Growing up I was that typical class artist who drew unicorns, horses, and storyboards for the imaginary worlds I dwelled in. I was a ravenous daydreamer and climbing trees, running through the woods, and doodling all day made traditional schooling a challenge for my parents.
Amazingly, I got into college. A few of them. My courses focused on fine arts. However, when I headed out into the real world, I found that being an artist for art's sake and going100% freelance wasn't a successful income plan for me. In my 20's I made life work. Waitressing, retail clerk, deckhand, assembly line, secretary, horse groom, TSA officer, ice cream truck –safe to say I earned character. In 2002 I became a Maine Whitewater Guide. That was one of the best things for my spirit. Loved my "office" on the Kennebec Gorge and loved showing people that gorgeous place and sharing its energy. While there I took up a gig at No Umbrella, a local whitewater rag, and became its art department. To my surprise, I really enjoyed graphic design and puzzle-fitting story content onto pages. From there I went to build a career in newspapers and learned the fine art of font snobbery, geeking out on kerning, and page hierarchy. I also found I enjoy working with a creative crew, and proofing works with clients and other departments. On occasion, I illustrate original artwork for covers and stories. Win! These earned the publications and self awards from state and national press associations.
In 2008 I moved west. I needed to be in an area with huge open and wild spaces, rich with fauna and big skies. Idaho did not disappoint. I spent 10 years in its riches filling my spirit, riding horses, climbing mountains, and hitting whitewater before my New England roots called me back home.
Changing gears I enrolled in a master's program for art teaching. Graduated in 2020 and became a high school art teacher. My biggest goal in teaching is to see my kids feel pride in work that came out better than they expected due to their elbow grease.
As for my own art, I'm a lifelong student of Nature, so my preferred eye candy is definitely wildlife, wild places, and our kindred animal companions. I prefer a representational and illustrative style. I'm interested in various 2D applications. Using non-local color, painterly application, and lively ink lines, I continue to explore different mediums.
In other news, I can hold my own rock climbing, try to live as green as possible with the exception to the truck, and get overly excited about a double-yolked egg.
– Kristen Kaiser