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.

Kristi Kohut painting

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.

Kristi Kohut and completed painting

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.

Kristi Kohut's completed works in living room

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!

Shop Kristi’s Paintings and Prints>>

January 20, 2016

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