Creative Expression Through Color – Q&A w/ Katy Wallner of Hot Mess Studios

Creative Expression Through Color – Q&A w/ Katy Wallner of Hot Mess Studios

“You don’t need to have a passion for art or be an artist to come to Hot Mess Studios! We offer many different activities in all price ranges that fit your needs! Come on in and don’t be afraid to make a little mess! It’s ok with us!! we encourage it!” – Katy Wallner

Can you tell our readers what Hot Mess Studios is?
Hot Mess Studios is a room for both artists and not-artists to come in to a private and safe space to toss, fling, drip and spill paint however you would like without consequence (well mostly we have a few rules of course!)

What inspired you to open your Hot Mess Studios?
Hot Mess has a negative connotation to it much like mental health stigma . For us using the term Hot Mess is taking away the judgment on the challenge you may face, owning and admitting this task  is going to be a lot harder for me than most,  but I’m gonna find a way to make it work and I love myself for it regardless of what someone else may think .

This I feel relates to the art techniques we use at the studio. Some  might look at your piece as a mess but you remember the process it took to create it and the freeness you felt by not judging it and that is beautiful!.

What options do you have for people when they book a session?
We have an individual rate starting at $25 per person, a group rating that starts at $45 for up to 4 people, in-house party and event packages and of course our blacklight upgrade is available with any session.
We also have a mobile version for parties and events called Hot Mess Express! All booking and details can be found on or following the facebook page that has the link that will direct you right to the page! If all else fails just call or text us 262-205-4439.

Can you tell us about Creatives for Community?
Yes. It is a no fee artist/crafter collective where all of us give back to the community, whether it’s sharing a percent of sales on the website to an organization in need, or other supportive efforts. This year, we will be hosting the Creatives for Community Fall Fest! A hats and gloves drive at Fusion, 5014 Seventh Ave., while selling our arts and crafts!  The donated Hats and gloves will be shared with public transit riders who may need it while waiting around for the bus this winter.

What can you tell us about some of your pop-up events you’ve been doing as well? 
As with other businesses in the community, we are happy to share what we have to offer at local events to build relationships and connect with Kenosha. Many times we bring along the mini or giant spin-art machines. We also have private event and party options – the Hot Mess Express! Which is basically everything offered in the studio that we bring to you! You just need a space for a 10×10 setup and we will do the rest!

Where do you see Hot Mess Studios in five years?
I see Hot Mess studios expanding into a warehouse setting with more space for getting messy, and a private event room. I would like to see space for DIY workshops and a mini pop-up stores to support local artists/crafters to have an outlet to sell their items and connect with the community. I would also love to see our Hot Mess Express mobile version expand into its own shuttle bus for private parties and community events.

What do you love about having a business in Downtown Kenosha?
I love the fact that being a woman of ethnicity adds to the diversity of Downtown as we try to unify and strengthen our community.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working at the studio?
I’m either out hiking around on day trips, binging on Netflix, finding new activities to do with my son, or hanging out at our local nonprofit music and arts organizations for the open mics and jams.

You have created a fun space where anyone can become an artist, can you explain the feeling you see the customers gets when they are all done creating splatter art? 
With the customers, I can see how proud they are with themselves that they took on the experience and created something that is beautiful and unique, everyone leaves with a smile saying it was a surprising stress relief. I feel excited that I created a space for people to find other ways to be proud of themselves

How did you come up with the name Hot Mess Studios? 
Well the term Hot Mess has a negative connotation in a mental health way. For me, using the term Hot Mess is taking away the judgments or the challenges you may face, owning and admitting the task might be difficult, but we are gonna find a way to make it work and to see how you’ve grown and love yourself for it.
I honestly feel this relates to the art techniques we use at the studio, you look at your piece as a mess but remember the process it took to create it and the freeness you felt by not judging it during that moment – that is beautiful!

Can you tell us about some of the community work you’ve been involved with?
I’ve done many volunteer efforts with local non-profits in the area including Grace Welcome Center’s Freezin’ for a Reason event, working with Arnetta Griffin, founder of Gods Kitchen.
I started the effort of providing hats/gloves on public transit last year and we are doing it again this year.
Creatives for Community continues to expand thanks to the wonderful local artists and crafters who give back!  There were times when I needed some of these groups for a little help, and now I am all-in for giving back our community.

Hot Mess Studios
624 57th Street
Book your session here

Q&A and photos by Donny Stancato
Edited by Jason Hedman
(This Q&A first appeared in the Downtown Kenosha Magazine Vol.14 Issue 3 2201)
Follow the Downtown Kenosha Magazine on Facebook HERE
See more great Downtown Kenosha articles Here