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Artist In The Spotlight - Kaitlyn Sather, Founder of Kaitlyn's Good. And when she's good she is UNSTOPPABLE!

Kaitlyns Good

 If you are any kind of a dedicated foodie, then you're probably already familiar with the wealth of gastropubs and restaurants that Astoria, Queens has to offer. Whatever cuisine you're looking for, no matter from what far-flung corner of the globe it originated, you will find it in this chill, family-oriented neighborhood. No doubt, some of the city's most innovative and trail-blazing young chefs and mixologists live and work right here in Astoria. And, speaking of creativity and setting trends, were you aware of the fact that Astoria has also become quite the creative hub for a growing and vibrant community of dancers, actors and artists? You never know just who you will run into while strolling along Steinway Street, 30th Avenue, Broadway, or Ditmars Blvd. But, rest assured, that the new friend who you make in the neighborhood will be very interesting and well worth getting to know.  It appears as though the creative muse is everywhere one goes.

One such "person of interest" is none other than artist KAITLYN SATHER, a multi-talented ceramic artist and the founder of the brand KAITLYN'S GOOD.  A relative newcomer to the nabe, Kaitlyn first discovered the joys of Astoria about six years ago when she started visiting her sister, who had just moved in. After searching high and low for suitable digs, Kaitlyn and her life partner finally made the move to Astoria one year ago and she hasn't looked back since. This is where Kaitlyn was meant to be.  Kaitlyn and her boyfriend adore everything about the area, particularly the strong sense of community, the serenity of the tree-lined streets and, of course, the artistic vibe that we spoke about earlier in the article. Kaitlyn feels that living here has made her a better artist in so many different ways. And, she's not shy about sharing her opinions on this.

"I think that I'm most influenced by the local environment in that the strong sense of togetherness, that small-town sense of community, has encouraged me to break out of my comfort zone as an artist. It motivates me to get out and connect with other residents who are also building a small business or are artists themselves. It's really exciting to live in a place that is so supportive of creative work."

Like everyone else who lives or visits Astoria, Kaitlyn has been thoroughly seduced by the diverse and delicious foodie scene. One of the artist's favorite places to hang out and relax with her boyfriend is SUNSHINE CAFE, which is located on 21st Street, quite close to Astoria Park. Within a couple of visits, Sunshine Cafe quickly became our Artist In The Spotlight's go-to breakfast spot.  " My partner and I go there for the very best egg sandwich you will ever have. You'll find us at Sunshine Cafe most weekday mornings. The owner Maria makes a delectable, garlicky egg sandwich as well as natural juice drinks that have helped heal my Winter colds and amazing steaming hot Turkish coffee that has to be tasted to be believed. " According to Kaitlyn, that cup of java is the ultimate wake-up call. However, Kaitlyn feels that the BEST thing about the place is Maria herself.  Kaitlyn told Aplez.com that the cafe is worth visiting just to spend time with the owner. She's that sweet and delightful.

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Kaitlyn's journey in life and path to becoming an artist started in the suburbs of Long Island, where she grew up in a two-family home together with her sister, mom, dad and grandparents. To say that the Sather family was tight-knit would be more than accurate. Grandpa Ace was an artist of considerable merit and he acted as sort of an unofficial mentor to his granddaughter who had been interested in art ever since she could remember.  " Granddad did everything he could to encourage my interest in painting and art in general", recalled Kaitlyn.  " We would sit at the dining room table in the morning, before I went off to school, and practice different drawing techniques. I think of him in most things that I do and with every little win. On top of being a great artist, he was also a wonderful maker and would be so engaged in helping us kids with our school projects, birdhouses; that sort of thing. I think that he would appreciate the ceramic art that I create now. "

Although Kaitlyn attended FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and studied painting and sculpture, she is mostly self-taught when it comes to her preferred medium of artistic expression, CERAMICS. " I think that I was drawn to ceramics and working with clay specifically because I wanted a reprieve from formal education." And she just wanted to get her hands dirty, as it were.

The majority of Kaitlyn's creations are pieces that are made with both earthenware and stoneware clay. Her dinnerware items have been filled with a food-safe glaze. Her work has a feel-good, whimsical vibe to it with past works ranging from a vase decorated with swans and a toadstool fairy cottage to a mushroom and forest-decorated cup and a bird feeder adorned with colorful butterflies. Also available are some very useful mortar and pestle sets for all of you home cooks and professional chefs out there in the Aplez.com universe. Kaitlyn's works will certainly enhance the ambiance of your apartment or office. They will get the conversation going, with most admirers wanting to know " Where did you get that?" Enough said!

Kaitlyn took some time during our chat to explain just why clay means so much to her as an artist and maker. "Clay is such a hands-on, all-in medium". It is fickle and sensitive and demands lots of attention to detail if you want things to work out the way that they exist in your head. At the same time, clay can also be a tough medium and yields results that can be durable and delicate. Clay is also a totally enjoyable sensory experience. I love to garden and having my hands dirty with clay inspires a joy similar to planting and working with soil. It's hard to scroll mindlessly on your phone when one's fingers are caked with dusty clay. Other than that, what I love most right now is creating little worlds as an artist and clay is my favorite way to see those worlds and characters brought to life."

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Kaitlyn's Good has been in business for around four years and the story behind the name and how the business started up is just as intriguing as Kaitlyn the person. " It all started as me simply committing to a silly social media handle in the pursuit of posting the art that I suddenly found myself making, to pass the time, during the pandemic. Originally, when I coined Kaitlyn's Good, it was meant to be more tongue-in-cheek, because the pandemic was really affecting me emotionally and I was feeling very much NOT GOOD.  Today, I'm happy to say that it has taken on a much softer, happier meaning because life feels authentically better than it did back then. I also get a kick that my brand name inspires a ton of funny comments from confused folks like " Did you mean Kaitlyn's goods ?" or " Kaitlyn's Good? Well, that's a very cocky, self-confident thing to say about yourself."

When you purchase one ( or more ) of Kaitlyn's well-appointed ceramic products she wants you to simply feel good about the whole experience. " When people engage with my work, I hope that what they feel is a sense of wonder and softness or silliness. I hope that my art reminds them of a good memory or great feeling from their own life. As far as new products go, I update my online shop in small batches on a rotating basis. The best way to keep up with my newer stuff is via my mailing list or INSTAGRAM @kaitlynsgood."   Check out her website at www.kaitlynsgood.com or you may email the artist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Kaitlyn is open to doing commissions so why not get in touch with her if you've got something specific in mind? 

In addition to her crafting, Kaitlyn is also the founder and host of CERAMIC CLUB, which is a series of ceramic-themed workshops held at various venues throughout the Big Apple. If you've ever wondered if you have what it takes to be a ceramic artist, now is your chance to find out in a fun, non-judgemental atmosphere. There's no way that you won't leave one of Kaitlyn's workshops without a huge smile on your face, feeling proud that you made something cool.

 " Ceramic Club is kind of my grassroots way of encouraging people to hang out and get them to see how awesome it is to make stuff. These workshops happen by collaborating with other businesses that are interested in bringing art to their clientele. Sometimes the event takes place outdoors; other times there's food and drinks and a little party. The energy of the people who sign up sort of dictates the vibe of each event. But the commonality is that we make something with clay. Hopefully, my guests will fall in love with clay as a means of artistic expression but, if not, at least they will come away wanting to set aside time in their life to do creative things, regardless of the modality ."  Recently, Kaitlyn has held meetings of the Ceramics Club at venues such as OUR HOUSE QUEENS and FERN BOTANICA, which is a floral design studio in Astoria.

Kaitlyn believes that art can be a powerful tool for healing one's emotions as well as stress and anxiety-based issues. The artist learned this first-hand very early on in life and wants to share her experiences with others. " I grew up as a pretty anxious child and continue to struggle with anxiety as an adult, " explained Kaitlyn. " I know that lots of people will relate to this with the world being so overstimulating at times. Long before I was able to fully understand what I was doing, I was self-soothing my feelings of anxiety away by staying up at night drawing and making art when I felt sad. As I got older and more cognizant, I began to recognize that there was a strong connection between feeling safe and grounded when engaging with art. "

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Later on in life, Kaitlyn worked with an art therapist and that opened many doors for her including working with the senior community as well as older folks who had dementia. As an arts specialist, Kaitlyn observed the joy and purpose that being creative brought to people's lives. " I don't think that I ever specifically saw myself teaching. Originally, my goal was always to be able to maintain my art practice through whatever professional goals I had. However, after working at the senior center, I realized that working with vulnerable people one-on-one and in small groups was rewarding. I've been lucky to continue to find very wonderful spaces filled with great people. "

One of the more fun questions that we here at Aplez.com like to ask our artists is WHO would they invite if they were hosting a small dinner party at their apartment. Kaitlyn didn't take much time at all to inform us who her guests would be. " The top two guests would have to be Grandma Sarah and Grandpa Ace because they're also going to be cooking their famous Sunday dinner of pasta and meatballs that I have been so missing. Next would be poet Mary Oliver, Beatrix Potter and Frida Khalo. And Taylor Swift, too, if she can fit us into her touring schedule, " added Kaitlyn with a chuckle.

We could have chatted forever, Kaitlyn was such an interesting interview. But, she had to get back to creating more ceramics so there was time for just one more question.  Aplez.com wanted to know what the artist's vision was for her brand going forward. Where did she see Kaitlyn's Good in, say five years?

"I have so many things that I want to accomplish! I would eventually love to find a permanent studio space, a home where I could host my Ceramic Club workshops. I want to spend more time on the pieces that I visualize in my head and participate in more art shows. "More than anything else, though, Kaitlyn wants to continue to lift others' spirits through her art.

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Tuesday, 16 July 2024