My name is Karla Kay Benjamin. I am an artist that specializes in hand painted silk items focusing on scarves and wall hangings. I am just starting to expand into prints making paper prints as well as fabric prints of my designs. I have also started a YouTube channel demonstrating how I paint on silk and I hope to offer classes in painting on silk too.
I grew up in Redmond, Washington before Microsoft made it cool. I lived in a rural setting on 5 acres with my family and our animals. I made my first piece of artwork was when I was about 4 yrs. old. I learned I could melt my crayons over the heat vent in my bedroom and I applied the colored wax to the wall. I remember the excitement of seeing colors I liked next to each other. I was fascinated when the colors merged and became new colors. While I was very young at the time I still feel the same feelings when I think about the time I spent on that piece. My parents were not so amused.
I grew up riding horses, playing in the woods near our home. We were frequently visited by deer, coyotes, raccoon, bear, eagles, hawks, rabbits and more animals. I played in streams, fished in rivers, lakes and ponds and skied in the mountains each winter. I was a typical tom boy.
I attended college at Arizona State University and have a BFA with an emphasis in Fiber Arts/Surface Design. I enjoy working on fabric because when the fabric moves it seems to bring the art to life. I enjoy working on silk because of the beautiful way it absorbs the dyes and shimmers when it moves and the light hits it.
After receiving my art degree from ASU in 1989, I taught art for a bit and then looking for more consistent pay and benefits I took a job with Snohomish County Superior Court utilizing my computer skills as well as my teaching skills working with youth. I worked may way up through the court to become a Drug Court Coordinator for Adult Drug Court with the Snohomish County Superior Court and I served on the Washington State Association of Drug Court Professionals as Finance Director helping organize the annual Drug Court Conference. After my mother died from cancer in 2009 I had a couple cancer scares myself. A peer told me about the movie “The Secret” and after viewing it, I decided I needed some me time and I decided to pursue my passion for art.
In May of 2016, 16 years after going to work at the county, I quit my job with the county and went to work for myself making art. I have never looked back. It was a scary decision to make but I am doing well. I look forward to each day the spark of creativity it brings and I am meeting all my sales goals. I am very proud of my company.