Kim Krans is The Wild Unknown.
The artist first discovered her life’s passion at fifteen years old, when she came under the tutelage of an at once disciplined and enlightened art teacher, who taught her to infuse her drawings with potent energy and mystery.
It was not until years later, though—after studying art at Cooper Union and Hunter college, then showing at galleries and playing in bands in New York City—that she realized she needed to find fulfillment within.
She left the city and, thanks in part to an inspirational yoga teacher, began to find her true path through self-reflection. During this period of transformation, she started creating children’s books, meditating and, ultimately, drawing The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck (which led to a now expansive creative endeavor).
Here, Krans explains why self-knowledge is the key to contentment:
Live The Process: What role did art play in your formative years?
Kim Krans: I’ve had a dedicated drawing practice since I was fifteen. It included an hour of figure drawing every weekday, after lunch! My drawing teacher back then was a like a artist-samurai-spiritual-warrior-woman. She was fierce and disciplined, and yet remained creative, mysterious and light. I worked with her for three years and her influence on me is beyond measure.
LTP: At a pivotal point in your journey, you mention feeling unfulfilled despite what should have been a full life. In retrospect, what was missing?
KK: What was missing was that I did not really know myself. I was looking to others—through reviews, sales and feedback—to tell me about who I was and what I should do. This is an ailment that plagues many of us, especially those in the arts, fashion and, ironically, yoga. It’s a huge deal. Our happiness hinges on us knowing ourselves.
LTP: What finally led you to create The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck?
KK: After living in NYC for thirteen years, without much extra time or space for creation, I left the city. About two weeks after my departure, living in a renovated church in Philadelphia, I started drawing The Wild Unknown Tarot. I attribute the energy and success of the deck in many way to that period in my life. It was all about reflection, contemplation, leaving who I thought I was behind and finding the future within myself.
LTP: What comprises your personal wellness routine?
KK: I didn’t discover the concept of self-care until I was about thirty, so I spend a lot of time now making up for those earlier years. To me, pranayama (or yogic breathing) is really where it’s at—that’s the direct line to healing.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
KK: Knowing yourself.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that every day?
KK: It sounds to me like continuing to grow. And learn. To keep asking questions, even if they remain unanswered for our whole lives. You have to ask, and wonder. Keep the awe alive.