Artist Name: Studio Keeb
What do you consider yourself? Artist, illustrator, painter, designer, other?
We would consider ourselves creators and crafters.
What kinds of projects have you done in the past?
Our main medium is wood. We use a CNC machine to carve our designs and finish it by hand, including sanding, priming, staining, painting and hand carving. Our primary work has been home decor items including coasters, display plaques, picture frames, personalized signage.
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?
We are a husband and wife team that never thought we would be able to pursue this passion. One of the things that my husband and I had in common is the love of doing home improvement projects and working together to create things that we love in our home. Studio Keeb came out of wanting to have unique pieces of home decor that reflected our Hmong heritage in our home but not finding very many options. I would share so many of my ideas with my husband and he would always respond with “we could do that if we had….(tools, money, etc). So, we decided why not invest in this idea. If we loved it so much maybe others would enjoy the same in their home and that was the start of Studio Keeb.
It was so helpful that my husband was already a handy man and we had done several large scale projects in our home but money and knowledge of the CNC machine was a challenge. We decided to save up for the machine and just learn as we went.
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 went to college but my major was not related to art. My husband did not attend college. We both still have full time careers and Studio Keeb is a side passion of ours.
How do you balance art with work and life? How do you make time for art?
Balancing art and work is very difficult, especially with also raising a young family. I think we make it work because it truly is a passion of both of ours and we enjoy the time we get to spend together. Most of the time many of our evenings and most weekends are dedicated to creating for Studio Keeb. Its helpful that we enjoy it so it doesn’t always feel like “work”.
Do you think making money from your art is important to you? Do you make money from your art? If so, how?
I think it is more important for us that we are able to create something special and personal for our customers than the money that we make. However, charging for our work allows us to continue to pursue more projects and extend the reach of our art. The best thing for us is seeing our customers happy.
Where do you get your ideas from?
We often create things that we like and would be happy to have in our home. We also get many ideas and requests from our customers.
What kinds of tools do you use to make your work or what is your typical artistic process like?
All of our work so far is with wood. We use a CNC machine as well as other wood working tools.
Are there any artists you look up to or find inspiring?
We follow many local Hmong artist and creators and find inspiration from them all the time. We have such a creative community and we are so glad to be a part of it.
Do you have any favorite books, apps, movies, resources, or art tools that you recommend?
We love to use Adobe Illustrator to create vector art for our designs.
Is there any advice you would like to give to young artists or people just starting out?
If you have an idea that you are passionate about, pursue it. Talk to other artists/creators. I think it is very important that we can support and uplift each other.
Is there anybody you would like to collaborate or work with? Could be a person, another artist, or company.
We would be happy to collaborate with anyone, especially our fellow Hmong artists.
What is your ultimate dream project or something you’ll like to accomplish in your lifetime (could be art or non-art related)?
We would like to hopefully open up a shop one day and be able to create full time!
What is the best way to get a hold of you or view or purchase your work?