In this Artist Spotlight edition, we’re featuring a multi-talented artist. She wears many hats and practices a couple different artistic endeavors. I was first drawn to the beautiful composition of her images on Instagram (she’s a photographer), but then I noticed her fine art (she’s also a painter)! It’s really difficult to decide which medium of her artwork I prefer. Long story short… she’s really talented on many different levels. Allow me to introduce Kelli Kroneberger!
One thing I really love about Kelli’s process is the fact that she visualizes how a painting will look installed, in an actual room. I’m guessing her background in photography leads her to work in this manner- with the intent to place a piece of artwork in a specific space, where it has a since of belonging and feels cohesive. In fact, if you’re looking for artwork that uses a certain color palette, her custom commission process is the way to go. She prefers clients to send images of the space, the preferred color palette, and even hues they dislike.
Let’s jump right into the interview…
S: Since you work in both photography and painting, would you consider yourself to be more focused on one or another? Which do you enjoy most?
K: There are seasons when painting is busier than photography and vice versa so I’m able to set aside time to focus on both and do them well. My first love at a young age was painting, and I continue to love it. But there is also a fulfillment that I get with photography because while they are both creative, I get to use very different parts of my creative brain, which keeps me on my toes and always getting better.
S: How did your artistic career begin? Are you formally trained?
K: It sounds cliche, but I knew I wanted to be an artist from the age of 12. I also knew I wanted to own my own business at that age. So to find that I can own a business while being an artist is a huge blessing that doesn’t happen to a lot of people. I took painting and photography classes in high school and college, but I found the best training was with workshops from painters and photographers that were actually making a living at what they do. So yes, I do have some training, but I’d say the most beneficial training has been been hands on experience over the last 8-9 years of doing this professionally.
S: Where do you seek inspiration on a regular basis?
K: I’d like to say a really fancy answer, but the real answer is by living a simple and honest life and being around genuine people. We live in a world full of distraction, and when I’m distracted it’s impossible for me to find true inspiration. Of course I browse pinterest and instagram for a quick visual fix, but the best inspiration comes when I’m traveling… seeing, smelling, and tasting different cultures, food, colors, architecture, and the like. When I’m paying attention, there is really great inspiration everywhere I go.
S: Congratulations on your new adventure – motherhood!! How do you expect your career, goals, or inspiration to change after the baby arrives?
K: Thank you! We are beyond excited to be parents. I’ve already sensed my career and goals changing, but in a really good way. Spending time with people seems to matter a whole lot more because my time and life as a whole feels a lot more precious. I’m planning to take a little time to rest when the baby comes, but the beauty about what I do is that it’s really flexible and I can work from wherever I need to (and whatever hours I need to). I’m looking forward to the change and having a little buddy by my side as I work toward future goals.
S: I love the painterly nature of your fine art. Have you ever dabbled in different styles, or have you always produced abstract pieces?
K: Thanks! And yes. I first began painting from photographs I had taken while traveling as a kid so my paintings looked very realistic as opposed to my abstract work now. I painted A LOT of landscapes, beaches, sunsets, and flowers back then, haha. I think that helped me understand how to use color, composition, and different paint brushes to transition to more of the abstract impressionism that I do now.
S: Lastly, what advice would you give new artists, designers, or other creatives who are just entering the industry?
K: It’s easy to say, but not so easy to do when you’re starting out, however I would tell someone to take A LOT of time discovering who you are as a person, as a friend, and as an artist so you know who you are, what you like, what you don’t like, and what you want to be about. It’s really easy when starting out to look at what’s popular and try to emulate that, but all it does is bring emptiness, jealousy, and a whirlwind of doubt. Also, allow yourself to fail, but be willing to try again. Failure and mistakes are part of the growing process, and it’s OK to put bad work out sometimes. Life is not going to end. Just learn from it and do better next time. I would also say that the creative industry is a really long process, and most likely it will change (whether big or small) as you grow as a person and an artist so be patient with yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Not to find out answers and copy the artists you admire, but you’ll avoid a lot of headache if you’re willing to be humble and ask for help. Most importantly, never let the amount of likes or followers on social media dictate your worth! You are YOU, and that is a really awesome thing.
Thanks so much, Kelli! You guys will definitely want to follow her beautifully curated Instagram, as well as enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a framed print (completely ready to hang!!).
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for entering and congratulations to Rachel on winning the artwork!