Greetings. I’m Kellie. I’m a native Floridian – an apparently elusive species – but I’ve always envisioned myself elsewhere. I lived in Sweden for six months during a study abroad in college and decided that while wanderlust is a forever trait I’ll bear, escapism isn’t always the answer, and making the best of present circumstances or locations is a better motto. After my run around Europe – visiting The Netherlands, Germany, and Norway during the period – I moved to Tampa, but don’t see myself permanently settled here. The expanding urban cluster does the trick for now, though, and so I’m content.
I’m a writer first, illustrator/designer closely following, a casual & sporadic culinary arts enthusiast, and a photographer to tie all the crafts into a neat little bow. I shoot with an antiquated Canon Rebel T3 and despite his rickety nature, he holds a dear place in my artistic repertoire. I’m almost always working with a French pressed coffee at my right fist, and often driblets end up on my table. I run and contort into yoga poses daily to keep my body limber, and I value such movements, especially since my passions often glue me to a desktop for hours at a time.
Who am I? Let’s try to decipher…
For inspiration, I wander, often local and occasionally via airplane or my pewter Chevy Cruze with the broken solar sunflower twitching in the windshield (he’s a valiant little guy). The human condition fascinates and terrifies me, and drives a good deal of my content, positive or negative, assured or uncertain. As a fellow person tripping through a lifetime of her own, I am always seeking answers to the ubiquitous why. I record the nitty-gritty and not-so-pretty because the reality is, we’re all struggling, and it’s okay to admit it. Writing has always served as my mental card-shuffling, and in whatever I dream up I hope that at least one person finds peace or understanding in my modgepodge of words. I hope he or she feels, and isn’t afraid to feel.
My work has appeared in Little Patuxent Review and The Conium Review. I dabbled in sportswriting for two years, curating a blog for a single-A advanced affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and creating content for the Fort Myers Miracle.
If The Writer is sometimes brooding, The Illustrator is adorned with visual optimism. East Ink Prints is the startup on Etsy and the overarching design brand I created in September 2016. Everything starts hand-drawn or –lettered, passes through Adobe Photoshop CS6 for neatness and cleaning, and test prints at least once for close detail observation. The minimalist aesthetic most appeals to me, with black and white and sharp linework nestling close to my heart, but bold colors splash onto several of my pieces. I pen the pretty in my artwork: florals & vegetation, loopy cursive, pinks and oranges and violets, delicate hands. These attributes remind me of home comfort, coziness, little spaces and moments inhabited with serenity, and I strive to invite those sentiments into other peoples’ homes when they receive a print from my startup or a custom piece I created just for them.
Food writing flits in and out of my collection of passions, though the hobbit in me perpetually adores a well-laid table and a full, homemade, five course meal. The real appeal in eating lies in the other presences around me. Food is best shared with laughter flying over the roast chicken and bubbling out of a fresh champagne bottle. My philosophy in cooking focuses on both health and comfort, usually the latter more so. Really, it echoes a bit of my life view: keeping oneself robust and mindfulness of what goes into one’s body, but never neglecting what truly brings joy and snaps the tastebuds into a state of dancing delight. I love fruit but I also get weak knees for dark chocolate. Frozen yogurt. Lemon cake with vanilla buttercream. Earl grey donuts buttressed with a few petals of orange icing.
So, I kind of lied. A passion for food is fitful in my online life, but in my grounded life, it’s perpetual. I scroll Pinterest whenever time allows it. I plan recipes, I experiment. Sometimes burning at least the food, fingers and limbs at worst.
The sum of each part
I’m both complex and simple. Pleasing me takes little more than showing me a smiley face shape created from raindrops on the pavement, or pointing out a waiter passing with a random tray of tulips. Surf into my mind, though, you’ll tangle and twist in a strange web. Life is bizarre and unpredictable. I don’t know where it’ll pull me next. I do know, however, that the creative arts will always follow. In my art I strive to show what I deem important for me to relay, positive or negative. When I’m not locked in my studio (read: the handmade espresso-stained desk in my bedroom before a bright window I adore) you’ll find me manning a coffee bar, in the grocery store, patronizing a craft café somewhere around town or a little ways out. Wherever I am, I’m learning something new about myself, whether small like what amuses me or big like what I want my existence to leave behind once I pass. I am constantly musing, dreaming, moving, and encourage others to do the same. Be an active participant in life, and never neglect what you love. Hold it close to you, and you’ll never be alone.
Want to collaborate, or interested in custom illustration? Contact me by following this link!