Kaytlyne Pop Culture Artist became an official business in April 2014. I decided to quit my jobs and make my part-time hobby into my full time career. Being able to focus my time on creating new pieces of work and exhibiting at shows year round has been an amazing experience. I am still overwhelmed with happiness that as a self taught artist I can actually paint as my real, full time, everyday job.
Things did not start out this way. I didn’t just decide one day that I was going to be an artist. I have been painting and creating my whole life. I was the kid that was always making something my room was filled with my latest crafts and paintings. I have always been artistic. I remember back to Grade 2 and the teacher always picking me to draw things out on the board for her.
I was 7 years old when my love of pop culture began. My parents bought the local movie store in Morinville. Uptown Video became my second home. I was there everyday after school putting away movies and of course watching them. I have been an avid reader and movie watcher as far back as I can remember. Even at a young age my artwork started to revolve around what I was watching and reading.
It was in 2004 when I decided to try and sell my first works of art. I signed up at the St. Albert Farmers Market for a few weekends to see what happened. I was a fairly entrepreneurial at the age of fourteen but couldn’t have done it without the support of my dad. My dad was more than willing to help me sign up and think about all the logistics of having a booth. He bought my tent, tables, chairs, and even built the display boxes that I designed. I started off by selling my paintings on wooden boxes.
From 2004-2008 I had my seasonal booth at the Market and it was my main source of income through High School. It even funded my trip to Europe after I graduated. I packed my bags and became a nanny in Luxembourg. My year there consisted of being a nanny through the week and exploring the surrounding countries on the weekends. I had the opportunity to see the most amazing art galleries in the world and witness the masterpieces in person. This was a turning point in my perspective as an artist. I would sit for hours and just marvel at the detail and how the faces popped off of the canvas.
When I returned home I signed up for the market and began creating my first paintings in my black and white style. I have always loved the feeling of black and white photographs. They almost transport you to another place, like a book can. Starting out I was painting Black and White images on the blank canvas and then spreading blobs of color as an accent on the side. In 2009 I decided to participate in the first Make It Edmonton at the Kingsway Aviation Museum.
As much as I loved creating and selling my art I caught the “Travel Bug” and applied for a working holiday visa in Australia. I had another great year of traveling and experiencing different styles of work and cultures. After Australia I backpacked through New Zealand, South East Asia, China, India and Nepal. One of the many things I fell in love with in Asia was the textiles and the vibrant colors that made up the patterns. I ended up bringing quite a bit of fabric with varying styles and textures home with me to experiment with my art.
This is when my work really started becoming my own and taking shape. At first I tried sewing the fabric into the canvas then painting my black and white portraits on top. The sewing looked great but was very time consuming. A trip to Delta Art and Drafting Supply and I discovered Acrylic Gel Medium and forever my life was changed. It is amazing stuff and worked great with adhering fabric to the canvas.
As I worked more with the gel I became better with the technique of working with such a malleable product. It was the 2012 Edmonton International Fringe Festival that I made a custom painting using Newspaper clippings as the background instead of color and fabric.
This is when I came into my style and really started creating the works of art you see now. The idea to use comic and book pages behind the characters hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like “Why haven’t I been doing this all along?”
Using the original material of comic and book pages to make up the background represents how these characters were originally developed. The black and white paint popped against the colors and texture of the comic pages. I like using my work to explore the relationship between pop culture and our society. We develop relationships with the characters and worlds that are created through comics, books and movies. Being able to relate and sympathize with these characters is an art form in its own way. I try my best to capture the emotions of my favorite characters and transfer them to canvas.
Thanks to the support of people like you I’ve grown with my work and am able to create for you full time.
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