Artist Spotlight #80: Kristen Cowell

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Q: Hello Kristen! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

A: I am a self-taught artist and have been drawing and painting since I was a little girl. After completing high school and starting a degree in Graphic Design I decided to push myself in what I love to do by creating these abstract pieces. I have always been creative with any style of my work throughout my life and would always see myself in an artistic industry.

Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?

A: I find so much inspiration in the natural world around us, especially the ocean. I am extremely passionate for all the things it holds such as the sea life, colours, and the relaxing sensations it creates. I love to travel and follow the coastline wherever I go and try to capture the colours and emotions I absorb into my paintings.

Q: Do you have a preferred medium?

A: Each piece is unique and created with an array of acrylic paints mixed with a flow medium. Lately though I have been experimenting with a base coat of glaze type spray to create unusual patterns and outcomes within the ingredients of all the materials.

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: Some would say it’s a splattered mess others would say it’s a story. I find it really interesting when people tell me they see different objects or stories in my work, it shocked me how many unusual things I’ve heard. I especially love this style as I can create bright colourful pieces that bring energy and life into a space.

Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?

A: I really enjoy trying to express an emotional response to a place that I have visited or a photograph I have taken of a particular place. I like to represent my own energy or thoughts onto canvas and this can sometimes be a good thing or a bad thing. The colours that I feel sometimes do not mix well together and it ends up looking like a disaster but majority of the time it comes together and creates a new form of memory for me.

Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?

A: Lately I have been focusing more on my graphic design work rather than my art however I have been incorporating it into my designs which gives my work a unique look. I would hope to be working within the industry at a place that allows me to creatively express my own designs. Hopefully later down the track if I become successful I would love to start my own freelancing work or business.  

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Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be, and why?

A: This is an easy one, Megan Weston. Her art is very similar to mine however she uses resin and dyes, which is a much harder and costly process. Her work has been made popular by the TV show, The Block, and I believe she now has thousands of followers from it. When I first decided to create my art pieces I would look to her for inspiration and it also surprises me the amount of my customers who show me her work and ask for something similar. I feel privileged that people think my work is just as good and have trust and faith in me to create something alike.  

Q: What is your favourite gallery and why?

A: I wouldn’t exactly say that I have a favourite gallery, however every month there is a company called RAW Natural Born Artists that showcase local talented artists all over Australia. I was lucky enough to showcase my work in August 2015 and it was such an amazing opportunity to get my name out but also to see some of the other local talents around Adelaide. If you haven’t heard of this company before I definitely recommend looking it up and checking it out.  

Q: Where can we find more of your work (social media, personal website, current exhibitions, etc.)?

A: I have done a few exhibitions and markets stalls in the past which I would love to do again, however at the moment I am at the end of my studies and have been focusing more towards my design work and just don’t have the time. I do however have an Instagram account @artbyk.c which you should definitely follow. I do commission pieces and all of my contact details are on there so feel free to message me. If any coming stalls are to take place all information will be posted online so best to keep a look out.  

Q: Your work reminds us of summer days. Where’s the best beach in South Australia?

A: This is a tough question as there are so many beautiful beaches in South Australia. It really bothers me when people say SA is boring or there’s nothing to do here. Our beaches are so underrated and if people would get off their bums and went out exploring they would probably have a heart attack of shock. Innes National Park in Yorke Peninsula is by far one of my favourite places to visit. The coastline along there is filled with untouched beaches and crystal clear waters. It is a bit of a drive, around 3.5 hours from Adelaide, but if you ever have a couple of days spare I would say pack your tents, surfboards, and esky and head down and spend the night under the stars. There is so much to see and do down there, so many hidden rock pools, 4WD tracks to secluded beaches or walking trails. The list of activities is endless.

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