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!

Cheers!

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!

MMCollageBase
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:

http://www.kathleenkellycreates.com

https://www.instagram.com/kathleenkellycreative

https://www.instagram.com/kathleenkellycreates

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!

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TEXTURE

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

 

BLING

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.

 

HIGHS & LOWS

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?

 

LINES

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

 

 

NATURAL ELEMENTS

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:

@kathleenkellycreates

Instagram.com/kathleenkellycreates

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

Instagram.com/kathleenkellycreative

@kathleenkellycreative

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.

@kathleenkellycreates

@kathleenkellycreative

Who loves texture and color?!

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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!

https://www.instagram.com/kathleenkellycreative/

 

 

The Coolest Illustration Technique

IMG_7120

© 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!!

https://www.instagram.com/kathleenkellycreative/

Favorite Supplies for this project:

Strathmore Britol Paper https://www.strathmoreartist.com/draw-bristol/id-300-series-bristol.html
https://www.strathmoreartist.com/draw-bristol/400-series-bristol.html
Prismacolor Marker https://www.prismacolor.com/markers
Micron Pens https://sakuraofamerica.com/pen-archival

 

A long time coming

After years of going back and forth on whether to create a blog and whether anyone would have any interest in it, I am finally taking the leap! My main reason for wanting to begin a blog is twofold; expressing to the world my creative thoughts and visions and connecting with other creatives and like-minded individuals. Additionally, it would be a great outlet to discover what creations of mine resonate with what kinds of folks..So here goes!!

To begin I should probably start by giving you a little background on me. I am born and raised in North Carolina, one of four kids and grew up in a creative environment. My maternal grandfather became an amazing painter, thanks to Bob Ross, after retirement and as a child I was enamored by his artwork. I do not recall this anecdote, but I have been told more than a few times that during a visit to Nan and Pops house one summer on Long Island, I tried my hand at painting. Pop had been working all day on a painting and stepped out for a moment which led me to take the opportunity to ‘help him out’ a bit and add to the painting. The story goes, as you could imagine, that when he came back in to find the painting ‘helped along’, he was not a happy camper (because what artist would be?!?) but who could really be upset at their 4-year-old granddaughter trying to save you some time, right?! Never the less, my interest in art and design has been with me since the beginning. 

In addition to being exposed to portrait and landscape painting at such an early age, my mother has always had a strong interest and appreciation for the arts. Whether it is a physical piece of artwork, a gorgeous vintage fabric, a piano score, poem or live play, Mom was there to introduce us to it. At five I took up piano lessons but was not quite interested in it as all I wanted to do was play outside and create art! Once the ripe old age of nine rolled around, I decided to try my hand at piano again and fell in love. I played piano for the next decade until I went to college. During my tenure as a piano student, I also pursued tap and jazz lessons which I also continued until college. 

Once the time for college rolled around I began to ponder what to do with my life as do most teenagers do. Thinking of nothing other than following my passion, I made the decision to attend East Carolina University because they have an amazing art department. As my father likes do be the first to everything, he required my applying early (September of senior year!) and in four days I was accepted. This turned out well because for the remainder of the year I did not have to stress over where I was going to be the following fall like everyone else.

Fall 2001 rolled around and off to ECU I go! I spent a year and half in Greenville and had a wonderful time but life happens and my course rerouted. My mother, my best friend in the entire world, was diagnosed with cancer so I made the decision to come back to Raleigh to be with her. The news of my mom having cancer was a hard thing to handle. I could not imagine life without her. I moved home January of 2003 and took one semester off to help out and figure out what my next move with school would be. While working full-time and helping mom I realized that I did not want to leave her so I would have to attend college in Raleigh. My options were a community college, Peace College, Meredith or NC State. I applied to the design school at NC State and unfortunately was not accepted..big blow. The following three semesters I took classes at the local community college and decided to apply to Meredith College, a private, all women’s school in Raleigh. 

Once I completed my bachelor of graphic design with a minor in photography I held a position as the sole designer and assistant photographer at an upscale photography studio. I spent just under four years there and learned so much in the ways of business, entrepreneurship, photography and design. 

My exit from the photo studio was due to my being accepted to NC State College of Textiles to pursue my masters. With a lifelong love of fabric, I began my degree at the College of Textiles, rendering one of the best decisions I’ever made. While at NC State I gained a wealth of knowledge, insight and creative ability.

Since graduation I pursued a position as a knit product designer and developer for the bedding industry where I create three layer knitted fabrics for top of bed, specifically mattresses. I bet you  have never heard of that job, eh?? Someone who design fabrics for mattresses?? Ha, nor had I but someones gotta do it, right?! It was a funny thing, an individual obsessed with color, pattern and texture ending up designing for mostly white fabrics! It has been an interesting and challenging road as the position is very much so a technical knit designer and my brain, at its core, is every bit creative and not technical.

So having tried to par down my entire life into a couple of pages and blabbed your heads off I’ll be on my way for now. I think that provided some good insight into who I am. There will be plenty more where that came from. 

Talk to you soon!

Kathleen

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”  So GET CREATIVE!!             – George Bernard Shaw (and me)

PS: This is a creative blog which it does not seem like with the lack of imagery today but do not fear, there will be plenty of color, texture and pattern soon!!