So what’s with all this “Looking Up” stuff you ask?
I graduated with a BA in graphic design from Loyola University New Orleans in 2011. The guidelines for our senior thesis were short and sweet: Create a project that you can display in the class show at the end of the semester that only YOU can create. We had to present three potential ideas, then our professors helped us choose the best direction.
My professors encouraged me to create something that visually showed my unique perspective. We toyed with a poster series, an over-sized book and a video series, but I ended up writing and designing a coffee table book that was later published entitled “Looking Up: Lived, Written and Designed by Katherine Klimitas.” Looking Up chronicles my life with OI, giving insight on living with a physical disability and encouraging people to make the most of the cards they’e been dealt. It educates readers on what Osteogenesis Imperfecta actually is, and reminds them that just because someone is physically different doesn’t mean that they do not have something to give to society.
Looking Up not only demonstrates my literal perspective on life, but also the figurative one. Even though I have some major physical obstacles, I continue to keep a positive outlook and focus on all that I DO have. I have an incredible family that supports me in everything I do, and parents that push me even when I feel like quitting. I was taught the importance of hard work and actually WANT to work for everything I have, a quality that I do not see in most of the current young generation. I have three wonderful puppies that bring me joy (and sometimes frustration) every day. I have friends that I know would drop everything (and have dropped everything) and come to my rescue if I needed help. I have an artistic ability that brings other people joy and gives me something to contribute to the community.
My project was one of the most popular in my senior class’ design show. Everyone loved the short anecdotes and hilarious stories that chronicle my life, stories that I couldn’t make up if I tried. In fact, shortly thereafter I was approached by a local publisher that not only published it a few months later, but put me in touch with an editor and helped me fine tune my little class project into a real, tangible book.
If you’d like to learn more about Osteogenesis Imperfecta, know someone who needs some inspiration to truly live life, want a quick laugh, or like my face enough to put it on your coffee table, please check out my book, Looking Up, available here! Looking Up is just $10 and I’d be happy to sign it however you’d like. If this little summary alone doesn’t talk you into purchasing it, stay tuned. I’ll be posting a few excerpts in the coming weeks that will be sure to get you hooked!