taking flight into art, love, and life (the blog)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Possibilitarian Project: Kim Klassen

The Possibilitarian Project is more than a blog series, it’s a movement. Because when you step forward as a Possibilitarian — and share the truth about how you created your beautifully messy, magnificently complicated & exquisitely joyful life and career — you give everyone else permission to dream bigger, be braver, and create what they want. And just like that, the impossible simply . . . . . isn’t.

What I love about this project is that Possibilitarians are nominated (By anyone! Do you have someone you'd like to nominate? Head over here). When an email came through nominating Kim Klassen, I could hardly believe that I hadn't known of her before! I devoured her story, got inspired by her courage and creativity, and am now a stalker (ahem, fan) of her work. Her story is nothing less than inspiring, and very very brave. Get ready to be inspired.....

Everybody, meet Kim Klassen. She's a Possibilitarian. Here's why.....


Who were you before you became a Possibilitarian? What was your ‘early’ career, ‘previous life’ or perspective?

Oh my…I feel like I was a bit of a lost soul…with just a little teensy bit of 'possiblitarian' lingering inside me...trying to find it's way out.

I spent most of my life quietly watching the world…a little pulled back…a lot insecure…and yet knowing there must be more. You know that little voice we have…that quietly whispers to us…the one many of us try to hush...That was my life.

As for my my early career…I was a mom first…for a few years I ran a home daycare…making it possible to stay at home with my 2 boys. Before that I worked in a Canadian retail store called Eatons…that was my job from the time I was 16 til 22 when I left my job to stay at home with the boys.

Anyhow, we bought a lovely antique home a few years after we were married. A big part of my journey to now started with this house. We live in the town I grew up in…and as a teenager I told my best friend I would live in this very house one day. And so, I don't consider it a coincidence that right before we almost closed on another home my dream house came up for sale. I knew it was meant for us. We moved into our 110 year old brick home…my husband got a job at the hospital across the street…and we began to make our life…

I loved everything antique and old…worn, torn, chippy…But we had absolutely no extra money for decorating…And so, I decided I would make my own!! It's funny looking back on that…because up until then…I didn't paint, draw…anything…But I moved right into it…And that was the beginning of a new journey…The step lead to a lot of hard work, craft sales, selling on eBay…magazine publications and finally to a publisher that licensed my signs and folk art paintings on prints, wallpaper, giftware etc.

Our life was good…my children were growing…we had more than enough money…No worries. I could paint one sign ONCE…and crazily collect thousand of dollars for just that one piece. Pinch me!!

Each step I took was clearly stated. I was really good at stating intentions, even before I knew I was stating intentions. Ya know? I remember when that book, The Secret came out…thinking, hey that's what I've been doing!??! Who knew!!

I would boldly tell my husband, things like…did you know you can paint signs and send them to a publisher and get royalty cheques in the mail? He'd be like…no, really, Kimmy? And I'd be like...yep, I'm going to do that!!

And I did…
One step at a time…it all came together…

::Moment of Truth::

Was there a pivotal moment when everything shifted? What happened?

Like life…sometimes things have a way of changing. Tough stuff can land in your path…And that's exactly what happened to us.

I remember walking my dog one evening, listening to my ipod and thinking…'life is just so good…and in that moment a little bit of fear found it's way in…

It feels like the next day…I'm sure it wasn't…but our life began to come crashing down. My sweet, teenage boy choose the wrong path…which lead to 2 plus years of living hell. I became a prisoner of fear. It was the most difficult thing I've ever experienced…sitting, waiting for the phone to ring…wondering what was next. I quit painting, I just sat…scared to death…day after day…eventually the phone call came…the one I'd been expecting every night...in the middle of the night…

Our bottom…

Thankfully we made it through…nobody was physically hurt, nobody died…it could have ended in tragedy…but it didn't…We were saved.

The scariest most difficult thing in my life…became the biggest gift I've ever received.

After that night, something opened BIG inside of me…my creativity started to flow again. I don't think I've told Kelly Rae this…but it was during that time that I discovered her art and mixed media…and I dabbled in it for a bit. It was part of my healing…such a gift.

But big change happened when I took my camera to the trail one day… I decided to take some pictures.

I came home and tried layering texture on one of the photos in Photoshop…a program I'd been attempting to use for almost 2 years…but just couldn't 'get it.'

Anyhow, in that moment…magic happened. It's as if the 3 worlds collided…photography, textures and Photoshop…and I've moved forward with that ever since.

It's difficult to make a long story short…But that moment lead me to my blog, sharing photography, Photoshop, teaching classes, becoming a Shutter Sister and basically living this crazy dream like life…that was so not me.

I thank my boy for changing my life…changing my story. If it were not for that time…I am pretty sure I'd still be painting. I would never have found my true passion…which lead to the most amazing connections and experiences anyone could ask for.


What’s ONE piece of advice or encouragement you’d give to someone who’s facing their own pivotal moment, right now?

Oh my gosh…I would have to say…move right on through…don't let fear stop you!! Trust your gut, your heart…and go for it!! START…state intentions, dream big and be prepared to do the work.


Where are you NOW? What have you created, what’s on the horizon, and how have you been applauded & recognized for your work? (This is your chance to brag away & BIG yourself up! Go for it!)

Today I'm just coming down from the most incredible experience of my life...as a contributor at Shutter Sisters (a huge MONDO BEYONDO dream come true). I was part of Shutter Sisters Oasis in Palm Springs…a truly life altering event.

The fact that this quiet, homebody is now traveling here and there…by herself…sharing with people is crazy…but so awesome…and it feels so right!!

I get to teach Photoshop, Lightroom and creative classes to thousands of students online from all over the world. I have a list of almost 20,000 people. I get to share my hopes, dreams, fears…passion and teaching to so many like-minded people. I finally found my tribe and have no idea what I'd do without them.

I have so many exciting plans ahead…from traveling and teaching to seeing the world…new classes, new photo opportunities…it's just beginning.

Thank you, Kim! We are honored to share your story. 
You can connect with Kim through
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Blog

Kim Klassen Is a Possibilitarian...Are You?

Go ahead. Snag a button. Declare yourself a Possibilitarian. Kindly link your button to ThePossibilitarianProject.com so that others can join in the fun.

Do YOU know a brave, tender & wildly inspiring person . . . someone who has created their dream life & career, on their own courageous terms? Nominate them for The Possibilitarian Project!


Indigene Theresa Gaskin said...

Thank you for sharing this incredible Possibilitarian and her story with us. These types of inspiring stories keep me focused on my dreams and gives me a shot of possibility, when I'm feeling low! Once again, I'll keep going, thanks!!! :)

Sheila R - Blessed and Distressed said...

Thanks for sharing your inspiring story... It gives me hope to keep on pursuing that dream!

Tina Tierson said...

I love Kim and have been following her for a couple of years now! I've taken one of her beginning Photoshop classes, but haven't really followed up with using PS. After reading this, I'm going to work a little harder! Her work is just outstanding! Thanks, Kelly, for sharing this.

Kristin said...

I am so blessed to call Kim a dear, dear friend! She gave me my first wings and the courage to leap...this was a beautiful interview about a truly inspiring, gifted girl!


TwynMawrMom said...

I feel like you two are speaking directly THROUGH me...to the other side of me that I can't see in the mirror yet. Wow.

RuthSMac. said...

I feel like i'm a possibilitarian or at least in the way of becoming one. And all that is because of you, Thanks! from the bottom of my humble heart.

Cindy said...

I found Kim a couple of years ago and she is so onspirational. I love her classes, her spirit and artistic eye. But I am also glad I found you a couple of months ago! You too, are an inspiration to me!

Great Post!

Marilyn said...

About a year ago I took a class from Kim and just love seeing her story here. She is just great!

Joyelle Brandt said...

I have been a big fan of Kim's for years, and learned so much by taking her online texture class. It's so great to see two of my favourite artistsconnect like this!

katie said...

thanks for featuring this, it's exactly what i needed today.

Melinda said...

I am a big fan and follower of Kim through her online classes and blog- if I had known about possibilitarians, I would have nominated her myself! She is truly an inspiration through her art and her journey! I'm excited about the possibilitarian project/movement- and will definitely stay tuned!

Moms Who Click said...

I am a huge fan (and fellow stalker) of Kim. She is a true inspiration and very much exudes the notion of Possibilitarians. She encourages us all to dream bigger. Thank you for the wonderful interview and for reminding us all to become Possibilitarians. --Kristina

Maribeth Huffaker said...

It's so nice to see Kim featured here today. I've been keeping up with her for almost four years now and I have to say that she's the real deal as far as Possibilitarians go! Thanks, Kelly!

Silvia said...

Thank you so much Kelly, i loved this post today and am so excited to have found a new photographer to follow and be inspired by. Thanks for this great series of Possibilitarian Interviews. x

Debra Howard said...

Loved reading about Kim's story. Mine is similar and so it really spoke to me. I am still in the midst of the darkness but I see blue sky ahead. In the mean time I look for little bits of joy and possibility everywhere.

copperpony said...

I can't think of anyone more deserving of this than Kim. I've been a faithful fan and student of her online classes for a long time now and she is so giving and inspirational. She makes us all believe that we can be anything we choose to be. Congratulations Kim on being picked as a Possibilitarian.
Anne (FireflyFotos)

Sheila said...


Hello. I found you by way of Kim's blog. So, glad to have read her feature here today.

When I saw the word "possibilitarian" I thought, "wow what a coincidence!" because just last night, I happened upon a particular boutique for the first time, which I completely fell in love with, where after making my purchase I was getting ready to turn and leave the store when for some reason I glanced up at the wall behind the cash register and saw some amazing wall art...but only one piece really caught my eye because it contained the word "possibilitarian."

Needless to say, when I read Kim's blog post about your "possibilitarian" philosophy, I thought that it was rather an odd coincidence that I just saw that word while shopping last night.

After looking at your portfolio, I'm now sure it was one of your pieces! Such a "God-moment" for me, and after reading Kim's story and then your story, I am filled with tears of inspiration...which are urging me to share with you what made this such "God-moment."

I picked up a paintbrush for the first time in August of 2011, and only began experiementing with photography and digital art in 2010after suffering a severe depressive episode that landed me in the hospital back in '09.

Art and writing have been my saving graces through my dark nights since then.

While seeing all that you and Kim have accomplished in such a short time inspires me, it also plagues me with twinges of jealousy, because I know that I will never reach the level of success you both have achieved due to the limitations my mental illness places on me (believe me, I have learned these limits the hard way.)

However, I will still continue to learn and create...for God, for myself, and for the few people who follow my work.

When my art gets to the level it would take to be "worthwhile" to the masses, I hope it finds its place...and for that reason alone (not for money - I don't want or need for anything, so money is not a factor.)

I would just love to touch more people's lives with what I create. I worked in the healthcare industry like you, prior to my hospitalization, and since becoming disabled I feel like I don't make a difference in the number of people's lives that I used to. My biggest desire is to do so now through my art and/or writing.

Thanks for letting me share my story, Kelly. Many more blessings to you on your incredible journey!


Diane said...

How beautiful to read Kim's story. I've known of Kim for several years now but had no idea. It's yet another excellent example of the saying, "everyone has a story" and obviously Kim's is a very inspiring one. Thank you for sharing the story and congratulations on the Possibilitarian movement.