Art and Science Series: Katy Clarke

Art and Science Series: Katy Clarke

Tell us the story of your ocean love affair. (How did you first meet? When did you fall in love?
I first started surfing in elementary school. I went to aquatics camp at the Oceanside Pier. We surfed, boogie boarded, and played beach games. I never wanted to leave the beach. From that moment on I spent every minute I could at the beach. I lived in Fallbrook and would take the bus to DMJ’s on the weekends. I spent the rest of my life trying to get closer to the beach. After high school I got an AA in aviation and then attended U of Hawaii working on my bachelors in Zoology. I loved Hawaii. I would skateboard or ride my beach cruiser to the beach every chance I got to surf. From there I went to Cal poly and finished my BS and also got a minor in botany. I had no idea what to do with a science degree. I always wanted to work in the medical field but I had no direction. After graduation I began to substitute teach. I loved working with science and older kids. I found a job teaching chemistry, biology, AP environmental science, and math. I got to create my own curriculum and labs. It was so fun to let the creative juices flow. But, the real bonus was I got to teach Surf PE!! I taught for 10 years and got paid to surf every other day. It was a dream job.

What’s the hardest line of the wave to draw, figuratively or literally?
I have a hard time being visual. Lol. I can’t draw anything. What I do struggle with is paddling. I get frustrated when I see men basically paddling circles around me. I really need to get in proper paddle shape this summer!

Introduce yourself, what is your science or art?
I love all science. I have taught anatomy, forensics, biology, marine biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, etc. Teaching for 10 years at a small school meant teaching 6 different science classes every day. I loved it because I was constantly learning new things and keeping it all fresh in my mind. Every class I taught, I was coming up with new ideas for labs or a new way to present the materials. Basically, I love nature and I love learning.

How do you incorporate science as an artist or art as a scientist?
I incorporated art into science on a daily basis. Trying to come up with creative labs and or lessons. One of my favorite labs was creating natural dyes from different plants and creating tie dye designs.

What’s the hardest part of being an artist/scientist for you?
The hardest part of being a scientist for me is realizing that I am still not in the medical field. I have taught many student who also found a love for science and ended up in the medical field, but hopefully someday I can truly help find a way to help people or help the earth.

What do you wish every swimsuit had or didn’t have?
I wish all swimsuits had some type of lining that could block the “headlights” when I am cold (99%of the time I am in the water haha) but didn’t stay wet like all the pads in current bathing suits.

What makes you feel sexy?
I have toddler who just turned 3. I haven’t felt sexy in a while lol. I guess I feel sexy after I have had a great surf and a smile on my face. Who doesn’t love someone who looks happy?!

Do you have any mantras that bring you up when you’ve reached a road block or when you’re feeling down?
Keep my eyes and my mind open. This helps me remember the gifts that I do have and how lucky I am. It also helps me remember that others might also be suffering.


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