Kelly L. Her

©Kelly L. Her

What do you consider yourself? Artist, illustrator, painter, designer, other?

A digital artist wannabe lol.

What kinds of projects you have done in the past?

I have done illustrations for St Paul Public Schools, logo designs, and commissions.

Could you talk about how you got into art or doing what you do today? What’s your story? What made you want to pursue this path? Were there any challenges you had along the way?

I’ve drawn since I was small. My mom used to draw for me and my sister. She drew beautiful old-style Hollywood actresses and always told a romantic story about them. And like most Asians I was also influenced by manga and anime. 😊 Drawing has always been a part of me and I can’t imagine my life without it.

I guess the only thing that has challenged me so far is Time itself lol. As cheesy as it sounds.

Did you attended art school or majored/minored in Art or Design in college? If so, what were your experiences with it and did you think it helped you become a better artist? If you did not attended college or attended but did not majored in anything art-related, what helped pushed you to pursue art or improve your craft?

I did not get the opportunity to take any classes in art/design. That is something I regret for my younger self. But right now, I feel like I’m in a good place with my art and that’s good enough for me 😊

There are so many free resources out there right now. There is no excuse for not being able to learn. Art is something you get better at the more you practice. I think it all comes down to passion, discipline, and dedication.

For me seeing other people’s works and reading about their own artistic journeys really inspire me to keep going. I also want to pass on the importance of imagination and creativity to my kids. I never want to stop seeing magic in the world.

How do you balance art with work and life? How do you make time for art?

Yeah, time is one petty ass biatch. And I find that with old age it just gets harder on you lol! But I think that’s how you know you’ve had a good and productive day. My days are usually full and busy. I don’t draw until everyone is settled in and sleeping. Or I have a slow weekend afternoon to myself. I want to dedicate myself wholly to my art. I don’t do it if I need to be somewhere else.

Right now, my children are at an age that my presence makes an impact on them. Because of that, I try to be present with them. We read, we go on walks, we watch movies together. Sometimes we even draw together.

It’s easy to get sucked in to your work. But you would be surprised that a healthy exercise and lifestyle will also help with your art! Your brain and your eyes need to rest as well. They need to be exposed to other things in order to fuel your creative reserves!

Do you think making money from your art is important to you? Do you make money from your art? If so, how?

Making money from my art is not as important as having followers who are interested in seeing my art because they honestly like it.

Right now, I make money from logo designs and commissions. But if anyone wants to give me a hundred million dollars for a drawing let me know!

Where do you get your ideas from?

I get ideas from anything lol. I love watching people. I love reading. I love playing games. I get ideas from my drive home from work. I get ideas from a nap. From my kids. From my husband’s Thai shows. Just anything.

What kinds of tools do you use to make your work or what is your typical artistic process like?

I use iPad and Procreate for drawing. Once I get an idea from some random source then I usually start with some rough sketches. I’m trying to get better at composition, so the sketch phase is usually the longest for me. That will take about a day or so depending on my schedule.

I line my sketch afterwards. This is usually a quick process and sometimes I skip this step for a painterly look…so right after I start the coloring process. Coloring is the next longest step. That can take another day or so as well.

Are there any artists you look up to or find inspiring?

Yes, there are a lot! I love the innocence and creativity of  Studio Ghibli. I love Final Fantasy art works. I love the classic old paintings from people like Waterhouse and on Instagram, I love following Charlie Bowater.

Do you have any favorite books, apps, movies, resources, or art tools that you recommend?

Books – I could live in a library. I love reading fantasy/romance. Some of my favorite books are The Winner’s Curse series, Heartless, the Throne of Glass series, and so much more lol.

Apps – Webtoons is cool and inspirational for comic making. Pinterest is also a good place to get visuals.

Movies – I enjoy a variety of genres. Titanic comes to mind lol.

Art Tools – Clip Paint Studio, SAI, Procreate are my favorites. But a good old pencil and paper would work just as fine 😊

Is there any advice you would like to give to young artists or people just starting out?

Practice. Patience. Try new things.

Is there anybody you would like to collaborate with or work for? Could be a person, another artist, or company.

Disney would be a dream come true!

What is your ultimate dream project or something you’ll like to accomplish in your lifetime (could be art or non-art related)?

I would love to actually work on my webcomic lol. Or write a children’s book. Or paint something on one of my walls.

Are there any current projects that you’re working on or in the near future that you want to tell us about?

Nothing at the moment. Hopefully, I will work on my comic 😊

What is the best way to get a hold of you or view or purchase your work?

I am most active on my Instagram @khruri! If you want to buy something just send me an email at kellslee@live.com.

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