featured artist

Katherine Kwan

Katherine Kwan is a Toronto-based photographer, videographer, editor and music industry multi-hyphenate. Her work primarily focuses on creating beautiful sets and visual narratives, which she captures with a keen documentary-style vision.

She has collaborated with musical artists Scott Helman, Ria Mae, Field Guide, Busty and the Bass, Monowhales making photo and video content, locally and on tour. For the last 10 years she has been working in the industry, being contracted at Warner Music Canada, CBC Music, Live Nation Entertainment, Exclaim! Magazine, Bell Media, Virgin Mobile Canada, TIFF in varying roles involving shooting or editing, marketing and advertising. She excels in finding new ways to tell stories using video editing and imagery and whatever footage is captured. She also loves being a fly-on-the-wall and capturing raw behind-the-scenes moments and marrying that in the edit, with the energy and movement of a live performance.

Katherine graduated from York University with a B.A. in Film Studies and has worked in the Film/TV industry as an editor. She was the assistant editor to Omar Majeed on the CBC-commissioned docu-series, “The Artists” (dir. Peter Mishara) released in 2018 and later on edited her first BravoFACTUAL short documentary in 2017 titled, “Double” (dir. Simon Paluck).

Outside of work Katherine can be found playing guitar, cooking or baking literally anything, and making eco-friendly arts and crafts for her friends.

What terrifies you the most?
I think what terrifies me the most is that a lot of people, myself included, grow into a career or in a direction where the lines between work and worth are blurred especially in a digital cultural society where we spend most of our time online rather than outside. I have caught myself in these ruminating cycles of thought where I am consistently looking online and comparing myself to artists I admire and it has caused me a lot of grief and anxiety in the past; lowered my self-esteem at times and can even turn into full on depression. I think we as artists can get trapped in this capitalist framework that tries to tell us that more equals more... but I am working on deconstructing those thoughts within myself and learning to enjoy the process more.
What in life, is beautiful to you? Where do you find inspiration?
I try and look for inspiration in my everyday life and I feel that I am truly inspired by my friends and family and the people closest to me. The most beautiful part of life is that there are so many different ways to be human and I try and remind myself that there are so many unique perspectives and people in this world and everyone deserves to feel safe and heard and seen. For me, inspiration can strike at any time and when it does, I’m buzzing with excitement that it’s hard to contain! Lately, I’ve been more inspired by physical art and this past year I started collaborating with a stylist pal of mine named Kaitlyn Goodfellow, who I trust deeply to help bring these visions to life. Together, we have been building elaborate installations and sets to film in, inspired by thrifted finds and upcycled materials and sustainability. Our collaborative inspiration is often described as a snowball because we love to build upon each other’s ideas until they’re (sometimes literally) larger than life. I am enjoying this current shift in focus from my daily grind as a video editor.
What unexpected situations made you who you are today?
I often think about how inspiring the people in my life are, especially the close women friends I have currently, who have taught me so much just by being kind and compassionate human beings who project love and positivity wherever they are. I think about the trip I took with four of my close friends in February 2020, which taught me how to show up for my friends, and how to listen, and that it is okay to love in a big way and to project love in the world because it is what holds the Universe together.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your work alone
I think something that is interesting that maybe you wouldn’t notice from my work alone is that a lot of the art that I make is driven with a focus on sustainability, upcycling, thrifting, and making everything DIY. I try to obtain as many unique props and materials as I can through a trading post app I use and try to build the sets myself.
What’s your personal heaven?
My personal heaven is me, in the centre of a shiba inu puppy pile-up. There is a bubble tea fountain in the corner.