21 SECRETS Tell Your Story


Below are the bios of the 21 talented teachers in 21 SECRETS Tell Your Story.

Carissa Paige

Carissa Paige is an Intuitive Voyager, Artist, and Teacher driven by Spirit and Mystery. Her greatest Joy is helping others discover their own innate wisdom, healing, and connection through art. | WEBSITE 

Catherine Anderson

Catherine Anderson

Catherine believes in the power of the image to call our attention to the beauty and the wonder in the world around us which is the focus of her book “The Creative Photographer”. As a SoulCollage® Facilitator Trainer Catherine is well versed in the power of imagery to speak to us at a deep level. She teaches in her studio in Charlotte, NC and leads creativity and photography retreats in beautiful places around the world. | WEBSITE

Cathy Nichols

Cathy began her career as a young artist in Venice, CA where her encaustic work showed on trendy Abbot Kinney Blvd. and charmed collectors such as Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson.

After moving to New York, she showed her paintings at NY Art Expo and co-founded The Firefly Gallery in Northport to feature the work of local Long Island Artists. She also became the featured artist for the “Modern Vintage” Elements line of handbags sold internationally, by Boulder, Colorado company, Sherpani. When she isn’t painting, Cathy designs cards and stationery for companies such as Graphique de France and American Greetings, and she has recently authored a book called, Storytelling Art Studio: Visual Expressions of Character, Mood and Theme using Mixed Media published in July 2017. Later this year, she will reveal several storytelling art dvds through available through Artist Network TV and North Light publishing.

Cathy currently lives in the artsy, mountain town of Asheville, NC, where she paints her colorful “stories in wax” to a soundtrack of her boyfriend’s music and children’s voices. She is working on an extended e-course to share her love of painting and storytelling with a wider audience. | WEBSITE

Connie Solera

Connie Solera is the founder and director of 21 SECRETS, an artist with over 20 years experience teaching art, and a lifelong devotee to her ever evolving painting practice. At DirtyFootprints-Studio.com Connie offers mentoring, workshops, and retreats for artists on a heart guided path, as well as an intimate peek into her own creative shenanigans. | WEBSITE

EmK Wright

EmK Wright began keeping a journal when she was eight years old, an art journal at twelve, and has continued to be an avid memory keeper and mess maker well into her twenties. EmK currently resides in the Midwest with several furbabies and a husband who encourages her desire to create. | WEBSITE

Gemma Benton

Gemma Benton is a traditional Native American singer, storyteller, spiritual activist, intuitive artist, best-selling author and the Coordinator for the Healing Story Alliance. Through her transformational art workshops, Gemma shares stories and wisdom gathered during her twenty-seven years of working in Native American and indigenous communities. Gemma is the creator of the “Ancestors Journey”online creative course that uses storytelling, sacred song, art, and ritual to empower people to heal the wounds passed down through the generations by our ancestors.| WEBSITE

Juna Biagioni

My name is Juna Biagioni, I’m a mixed media artist & online art teacher, and I live in the beautiful historic heart of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Creating and teaching art are my biggest passions! I love to help people discover their own creativity and become more confident in making art. My main focuses are mixed media, art journaling and monoprinting, but currently I mostly paint and draw faces. I try to capture some kind of ‘soul’ in my work – in an unpolished way. Soul can be soft, tender, and beautiful, but also difficult or raw. I embrace all these aspects.

Art for me is a means to connect with people. It’s a wonderful way to express my own inner worlds. But I also love it when people read their own stories and meanings in my work. The greatest gift is when people are somehow touched by my art, because it means that the artwork has its own power, separate from me, which is able to move something in another person. That’s just pure magic. | WEBSITE

Katie Smith

Katie is an artist and crafter located in Washington, USA. She loves anything and everything crafty – from scrapbooking and art journaling, to drawing, and even quilting. If it’s creative, she loves it! Katie is a published artist in multiple magazines, including Creating Keepsakes, Stitch Craft Create, as well as craft books such as Star Trek Crafts and Craft it Now. | WEBSITE

Katrina Koltes

I come from a childhood of constant travelling, discovering, and seeing new places. We were full- time volunteers, often on the move, and we made art with children all over the world, especially in South-east Asia. Often after a natural disaster, or in a war-torn country, we would try to help and cheer up those people who had just lost everything. I think that’s one thing that in some way influenced my art later on. I wanted to create some place where we would feel safe, even for just a little while. I longed to tell their story, and of course, my own.

I now live in Italy, am married to a wonderful Italian man and had have a sweet little budding artist son. A few years ago, I began a difficult journey of self-discovery and deep change in my both myself and my art. I learned how to really listen to my heart and my intuition. To let go of my fear and express what I had inside. I painted of feelings repressed, of hopes and dreams, of magic and mystery, of emotions and yearnings never expressed. I realized that more I painted for just me and the pure joy of it, and for expression, the more I began to paint what I felt inside, opening up a whole new world in my art… I began to discover my own magic.

I am now pregnant with my second son, and have been teaching online workshops since about a year. I am truly happy and blessed to be able to share my story and help others, the best way I know how, and discover our own inner magic and voice. I believe we can never stop learning, evolving, and discovering our own voice and expression through art. | WEBSITE

Kristiann Bonn

As a mixed-media artist and writer, Kristiann aspires to create a safe and nurturing space where she can be a companion and artistic partner as she guides imaginative people on their creative journey. Rather than supplies all the answers, Kristiann asks questions and invites you to notice the creative opportunities in your life – and hopes you will ask her about her own noticing. She wishes to support you in your ability to discover the no-nonsense truth in and for yourself and wants to lift you up with generous, loving support for all you do (and try to do).| WEBSITE

Lisa Sonora

Lisa Sonora is a visual artist, writer and keeper of visual memoirs drawn and painted in sketchbooks. She is the author of The Creative Entrepreneur, the award-winning, bestselling book on creativity and business, and a memoir, Sketchbooks: My Personal Creative Practice.

A lifelong global traveler and travel journaler, Lisa is constantly experimenting with ways of documenting her travels.

When she’s not traveling and teaching workshops, she lives in Mexico, where she hosts artist retreats and residencies.

Lisa is a work-in-progress, just like her art, and believes that The Most Beautiful Work of Art is You.

Lisa blogs about creativity + travel + courage at LisaSonora.com | WEBSITE

Mindy Tsonas

Embodiment Artist, Sensualist and Provocateur

I believe our power is a sacred love story.

Part Sparkle Maker, part Shadow Dancer, part Soul Seeker, my work is to guide women into the extraordinary Wonderland of themselves. Through juicy creative pursuits and honest explorations my calling is to inspire others to shake loose and get naked in empowered, exquisite truth, name and claim all aspects of their unique selves, and un-shame every desire.

My magic tools for personal discovery are art, love, and smart + sensual sex positivity… my wild sacral shimmy. I write, I paint, I touch, I dare. I make things both tangible and intangible to hold space for meaningful experiences and luscious conduits of intimacy and connection.

As a woman of color in a queer and open marriage, I am also a Revolutionary inside my own life and out in the world. I am passionate about creating places of belonging. Through personal storytelling, adventuring, and gathering across diverse communities, I’m always seeking to create more inclusivity and togetherness for all. | WEBSITE

Natalie Mecham

I grew up in Utah county, surrounded by the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. I spent a lot of my time with my older brother drawing and occasionally stealing his charcoal pencils to draw by myself. With fashion and National Geographic magazines I taught myself to draw portraits.

I got married and moved to Idaho the year after high school. After a few years my husband and I decided to grow our family. We soon discovered we had fertility issues. During that time I had become very depressed and lost my desire to do any art. After years of trying we found out I was expecting. I started to do art again and this is when I discovered watercolors. Unfortunately, I went into preterm labor and our twin boys were born at only 23 weeks gestation. They died two days after birth. I again went into a depression but this time I used art to help myself cope with the loss of our boys. About a year later I became pregnant with our twin girls. It was a difficult pregnancy with many trips to the hospital to stop labor. I was put on full bedrest. But I figured out how to continue doing art, I would hold my paper above me while laying on my back and use water filled brushes to paint.

I gave birth to my twin girls at 29 weeks gestation. Finally, after two months in the hospital they were able to come home. I slowly got back into painting, first painting things to hang in the nursery. Then I started painting for other people, this began a whole new journey in my life. I use mostly watercolor and graphite but I still experiment with any medium I can get my hands on.

Through sharing my art online I have met so many amazing people. I love hearing their stories of how a painting of mine is connected to them. My girls are now four years old and I am able to do more art with them. I have discovered a passion for teaching and helping others express themselves through art. | WEBSITE

Rakefet Hadar

I’m an artist and an art therapist. I worked for years with children and adults using the visual journal as a tool for self healing. I live in Israel and for the last 4 years I teach “art journaling” in my school, dedicated to visual journaling- “creative journeys”.

Last year I published an article (in my blog and on seminar Hakibutzim university website) about the method I developed for teaching art journaling.The “Visual Journey Journaling” –Innovative approach for teaching Art-Journaling

I teach “ Visual journey journaling” (VJJ) for people who want to learn how to use the visual journal with groups and lead healing and transformative processes.

Twice a year I teach art journaling workshop in Europe (Greece, London and Holland).

I live in the most beautiful place, in a small village near a forest in middle-north Israel with my husband and 4 children.

As an artist I only work inside journals and children’s books… I try to do it as often as I can. | WEBSITE

Tara Leaver

Tara Leaver is an artist, author, and teacher, working from her attic studio by the sea on the south coast of England. With a focus on process and unfettered encouragement, she offers online courses that guide people to uncover and develop their unique artistic self expression. | WEBSITE

Toni Burt

Toni Burt is an artist who loves to mix any media she can get her hands on to create her soft and heartfelt artworks and journal pages. She has quietly transitioned from her former life as an interior designer and now uses those skills and what she has learned so far on her spiritual path in her creative practice. Her passion for the emotion that faces evoke means you will almost always find them in her work. She believes that art and the creative process is a reflection of our soul. It’s wants, needs, desires and longings are expressed in her loose and free style. She shares her home in the countryside in Queensland Australia with her little dog Griffin. She meditates daily in the forest and loves to spend time with mother earth. You can follow her journey and find her work and online classes at toniburt.com.au | WEBSITE

Torrie Lynn

I wear many hats in my life and am privileged to don the titles of artist, graphic designer, mother, and wife. I call the Canadian prairies home despite regarding the long winters as a slow form of torture.

As a self-taught artist, I have been creating my whole life in various mediums but came to re-discover my inner artist in recent years. Art has become the beautiful crux of my life, and I enthusiastically pursue the act of creating every day. I love inspiring this obsession with art in others and teaching them how to unleash their creative potential. This obsessions pushes me to create intuitively as I connect with my inner woman with the world around me. I can often be found with too many art journals open on my desk, along with at least 5 more ideas simmering and probably a coffee spill on my shirt.

I have had my work printed in several publications, and enjoy teaching other art-centric people in various art journaling courses. Along with pink hair, I really love emo/punk music, lots of coffee and ignoring housework. I share her creative journey, tutorials, and more under my online moniker Fox + Hazel. | WEBSITE

Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd

Vanessa is a forensic archaeologist by trade and an art journaler by necessity. She uses her art
journal as a way to make sense of the world around her and of her interaction with it. Her work explores symbolism, archetypes and feminism. She is currently living in Beijing, China with her family. | WEBSITE

Veronica Funk

Veronica Funk is a professional artist who was raised in the boreal forest of northern Canada. She studied Art & Design, mentored with a stone carver, a potter and a painter, and currently resides in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. Her work is inspired by the connection between art and history found in the natural environment and urban street art. | WEBSITE

VersAnnette Blackman-Bosia

VersAnnette Blackman-Bosia, LMT is an Artist, Author, and Facilitator. She has 10+ years experience as a trauma-informed facilitator in various settings: including domestic violence shelters and Chicago high schools. She is the author of Butterfly Spirit: Poems of Transparency, Transformation & Truth. Through her current creative business, Soul Revival Healing Arts, she sells art, products, and teaches workshops. VersAnnette paints intuitively and is convinced that “creativity is deep soul work”. She asserts, “Art continues to be an avenue of healing for me. When I paint, I offer up what resonates with my own soul in hopes that others might find healing or a bit of inspiration.” | WEBSITE

Wendy Pepyat

I am a deeply spiritual painter and being plugged in intuitively allows me to channel my work, which means it all comes from a higher source, or the Universe if you like.

I never really know what I’m going to paint until almost completion, I love the excitement of each creation and finding the message within.

I really love to paint how things feel to me, or their true essence.

I want my viewer to find the story within themselves through my work.

Every painting has a story and the ability to heal through it’s own vibration. I understand how paintings can touch your soul.

Using lots of paint in layers and plenty of glazing medium that creates depth and a translucency really adds to the magic of my paintings. I use brushes, fingers, pallet knives, spatulas, or whatever is at my fingertips to make marks or push the paint around the canvas, because I love texture too. Putting paint on then scraping it off, then putting more on, then scrapping that
off, scratching in symbols and maybe just lines.

Mostly though it’s all about the colour, I kind of think you can paint whatever you like and it will be successful if you use the right colour in the right place.

My inspiration is my urgent need to get all those paintings that are inside me just begging to be created, out and into the world. I also find colours and patterns inspiring, sometimes the most bizarre colour combinations actually come from nature.

I have painted a lot of paintings with nature and bees, the symbology of bees is so amazing if you take the time to read about it. I also went through a period of time when I just wanted to put certain colours next to each other in a more abstract fashion.

I really don’t want to put myself into a box and say I am any certain kind of painter, each time I think I am this or that, I change into something else through my constant experimentation. I do know that I am an authentic painter, staying true to my inner knowing. Upon reflection colour really is my thing, so if there needs to be a label then that’s it. | WEBSITE