We wanted to take a moment this week to introduce you to one of our makers Kell Kitsch.
Kell creates the most magical characters & stories, turning them into prints & zines to help you escape everyday life. Inspired by books such as Nausicaa Valley of the Wind (manga), Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan and music such as J-pop, funk and east Asian soul Kell has a wonderful imagination that shines through in her art. Read on to get to know Kell a little better.
Tell us about what you do Kell!
I create primarily illustration work, I draw these particular characters & landscapes because I identify with them, wanderers who seek solidity, escaping the chaos in the world to enjoy the beauty of nature and quiet surrounds.
My process varies from each illustration. I’m still experimenting with different mediums to find which goes with my style best…it’s a combination of hand drawn and digital, the initial sketches are scanned onto the computer and coloured on Photoshop.
If you look back at my archived works on social media, you’ll see how much my art has changed in the last year or so. That is from creating art almost every day for at least 4hrs a day. I’m that motivated haha.
Another technique that I like to use to inspire creativity is go on long walks reciting stories and acting as characters in my head. I find that walking allows the logical part of my brain to focus on the movements of walking whilst my subconscious side can run free and think of potential pieces, stories & ideas.
However when it comes to the production of my art on the computer, I am exceptionally analytical, I think very carefully about where I place certain elements of my design, the colours & compositions.
Wow! What has motivated you to persue a career in the arts?
I’ve always loved to draw, ever since I was little. I remember making hand stapled comic books with my own made-up pokemon and adventure stories. However it was only until the end of high school where I actually considered pursuing art as an actual career, I had some pretty decent art teachers in highschool who really pushed for creativity in their students.
After school I went to Tafe and did a short course studying visual arts. I enjoyed it, but I changed my mind about a career in the creative arts and decided to travel whilst I made a mental plan of what I wanted to do in my life. A few years’ later, working odd non art related jobs, I moved into a creative home up in the dandenong ranges. Living a relatively easy life; making delicious foods, nurturing a veggie garden, away for the hustle and bustle of politics, crafting ceramics – I could’ve lived like this for the rest of my life. Something was missing though, I felt as if I was wasting my talents, my need to achieve something, to not regret anything – felt stronger than ever. It was then when I decided to go back and studying and make my dream of becoming an illustrator come true.
What do you think is the main inspiration behind your magical characters & illustrations?
Growing up with a Japanese mother I was lucky to have been told of a lot of Japanese folklore and fairytales. This inspired me as I grew older to look further into Japanese history, manga, Hayao Miyazaki & woodblock prints which in turn has had an influence on the creation of my art.
Why did you think in.cube8r would be a good fit for you Kell?
I chose to be represented by Incube8r as artists need to promote themselves a lot in the beginning. Wanting to make a career from the arts means you need to stand out from all the competition. The internet is over saturated with so much amazing talent, which is a great thing for inspiration, not so great when you’re all going for the same kind of jobs haha. As an artist, I needed to find other ways to get my art out there, which is where I found in.cube8r Gallery.
An in.cube8r box creates another avenue of self-promotion for artists. It is an opportunity that allows people that may not have seen your work before, in person. in.cube8r also does a great job of promoting and exhibiting their resident artists which spread the word to a wider audience. I’m very lucky to be in a fairly creative city where more people will appreciate the sort of work I and other artists do.
What are your plans for the future of your micro business?
Plans for the future…ahh well I ‘d really like to get an illustrated story published, I am working on a few ideas at the moment. I would love to illustrate an editorial piece, design textiles, create stationery products & make an animated short. I am very logical in my thinking have this very long list of short term and long term goals, I’m slowly ticking them off one by one as I get older.
I am still in the midst of my studies/ journey of self-development as an artist and haven’t quite got there yet in terms of making a career from my creativity, but I’m not giving up!
I do a few odd freelance jobs, but i have to be careful though, I’m usually super busy with uni that I can find it difficult to manage my time!
If you were to name one thing that helps you stay motivated, what would it be?
I believe being healthy is fundamental in staying focused on your goals and unleashing longer spurts of creativity. That said I put a lot of energy into making sure I get the right nutrition, nothing processed or sugar and make sure I get a lot of exercise. I play state volleyball, yoga, unicycling and hula hooping.