Hello friends! Today I am starting a new series called "Loving Local". I was inspired to start this because of all the lovely creativity I am surrounded by here in my little town. I have so many creative friends and awesome places that inspire me locally that I want to share about... although sometimes it is fun to keep them to myself, I feel like I should let you all see what I get to be inspired by on a regular basis!
This is the precious and talented Kendra Miller. She's 26; during the day she works at a local bank, at night she is an artist.
I have been crazy for her work ever since I saw it. I first stumbled upon some of her watercolors and acrylics in a local vintage shop. Eventually, we ended up having mutual friends and attended a craft night together. I was able to find her on Etsy and Instagram. After figuring out her bank was near the Starbucks I worked at, we had a couple shy chattings when I made her coffee as she rushed off to work for the day. A couple months later, I asked her to do a commissioned project I had been dreaming up to gift my boyfriend for Valentine's Day, we were head over hills for what she produced... since then, it's been love. (hehe)
Kendra is the perfect gal for my first subject of Loving Local. She is so enthusiastic, creative, and welcoming. She opened up her place and let me take a handful of pictures of her beautiful creative space she's made in her little home just north of mid town Springfield. There she lives with her sweet hubby and a giant playful Great Dane/Black Lab pup named Kingsley.
Kendra began creating art in High school when she was diagnosed with bone cancer and had to go through a lot of treatment and therapy. This prevented her from work for quite some time so she started making greeting cards and selling them to the nurses at St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis. From there she kept going and her art work evolved into what is now in her Etsy shop. She never attended school for art, which she finds freeing because she doesn't have any rules to follow.
Kendra's grandmother Jean Myers was an amazing artist and has always been her greatest inspiration. She traveled all over the globe and taught Tole Painting workshops and published several books with her patterns. Kendra said, "When she passed away I ended up with most of her art stuff, including her chair that she spent all those years painting in. This is a daily
encouragement to me to keep working hard and good things will follow."
She surprised me with this adorable Floral Mountain upon my visit! Oh my goodness!!
Kendra draws inspiration from everywhere. She lists, "Films, music, other artists, even weather and seasons. It’s never really the same thing every time so that is why I always carry a sketchbook with me wherever I go. Also, I have a really great group of friends and a husband who really say the best things and sometimes I create stuff inspired from their antics."
When I asked Kendra how she would describe her artwork she said, "Whimsical, kind of silly, and bright. I love cheerful things so the majority of the time I am creating something to reflect that. " I adore Kendra's work, often times it makes me giggle... and love that! She is able to include such personality in her artwork.
Kendra has been a huge inspiration to me. She reminds me to be consistent with creativity even if you're not sharing it with someone. She has also helped me branch out with the ways I express myself and explore more into sketching and painting.
This girl is where it's at! Check out her fun work on Etsy ( http://www.etsy.com/people/kwanalee ) and follow her on Instagram (@kwanalee) to be inspired by her too. Thanks for reading!
Truly // Sarah