I’m baaack! Also, what a crazy year!?!

Good morning Creatives!

Quite some time has passed since I have written a blog post and so many things have happened! The world was turned upside down as a global pandemic hit us January 2020 and by April, we were all sitting at home…quarantined. It was like a midcentury, dystopian novel. We could not leave our homes aside from absolute necessities, mandated to wear masks in public and stay 6 feet from people, everything was shut down; no gym, no retail, no parks, no classes, no restaurants, no bars. The streets were desolate, curfews set in place, millions of people laid off, massive unrest, no global trade. The world came to an absolute standstill.

I was living in Charlotte, North Carolina at the time. I had always lived in the suburbs and South End was my first time living in the city, minutes from everything. The train was two blocks away and anything I wanted to do was right outside my front door. Charlotte holds a special place in my heart. As you will find out, I am writing this post from Raleigh, but will make it back to you someday, Charlotte.

Unfortunately, with the pandemic came the loss of my job in March 2020 and the universe provided me nine months of time to myself to create. There were times that it was not very easy given the state of the world, not having a job and being at home all day everyday but I tried to force myself to create something most days. I am so grateful for this time.

I have been creating since I was about four years old. In my youth, my art was very focused on painting and drawing-based media, but it has evolved and compounded over the years. In college I focused on photography and print design (and majored in it) so during those years my art became heavily photographic. My final semester in college I took a surface design studio and fell in love and my art took a turn that is still very evident today. I became so passionate about fabrics and surface design that I completed my Masters of Textiles at NC State and have been a knit product developer for the last 6 years.

Currently, my art is simply a fusion of all the years and different techniques that I have practiced and embraced.

Here’s to showing you some really cool art!


Is everyone texture obsessed?!?

The 2019 Las Vegas Winter Home Furnishings Market showcased a plethora of new trends for the coming years. A major trend, both visual and tactile, gracing many showrooms at market was the use of texture. Several showrooms across all product categories featured some component of texture within their merchandise line. Let’s take a look.

Major Textural Trend 1: Tailoring as a textural element

A big trend in the furniture realm currently is the use of quilting on the textiles applied to the furniture piece. Largely the fabrics being quilted are plain, solid colors – with an emphasis on pile fabrics – that showcase the stitch lines of the quilting driving them into the spotlight as the star of the show. The stitch lines further go on and create an overall texture to the piece. Tufting is another use of tailoring as a textural element widely shown at market. 

Solid colors took center stage as the emphasis was focused more on the tailoring and fit of the pieces rather than the aesthetics of the fabric prints.

An interesting display of tailoring as a design element is the large presence of multidirectional quilting applied to solid color textiles. The most intriguing element of quilting and/or tufting a solid fabric is the depth and interest it creates; it takes a solid fabric and breathes a new life into it elevating the overall appearance. 

Decorative pillows also showcased a heavy use of quilting – and pleating – as a design element to imply texture.

Major Textural Trend 2: All things metallic

Texture also graced the soft goods and accessories showrooms at market. Going beyond the basic texture of the cloth to a more visual than tactile bid is the use of metallic applications. Foiling and screen-printing metallics on soft goods were highly present at market. Reflective foiling juxtaposed with soft or fuzzy textiles creates a visual contradiction creating depth and interest. We have seen the resurgence of metallics over the past few markets but with this winter market most all showrooms embraced some element of metal as a textural component. 

Metallics, in general, are also a major blanketing trend in the marketplace so I will be focusing an entire blog post on bling in the home soon so keep your eyes peeled!

Major Textural Trend 3: Bring on the pile!

Pile fabrics are in; there is no doubt about that! Everywhere you look you see pile fabrics featured. Most are void of any print or design which requires the fabric to really take center stage. The pile heights of the fabrics ranged from low pile height like velvets to shaggy long fibers like flokatis. Bedding fabrics and accessories seemed to focus more on longer plush looking fibers and the furniture goods really kept it clean with short pile height and solid colors to move the focus to the tailoring of the piece. 

Many people may think of velvets and pile fabrics as a thing of the past with a garish aesthetic, but velvets and pile fabrics can absolutely be presented as clean and fresh looking depending on the execution of the piece. I think everyone one can find something made of a pile fabric that really speaks to them, it is just a matter of finding that gem!

Major Textural Trend 4: Au Natural 

Wood of all kinds graced many furniture showrooms at market. The focus spread across an array of different woods with assorted grain. Woodgrain forms a design unto itself creating an overall texture with a lot of movement.  In addition to many varieties of wood, there were a lot of bamboo and wicker embellishments and products as well.

Within the product offerings in furniture showrooms, an underlying theme seemed to be an exposed, almost skeletal, framework on many pieces. This exposed framework focuses more on the design of the wood or metal structure that built it than a textile laid over it.

In the accessories realm, there was a large presence of wood in addition to stone and marble creating texture due to their inherent properties.

A look inside my creative thoughts

With a long reaching art background I have experimented with nearly every technique under the sun which has led me to my recent creations. As long as I can remember I have been making art but in recent years my creating has become heavily computer oriented. In addition to designing fabrics during the day, I am a freelance designer on the side so I am constantly at a computer and sometimes just need to step away.

With a desire to get back to the physical drawing board and make use of my amazing pens, pencils, markers, and other art supplies I have begun collaging a lot lately. The collages contain an abundance of elements including fabric scans, newsprint, magazine clippings, wrapping paper scraps, pen and ink drawings, and paintings, to name a few. I have quite the obsession with texture and layering so bring on everything that creates more depth and interest! 

Once I have reached a stopping point with the hand done part of my creations I digitize them for further manipulation. The added computer portion really elevates the mixed media pieces to another level. With the use of the computer, I can dig into my endless library of scanned imagery to enhance the artwork. I scan everything I find interesting from the wood grain of tree bark to dye covered towels and magnified fabric structures. 

The featured imagery was created using the same base collage as a springboard. Some have been merged with other complete collages and some are combined with scans of my fluid art pieces. I hope you enjoy all of the color and texture!

Hand created mixed media collage using newsprint, micron pen, sharpie, magazine clippings, and tissue paper scraps. This is the first step to my mixed media creations

Let’s take a look at some of today’s creations!

For more where that came from, check out more of work on:




Trendspotting: Las Vegas Furniture Market – LVMKT 2019

Hi Creatives!

How are you? I apologize for the delay in posts that I promised as my last day at Las Vegas Market I came down with the flu! I returned to my room to relax for a little while and within an hour I was in the bed under all the covers with the heat set at 76 and it was about 65 degrees outside! That said, I missed my final night at market, client dinners and the overbooked flight was pretty crappy as I was flying all the way back across the US to my home state of North Carolina.

Anyways, I am going to go into a synopsis of common trends I spotted throughout market and pick out some main bullet points and photographs visually detailing said bullet points. I will follow this post with individual posts going more in depth about each specific trend that you will be seeing in the coming years. Let’s begin!



Texture (implied or real): Texture was everywhere this market; Every showroom I entered embraced some element of texture throughout their product lines. Texture was also portrayed differently across varying product categories from hardware to soft goods. Man-made and natural textures inundated the marketplace



Metal (metallic yarn/foiling/metal as a material): This seems to be the year/time of all things metal. As I have attended LVMKT and HPMKT in the past and have been seeing a resurgence of metal or metallic elements throughout home furnishings and décor, this market highlighted metal in almost every showroom. The star of the show has recently been gold and silver but copper and rose gold are making their way into many places as well. Metals are being used as the focus of designs as well as embellishments. Adding the element of metal to soft goods creates an interesting juxtaposition of soft and plush with hard and reflective creating more interest; A visual contradiction.



Depth & Relief: A large trend I noticed was also depth. Whether implied or actual depth, many product categories highlighted this trend. Adding the element of depth (implied or actual) creates intrigue in products as it gives the illusion of layers and a perceived dimensionality on a flat plane. How is depth communicated?



Linear designs span the entire market. There is an emphasis on line and the structural quality line conveys. Within this trend are strong, heavy, even weight linear designs as well as uneven, almost textural, web-like line qualities. Strong geometrics; crystallographic; balanced designs




Nature and the natural: Another trend inundating the marketplace is the use of nature and the natural. The use of real natural materials was apparent across all product categories. In addition to actual natural materials or elements, ie. Wood, bamboo, wicker, stone, copper, fur and hide, there was heavy use of design elements that refer to nature and nature materials. (ex: wood grain quilted leather furniture; digitally printed malachite textures)


Check out some more #lvmkt #trends and #design on my Instagram:



Also if you’d like to see some of my design work please check out:



VIVA Las Vegas Market!!

#lvmkt #lasvegasmarket #lvmkt2019 #homefurnishings #kathleenkelly #kathleenkellycreates #kathleenkellycreative #trendresearch


As I may have mentioned before I am building an empire. I believe people in my life may think that I am delusional when I say this but I know deep down (and always have) that I was put on this earth to do great things. As a child, and ever since, I have always said that I will be famous; people will know the name Kathleen Kelly. In my youth, I was not quite sure what this meant but as I grew, gained knowledge and began to recognize my talents and abilities, I realized that it was through these talents that I would become a household name. I feel it in my gut and know it will come to fruition regardless of how long it takes.

Most people think of fame as a movie star or pro athlete but my calling to fame is different. Exactly what I mean when I say I will become famous is this; my designs will eventually grace the surface of all kinds of products. My aesthetic is quite unique and I believe will bring a lot of joy to peoples lives. I simply strive to make the world a more colorful and exciting place through the creation of my designs. My art can be applied to myriad products from home decor, textiles and stationary to accessories, footwear and apparel.

All that said, I am currently en route, amongst the clouds, to Las Vegas Furniture Market, one of my favorite places in the world!! I have always had a passion for art but also for everything related to the home. At five years old I was going to fabric stores with my mom, helping her pick out fabrics for new projects. A love for art, fabric and home furnishings courses through my veins.

I am fortunate that my day job affords me the ability to attend such amazing trade shows. It is awesome to be one of the first to see what the upcoming colors and trends are in industry for the coming years.

LVMKT, as us industry folks refer to it, is held amongst three fifteen story buildings and four open air tents. There are 45 floors of everything home furnishings in addition to outlying showrooms and temporary tent spaces for your very need! It is THE one stop shop for anything you need to create your perfect space, whether an office, bedroom, studio or kitchen!

Having minored in photography and pursued a photographic career for four years subsequent to school, I love to take pictures and truly take thousands while at market. My time will be very limited as I have many client meetings and engagements but I will try and post at least a small sneak peek while at market. Once I return home to NC Thursday, I will post a few posts, mostly photographic, of all of the colors and trends that I spotted while at market.

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend and I’ll see you on the flip side!

Get creative!!



Sneak peek! #lvmkt #trends

Hey there everyone!!

I hope this post finds you well on this sunny Monday morning! My apologies for the delay in posting as I got the flu my last day in Las Vegas for the Furniture market which put me down and out for days! Beginning to feel good enough to give you a sneak peek of what is to come this week!

Market came with many new trends in regards to color, design and material that I will discuss throughout the week but as for right now, here are some fun highlights!!

Welcome to Las Vegas Furniture Market, Creatives!! One of my most favorite places ever! #lvmkt

Soft goods bling!! Metallics and sparkles!

There is a lot of natural raw wood based materials everywhere

More global inspired awesomeness #homedecor #lvmkt

Mid century. Enough said.

Global inspired texture and textiles all over #lvmkt

Metallics everywhere! #blackandgold

That steampunk romance feeling that Nick Alain exudes

There are navy pile fabrics everywhere. A popular color combination I’ve seen around market is navy and an avocado or mustard pairing.



The coolest illustration technique, part deux

My initial intention when I began this blog was to write once or twice a week but I am now concluding that there will be ebbs and flows. Hoping to post at least twice a week, yet I can feel that sometimes it may be many times a week instead! I guess I have a lot to say which if you met me you would know, I never shut up. That said, I figured since I introduced you to graphic translations the other day, I would show you a larger collection of my illustrations. 

My very first graphic translation was Jimi Hendrix and to this day still remains my favorite. There is an obvious theme that runs through my illustrations; they are all rock and roll stars from the good old days which I am sad to say I was not here to experience. To me, like many others, the peak of music was between the 1950s and 1970s with some good stuff in the 80s. If I could travel to another time in history it would absolutely be to that era. To have been able to see all the legends in their heyday would have been the most amazing thing ever! Not saying I haven’t seen any of the greats but just to have experienced it when it was new and fresh would have been phenomenal. Music has always been a big part of my life (played piano for ten years) and as soon as I could go to live music it has been my favorite pastime. On my downtime, you will most likely find me at some sort of concert clearing a ten-foot radius, dancing away, moved by the music. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s look at some cool stuff!


Jimi Hendrix & Janis Joplin



John Lennon & The Beatles



Neil Young & Jim Morrison




Talk to you soon!

Happy Creating!


#kathleenkellycreates #kathleenkellycreative #illustration

Who loves texture and color?!

As I sit here listening to my Buffalo Springfield vinyl, I began to think about the recent mixed media pieces that I have been working on. My artistic journey has taken me on a windy path where I have experimented with almost every technique from drawing and painting to hand dying fabrics for fiber art and developing sandwiched negative prints in the darkroom. My design degree, and the years working thereafter afforded me a wealth of knowledge when it came to digital art and manipulation. Furthermore, I retouched photography for four years which gave me ample time to hone my skills. These skills have led me to create some really interesting creations. 

After receiving my master of textiles, I began working as a knit fabric designer for the bedding industry which is what I do to date. Having pursued technical textile design as my career path, for now, I have been exploring a new mixed media realm that I am pumped about! I work closely with fabric structures and technical knit design daily so naturally, it will show up in my creative work. 

Another obsession of mine is texture; I am not a fan of flat color. Recently I have become enamored with the interest created when magnifying a fabric structure. I scan everything under the sun including different fabrics and have really begun to incorporate them into my artwork. My process begins with building a handmade collage and scanning it, once complete, for further digital manipulation and layering.

I hope you enjoy what you see! Please feel free to let me know what you think. I love feedback!

Now, on to the good stuff!!  


Both of these prints began with the same handmade mixed media collage featuring pen and ink, magazine clippings, newsprint, and metallic ink. Once digitized, I merged them artwork with varying colors, fabric structures, and other visual elements to achieve two different looks.


These prints were created using different base collages in addition to opposing color palettes. This is a good example of where I combine my handmade collage with magnified fabric structures. Notice the depth and tactility created on a flat plane by implementing fabric texture.

There is always more where that came from but for now, I am going to be on my way.

Talk to you soon!

Happy Creating!




The Coolest Illustration Technique


© January 2019, Neil Young Illustration

While I was in undergrad my curriculum included, among various studio art classes, an illustration studio. Having taken countless art classes since childhood, most heavily rooted in drawing, I was very intrigued by taking illustration. This course would be a way to practice the skills that I gained in drawing class and apply them to varying illustration methods for a completely different result. Of the myriad techniques we learned, the one that really resonated with me was the ‘graphic translation’.

A graphic translation is the process of taking a grayscale image and creating a graphic out of it; think of a stamp or a stencil where there are only two colors. The technique may seem easy, but the challenge is finding that sweet spot in the range of grays where you place your black and white divide. In a grayscale image, you have what seems like an endless range of grays creating the area between your 100 percent black and white. The most challenging, and at times frustrating, part of mastering this method is finding the perfect point at which you place your divide. You must find ONE SINGULAR line where there used to be a gradient of ‘color’ to create the movement between blacks and whites. The crazy thing is that you can miss or screw up a tiny part of the design and it can ruin the entire thing making it look nothing like what you intended. The even crazier part is that you do not find this out until you are completely finished with your design.

When creating your graphic, you begin with a line drawing of what you believe will best represent or convey your subject. Once you have completed the line drawing, you fill it in with black marker. Here is a little guide to my process.

Steps to creating a graphic translation:

  1. Print out your grayscale image
  2. Looking closely at your image create your drawing using pencil first
  3. Once you have completed your line work, trace the pencil lines with your thin marker
  4. Fill in the areas that should be black with your larger black marker
    (TIP: When filling in your solid black areas make sure you stay a tiny bit inside your pen line as most markers bleed a hair which can make your beautiful line work look fuzzy. Once you have used your pen of choice, you will get a feel for how much they bleed so you can adjust accordingly)
  5. Voila! This is it: Moment of truth. You can now (FINALLY!!) determine whether you translated it correctly. Bravo, if so… Better luck next time, if not!

Honestly, you have good ones and you have bad ones, it is all part of the process. My very first graphic translation ever, Jimi Hendrix, was ON POINT and AMAZING and many thereafter (Cue the overwhelming feelings of confidence). Then I get to Bob Marley, an iconic image of him signing and it bombed; it looked like some random dude with dreads yelling! The crazy thing, too, is that everything is exactly how it needs to be except for something on his face in the nasal area and that one tiny detail took the image from iconic Bob Marley to some dude yelling. It is funny, and tragic, to get all the way through and this happens but it happens to the best of us. My advice is to stick with it because for all the duds, I have created ten or more good ones.

I will go ahead and list the supplies that I like to use but please use whatever brand of supplies you prefer. And honestly, if you only have access to a thin and regular weight black sharpie that works just as well!

Good luck trying this technique if you do and let me know how it goes.
Until we meet again…Get Creative!!


Favorite Supplies for this project:

Strathmore Britol Paper https://www.strathmoreartist.com/draw-bristol/id-300-series-bristol.html
Prismacolor Marker https://www.prismacolor.com/markers
Micron Pens https://sakuraofamerica.com/pen-archival