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Meet Kate Joiner of Sunny Creek Studios in Carlsbad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Joiner.

Kate, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I took the long road to get where I am today and maybe, this is why I have so much to say in my art now. In 1987, I was at SDSU working my degree in Graphic Design. One day, I remember a professor who I idolized, Janet Cooling, mentioned how artists don’t have much to say until they are 50. (At least, that’s what I thought I heard) and it always resonated with me. It certainly can be said this is not the case for every artist, but in my case, the ideas, concepts and passions I have now allow me to vomit out art and keeps me busier painting than I have ever been in my life.

If it were not for my good friend Diane Stein, who in 2015 literally picked up the phone and called the Dean of SDSU, getting me on track finish my degree. We found out I was only one credit short. I contribute my success to that one moment, of a friend supporting and pushing me to finish what I started 30 years before. She was one of many friends who had faith in me and could see my ability and talent through the years. This degree has made more confident and has given me the pride I needed that allowing me to grow and push my art further.

Today, as I do my work, I look at what is around me locally, noticing the similarities and differences between us all. I often include snippets of local scenery, intermixed with opposing views of who we are, collectively, in our town. I create my paintings from what I see and feel around me physically and mentally, past and present. Being the quintessential “jack of all trades, master of none” I take with me graphic design elements, architectural and engineering designs, and social interactions and coming full circle to do depict a life, as a woman, as a mom, as a native, in San Diego.

Has it been a smooth road?
Seriously? Attempting to find buyers for your art is no easy feat. Having the stamina to keep going and having someone (or many) believe in you is hard for all of us. And even if they don’t “get” what I am painting, they have to believe in you.

To be an artist is to be able to survive the critics. I’ll never forget in the 1990s, one of first times I displayed my work at the Adams Ave. Street Fair. Someone just stood there shaking their, head stating my work was too emotional and sad. I was happy that I was able to depict emotion in my painting. Only one small painting sold that day, but with time and experience I have learned to keep the faith and trust in myself with my art.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Sunny Creek Studios – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
So here’s the fun part. I work two jobs. One of them is a “Paint and Sip” company called Sunny Creek Studios. We specialize in member and corporate group events, but also are open to any group size; we can accommodate 10 to 100. The images we paint are tailored to the event, and I think this is what has made my company successful. Like most social art companies, we teach beginners to finish a piece in two hours. What sets us apart is that our images are not cookie cutter, nor are they stolen from another artist. We personally treat each guest with respect, I know that customer service is #1. I am fortunate enough to teach at some great resorts in North County, who know we deliver a top notch event. The repeat business and referrals from these customers has been icing on the cake. My business is growing steadily and on track to double from last year.

In addition to Sunny Creek Studio events, I continually focus on my fine art. I work on conceptual pieces for upcoming shows and commissions (personalized paintings), that keep me painting almost every day.

Because of the two different jobs, I have separate websites. The Sunny Creek Studios Etsy site has been great for my smaller works and I have another site for larger and conceptual pieces at

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Likes: We have sunshine year-round and one of my favorite things is that Thanksgiving Day is the best day of the year – you go to the beach on Thanksgiving, it’s sunny, gorgeous and empty. I also love that’s it easy to get from North County to San Diego in 30 minutes. I grew up in San Diego so I know my way around this town and would make a great tour guide. There are so many great hiking trails to get in tune with nature. I love Balboa Park, the beaches, the Cove, and now more than ever, love the little hidden gem of a spot where I live, in Sunny Creek, Carlsbad. You can find a lot of my surroundings throughout my work.

Dislikes: Traffic! Looking forward to having the City develop a good transportation plan and controlled development.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Tracy

    February 1, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    This is a terrific insight into an amazing local artist!

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