Who is Katia?

Cropped version of ‘Beauty and Hope’ By Bianca Baptista July 2020
(also titled: ‘Into the storm’)

Katia is a fictional character created by Bianca very early in her paintings. She looks different in each, but often wears red. She looks nothing like the artist, but is somehow her alter-ego. How?

'I found myself painting and feeling this 'in-my-dreams' version of me and she was doing things that I couldn't do. Painting her gave me the courage to embrace whatever I aspired to be - a happier more fulfilled version than when I first started.'

Katia usually appears in painting metaphors as in ‘Hope and Beauty’ above. In the full painting Katia is walking into a storm armed only with Beauty, the ability to find beauty which is really a skill, and Hope as represented by the sunflower (beauty) and lantern (hope) in hand.

In another painting Katia is serenely floating underwater holding on to hope in the form of a lantern that still glows underwater, hence the title: ‘The light that never dies’.

‘The light that never dies’ by Bianca Baptista, August 2022
'The feeling was one of serenity in the conviction that no matter what happens things will turn out ok and as they should. Perhaps a lesson learned, a growth opportunity, usually a wiser Katia and me. This is also a reminder to let go, to not be anxious over things I cannot control.' 

So why the name Katia specifically? Have you ever been called Katia?

'No. When I was 13 I read a book called Katia's Dreams. It was a translation and I don't know who the author is or the original language. I admired the main character - feisty and courageous, rebellious, but with integrity. These qualities helped her survive a tragic accident and eventually thrive despite becoming paraplegic. Somehow that story, which I barely remember the details of, has stuck with me, even though I thankfully have never suffered such tragedy.' 

So how does Katia relate to promoting art and this website?

Going from a career in corporate IT to painting and promoting art has been a big shift! One that has required me to draw on courage and inspirational characters. I'm still new as an artist and self-promotion is not easy for me. However, I have experienced first-hand the health benefits of art and creativity and am driven to help  others find it if I can, and to help support artists generally.