I’m Kate. I have a very rambunctious visual practice.
I’m an avid nature journaler, urban naturalist, educator, and native plant enthusiast who works to enliven nature-human connection through sketching, observation, and curiosity. I facilitate sketching, sketchnoting, and nature journaling workshops online and throughout the Bay Area, frequently with my friend and colleague MJ Broadbent.
In a previous life, I was a UX designer, focusing on human-centered digital products, product metrics, learning environments, visual thinking, and entrepreneurship.
In 2020 I traded computer screens for living greens, shifting from a life apart from nature to life as a part of nature. I focus on native plants and restoration storytelling in urban areas, and advocate for ways to be in healthy reciprocity with our nature kin.
I’ve gotten to do a lot of fun things…
- Document the first 100 days of an avocado’s growth.
- Co-host a strangely popular NSFW podcast What is Wrong with UX with the hilariously brilliant Laura Klein, with over 400,000 downloads during the 7-year run.
- Teach interaction design at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where I got to work with amazingly creative people entering the UX field.
- Co-found a UX Track at Tradecraft, an intense 12-week immersive learning program that preps smart people to succeed in traction roles at high-growth startups, where I designed UX curriculum and got to work with many crazy-awesome people.
- Co-Found Luxr, a product company that helped entrepreneurs make things that people want, need and love to buy.
- Be a Sr. Practitioner and consulting lead at Adaptive Path, where I got to work with amazing clients and colleagues in the world of product design and user experience.
I have a checkered past, but the common thread that knots it all together is wonder, sketching, visual thinking, and making stuff. Areas of inspiration used to be design, the Internet, art, and technology…now inspiration comes from plants, ecological health, dismantling systemic racism, and telling stories that inform and inspire action for a healthy ecosystem. A few places I’ve spent time: California Native Plant Society’s Native Here Nursery, Wild Wonder Foundation, The Crucible, Epicentric, Burning Man, Alumnae Resources and Wellesley College.
I believe that everyone has a visual voice, that healing the inner artist leads to greater ecological and social health, that observation is a window to both inner and outer worlds, and that bold experimentation is a path to wonder and curiosity.
Why is this blog called intelleto?
I got the concept when I read Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art, by Stephen Nachmanovitch. Intelleto is the process of seeing something inherent in a material and bringing it alive. Michelangelo claimed he was guided by this faculty, which is intelligence, not of the merely rational kind, but visionary intelligence, a deep seeing of the underlying pattern beneath appearances. That’s a phrase paraphrased from the book. It’s a good book. You should read it.