Who are you and how long have you been an artist?
My name is Kayla Kinsella Meier, I am an anthropology major at the University of Maryland, College Park. I’ve been an artist since I was a kid, I guess. I haven’t defined myself as a ‘true artist’ until a few months ago. I felt it was a title I needed to earn through the positive feedback of others and not something I could call myself. Although I’m not sure I agree with that definition anymore.
What medium(s) do you work in & why?
My go-to is pen and ink. I love creating intricate patterns with ridiculously small pens, like Microns. My high school art teacher pushed me to develop this style further and it’s been my favorite ever since. I rarely add in color to my pieces but when I do it’s usually bright colors.
What is your creative process like?
Honestly, if I have an idea, I have to start drawing it immediately. I don’t tend to ‘search’ for inspiration, I usually stumble upon it in everyday situations or through observing beautiful details in regular objects. Drawing helps me relax and process what’s going on in my life, I’m often up late at night working on something with the same 3 songs playing, over and over, until I either fall asleep or feel like the piece is complete.
What is the best art-related advice you’ve received?
“Sell yourself,” as in building up my confidence enough as a person and an artist to step into this realm of arts festivals and large creative communities. I’m not a confident person but being able to show what I create to a community that extends past my Facebook friends is an incredible feeling.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
The only challenge I’ve recognized as an artist is my own criticism. It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable showing people my artwork and to feel right calling myself an artist. Opening night for Artomatic was terrifying for me, I found those same intrusive thoughts and self-doubt again. However- meeting other artists and listening to their stories helped me feel more at home.
Choose one piece that you currently have on display at Artomatic and tell the story of that piece:
I can look at this piece and not pick it apart, tear down what I’ve done, or feel like it needs any improvements. Which is extremely rare. It’s a great sense of completeness. There was not a particular thought or theme I envisioned while creating this piece but every time I look at it I see aspects of my life at the time I was drawing it. This piece is the one that has kept me going and driven me do better.
What is your favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far?
My favorite AOM experience was the first time I went to Artomatic in the Naval Yard a few years ago. Artomatic offered me my first insight into DC’s art community, which is thriving! The floors and floors of art were amazing.