CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

KJ: I’d categorize my work as cute and simplistic illustration and visual design.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

KJ: Inspiration comes from my everyday life – my surroundings and personal experiences. I journal and keep multiple sketchbooks so I’m always recording things that interest me in my environment.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

KJ: I usually start with a social media source of inspiration, with Pinterest and Behance being my first go to sites. I’m a visual learner, so I usually like to see other interpretations of something before constructing my own. Then I just start sketching in my book, just to get something down on paper and move on from there!

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

KJ: I’m really just an individual trying to express myself in a world where I don’t see a ton of people that look like myself in the spaces I’m interested in. So I’m starting to create that space for myself and I’d love for you to come along for the adventure.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

KJ: It’s so relaxed now. I’m starting to rediscover myself and my creative processes. I just got out of a really toxic work situation and now that I’m creating for myself and on my own schedule, it’s been such a breath of fresh air. Being able to have more control of my life in the way that I create makes more space for me to really figure out what I want to accomplish in this life.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

KJ: A bit of both I think. I thrive off of structure, but if I have too much I start to feel constricted, so having a balance of structure and impulsivity is best.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

KJ: Do not compare yourself. In a general sense of life, in your work, in any aspect. Super cliche, but so true. Literally just be yourself because nobody else can be you.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

KJ: Yes! Your personal style and taste are definitely an expression of yourself. I like to be very cozy and comfortable at all times, and I think my personal style and taste in things reflects that.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

KJ: Those creative blocks! I’ll sometimes start overthinking and have to dig myself out of that hole by taking a break and coming back when I’m mentally ready. You just have to be patient with yourself.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

KJ: Being able to express myself how I want to! In architecture school, I had creative control over my projects, but was also pretty limited in what I could do. Now I can literally create whatever I want and I love it.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artists that inspire you in any way?

KJ: My mom, just because she’s the most incredible human I know. As far as artists are concerned, Cristina Martinez for sure. She’s amazing all around. Oh and Sunny Eckerle. I love the simplicity of her illustrations.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

KJ: I think it’s great. You can learn how to do literally anything on the internet. I’ve taught myself a lot in my own work, just watching tutorials and reading blogs. It’s an amazing resource and honestly crazy to think about how limited we were before the widespread use of search engines and social media.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

KJ: Yes and no; I think we all see things differently just because we’re all such unique beings, but I think my experience definitely makes me observe details that someone without my background wouldn’t notice.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

KJ: Yes! We traveled to a different location every semester in architecture school. I think my favorite trip was my trip to Portland and Seattle in February 2018. I miss traveling so much. I really want to go to Japan for my first “post pandemic” international trip.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

KJ: My favorite books are the Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

KJ: Yes! I’m building my shop up again and starting to participate in local arts markets in my hometown, Jacksonville, Florida.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

KJ: To me, being an artist means I’m able to express myself as naturally as possible, without any suppression or restraint from external sources. I think we’re all artists in one way or another.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

KJ: III. Urn by Childish Gambino

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

KJ: Always stay simplistic and true to yourself.

Check out more on: KAYLA NOEL JOHNSON

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