both art and painted clothing to help pay some bills here. My clothing line is called CrustLA but it’s in a metamorphoses state right now and may soon be changed!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I would say my main practice is painting, but I do dabble in music, video art and fashion. One of my current series is called Voyeurism, which is really about the struggle of balancing my superiority and strength with the degrading male gaze. My upcoming project is a series of narratives based on our strange human behavior and the stories behind seeking the “answer” to all our life on this planet. The finished series will be turned into a comic book and the paintings of the images will be their own works of art.

Then I also have a small clothing line called Crust LA. It started out whenever I was painting jean jackets in Austin, TX. It became a huge hit, and I realized that I needed to take the jean jacket to the next level. I then moved to LA and started working on my business here. So far, I have received several commissions, two from big pop artists, Neon Dreams and Bryce Vine.

For fun, I make music and videos. This is not something I have great skill at but, it is so important to just flow with what feels right. You may never know what it could do to your main body of work. I hope that the audience can look at my work and discover something new about it the second time they view it. o

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
The conditions for artists today are very tough, especially living in LA. It just is not that easy. Degrees really do not help, and they don’t help at all if you graduated as a studio art major, but again, I don’t think it ever has been easy for artists! Of course, it is hard now, but artists are very resourceful people, and talking about how hard it is to survive is a frequent conversation, but we manage somehow. I think our city could maybe offer more studio spaces, and more grants to apply to those studio spaces for free! That would be incredible.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can view my work on my website at where I will post my upcoming group show information. Or follow me @Katewerks on Instagram. You can support me through my Etsy or send me a message through Instagram and get your own personalized piece of clothing.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 5531 Kester Ave
  • Website:
  • Phone: 9726589755
  • Email:
  • Instagram: katewerks

Image Credit:
Paige Wilson took Portrait

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