katie wwyer 52 stories of inspirational women

WEEK 10: 52 STORIES OF INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN

Finding Strength in Chaos: The Story Behind ‘A Beautiful Mess’

This is Katie Wyer’s Story

WELCOME TO WEEK 10 of 52 Inspirational Stories of Women! The project is designed to recognize 52 inspiring Women, celebrating the everyday women who make a difference in our lives. 

WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?

Four years ago, I fell ill with a rare disease that brought convulsions and tremors, reminding me of my love for art, a passion I’d set aside since becoming a parent. Sketching, once my go-to pastime while traveling, became a distant memory in the smartphone era. But when illness robbed me of steady hands, I realized how much I missed it. As my health improved, I returned to art, swapping TV nights for drawing, then delving into painting to infuse my work with color and expression. Exploring various mediums, I found mixed media best captured my eclectic personality—blending classic and grunge, meticulousness with ease.

My husband may cringe, but I embraced authenticity, letting go of emulation to paint from the heart. My favorite piece? A defiant woman, flipping the bird, symbolizing empowerment amid chaos. While my husband fretted about its influence on our kids, I saw it as a testament to self-expression. Posting it on a women’s entrepreneur group sparked unexpected demand—20 offers to buy, 80 commission requests, and 40 print inquiries. Two months later, I bid farewell to my admin job, fully embracing my artistic journey.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

As an artist specializing in sophisticated, feminine street art, I’ve found it challenging to encapsulate the essence of my work. It’s a fusion of various artistic influences that resonate with me deeply. My process begins by creating an authentic backdrop—a beautiful mess comprising elements like my children’s early drawings, scraps of paper, and unfinished watercolor pieces. With expressive abandon, I layer on paint, using my hands to create texture, scribbling words that emerge in the moment. Through this chaos, I aim to convey the beauty found in life’s inherent messiness.

Over this backdrop, I paint a transparent muse, symbolizing the complexity hidden beneath outward appearances and urging viewers not to judge hastily. Adding an ‘alla prima’ flower over one eye presents a unique challenge—a reminder of growth amid adversity. Each intentional stroke in this oil painting reflects the journey of personal evolution. Despite some social media misconceptions about the symbolism, I embrace the humor, even entertaining the thought of being a charismatic cult leader.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU?

I absolutely love the opportunities available to my daughters in this age of the woman and anything is possible.  I took my daughter to a Brisbane Broncos game when she was 8 and a family friend asked if she was going to be a Bronco’s cheerleader when she grew up?  Without skipping a beat she replied “No, I’m going to be a Bronco”.   I absolutely love that she is living in a time that that is a real possibility for her.  My paintings are love letters to my two young daughters.  When I was their age I had little post it notes all over my walls with little inspirational quotes and sayings.  I add these sayings into my art as messages to them.  My art is very feminine and empowering which has been inspired by my daughters and this age of the woman.

HOW DO YOU STAY INSPIRED?

This is a part of my art journey that I never intended and is by far one of the most rewarding!  My art is very open to interpretation and what I love about this is how many people see their story in my art.  “A Beautiful Mess” is by far my most popular piece.  To me she represents my story of having 4 kids in 5 years and the beautiful, hectic, sometimes gross, stressful, funny, incredible time of life it was.  It was a big mess and I don’t know how I got through some of the days but I will always remember it as the best time of my life.  That is my story for this piece.  However I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the people that see their own story in this piece.  There is a strong following on women who are currently fighting cancer or who have already beaten cancer that see their story in “A Beautiful Mess”.  There are also incredible, strong women who have contacted me telling me how this piece speaks to their strength to leave a domestic violence relationship.  This blows me away and has been by far the most rewarding part of this art journey. 

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE THAT WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

I strongly believe that our superpower is being our true selves.  We’re all so different and I love embracing that and celebrating it.  I love the freedom and self expression that this job has brought to my life and I love that I have found myself again after dedicating my life to my children for those crazy, amazing baby factory years.  I have loved doing something for myself and not seeing that as a selfish act but more an empowering act that also shows my children how to live fully.

HOW DO YOU GET PAST SELF-DOUBT?

I have always had a very positive inner voice.  Even so that “imposter syndrome’ does sweep over me every now and again.  In my art business I recognise that I don’t want everybody to love my art!  I’m not trying to be “Kmart” where I appeal to the masses.  So it’s ok when people don’t like my art.  I focus my attention towards the people that value me and my art. 

WHAT GIVES YOU HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF WOMEN?

Books like these!  Women support groups.  Women empowering women.  I love it!  I tell my children that people talking badly about another says more about them than it does the person they are talking about.  Girls compete and women empower.  I feel these ideas are more widely accepted than ever before.

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HOW CAN OTHERS FIND OUT MORE?

Katie Wyer : Website | Instagram

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    About the Author

    KARINA PAMAMULL

    A brilliant brunette, effortlessly juggling a plate of crispy fries in one hand while gracefully dancing to the rhythm of life with a glass of fine wine in the other.  I’m the ultimate dopamine hunter, always on the lookout for thrilling new experiences.

    I have worn many hats – a professional Dating Coach responsible for countless love stories, a seasoned General Manager, and the mastermind behind multiple events departments. I’ve successfully orchestrated over 500 events, each one a unique tapestry of connection and celebration. From conferences, and elegant soirées to heart-warming gatherings, each with its own unique story.  I am the successful author of a book called ’52 Stories of Kindness’ with more than 500 copies sold.

    All these fabulous experiences showed me the power of true connections and acts of kindness. They inspired me to create a space where women can uplift, support, and empower one another. WingWomanTribe – the home for women to find friends, connect, and grow with a tribe where they feel fully supported. #liveyourwishlist

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