We sat down with celebrated artist Kristi Kohut to get to know a bit about her process and what inspires her inside and outside the studio. Kristi, a mixed-media artist and designer draws from nature’s colorful palette, often using a combination of watercolor, pastels, ink, acrylic, and glass beads in her work. The Chicago artist was recently named one of “7 next-big-thing artists” by Elle Decor, and has been lauded in such publications as Domino and Lonny.
When I am creating, I am in the flow, following my bliss.
Kristi’s artist statement:
When I am creating, I am in the flow, following my bliss. Every since I was a little girl, art has been my passion. Every piece I make is born from a whole lot of joy, peace, sweat, grit, hundreds of hours of trial and error, play, fear, doubt, grace, faith, strength and a relentless love of creating. There is a voice inside of me that pushes through the fear and doubt and says to just create. I must create. I have to create. And when I do, it fills me with so much happiness. I know it is my calling. I hope that it can somehow inspire you to find and follow yours.
I am inspired by:
There is magic and mystery all around us. Beauty everywhere. If we can just open our eyes and look. I love design and fashion and am constantly scouring blogs and photos for visual cues, what I like to call eye candy. There is beauty everywhere, in the natural world and commercial world. It could be a rock or piece of wood that I stumble upon, a crack in the sidewalk, a great book on exotic textiles, or an amazing piece of fashion…all of this feeds into my work.
My favorite creatives are:
Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, Jackson Pollock, Morris Louis, Joan Mitchell, Polly Apfelbaum, El Anatsui, Ryan McGinness, Gary Lang, Maya Hayuk, Mary Katrantzou, Kelly Wearstler, Alexander McQueen.
I would describe my process as:
My process is very intuitive. I start by feeding my head. Looking at the world around me for inspiration. From there it is an intuitive dance of play, working until I find just the right combination of color and texture. I know when it is done when it elicits a feeling inside, a zing, a ping of joy or pleasure that often only comes with that final touch or pop of color, suddenly transforming the piece.That feeling is a connection to something more, something that is not of the day-to-day routine of life. The antithesis of routine. A hint at what’s on the other side of this world.
In my studio, I can’t live without:
Glass beads. They are the finishing touch on so much of my work. I love the subtle hint of sparkle that they add when the light catches them…like snow in the warm sunlight, a drop of dew at dawn…they capture another layer of light in nature that I find so inspiring.
The three words that best describe my work:
Color. Texture. Light.
The best advice I’ve ever received as an artist:
Just do your art!