Visual Female of the Month – August
– Kelly McKernan
I originally posted one of Kelly’s pieces in a rather popular post titled Under The Sea. At that stage I had only really seen pieces by Kelly that were water related, and while a lot of her work has strong nature elements, it is not always water, so I was happy to see more of her stunning work. I love how Kelly uses the combination of women and nature. I find there is certainly a higher essence to her work, as the two are not necessarily in cohesion, which I find refreshing. I am going to be a little lazy and copy some content from Kelly’s website, as I feel she has put her intentions eloquently. “Kelly’s current body of work examines the personal growth that results from internal struggle. Her ethereal women are often battling the opposing forces of natural inclination and cognitive reasoning, or they may be seen in their moment of resolution, finally understanding their strengths, weaknesses, and desires. The multi-layered settings in Kelly’s work reflect her own fascinations and discoveries as a woman with a penchant for idealism, on a journey toward self-awareness.” Ahh, brilliant, far better than I could have said it, and now you see why I had to have Kelly as this month’s Visual Female. Talented and very switched on.
Now for the interview….
How old where you when you started creating, and what inspired this?
I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember! I think that being an introvert from the start encouraged me to look to my own devices as a child and creativity came easily to me.
How long did it take for you to develop your style?
It’s hard to say. I suppose I really “found” my style in 2008 while spending a year experimenting by creating 30 works with the goal to find my voice. I don’t think it was until 2011 that I began creating consistent work that I include in my portfolio now as a part of my style.
What’s next for your art?
I’m really trying to expand the illustration side of my portfolio and have a healthy illustration career alongside my fine artist career. I’m taking a mentorship with illustrator Dan Dos Santos this fall that I’m very excited about. In the meantime, I’ll be illustrating my husband’s novel.
If you somehow hurt your vision, would you choose to wear glasses or contacts?
Oh gosh, I’m already blind. No, seriously, I have to wear rigid gas-permeable contact lenses, and even with those in my eyes, my vision is 20/30 at best. I have terrible astigmatism and amblyopia in one eye. My vision has been a lifelong struggle.
Excluding sight, what two other senses are your favourites?
Sound and touch.
5 most pleasant things to look at:
My cats, belly up, napping. Succulents. Undersea life. Early morning light. Antiques.
5 least pleasant things to look at:
Results of bad judgment. Car accidents. Blood. Moldy food. Abuse.
Who is the most inspiring woman you know and why?
Hmm. I suppose my mother-in-law. She’s wonderfully patient and forgiving. I’ve been learning a lot from her since marrying her son three years ago.
What is your favourite thing about yourself?
Oh boy. Um. I suppose it’s my ability to remember that every day is a new day. I can always count on waking up to a blank slate. If I get depressed over something, I don’t stay that way for long. I like to be productive – it makes me happy.
What is on your bedroom walls currently?
Our bedroom is where all the leftover art is relegated to, so none of it matches. There is a vintage Campari poster and too many framed Star Wars pictures, signed photos, and paraphernalia to count.
Favourite clothing / accessory / product at the moment?
I recently purchased a pair of Zelda Triforce earrings. Love them.
Favourite artist at the moment:
I’d have to saw JAW Cooper. Endlessly inspiring.
And finally, any words of advice for people stepping into the creative sector?
Don’t be discouraged by failure – every failure or mistake is an opportunity to learn and improve on your next piece/project/etc.