[Image: by Kelly Boyle]
Kelly Boyle is an artist based in the Hyde Park area in Leeds. Her art is a bold and thrilling meld of line and colour. She balances masculine energies, manifested in her more logical paint pen drawings; and feminine energies, realised by her more expressive and emotional paintings. In this way her art is a reflection of her beliefs about mental wellbeing, which she would say, is achieved by balancing the masculine and the feminine, the logical and the emotional, the Yin and the Yang. She is a spiritual person and her spirituality is reflected in her art which has always inspired a sense of awe within my soul. Her art is produced in a meditative state, connecting our subjective experience with the underlying energies and frequencies of the cosmos.
I arranged to meet with Kelly for a chat about her art, followed by some Reiki, which is a deeply relaxing holistic therapy. Kelly has a calm and warm demeanor, and a great Yorkshire accent, which made this interview particularly enjoyable. We sat down in my front room as she was sipping on her glass of Spirulina and began the interview:
TSOTA: Tell me a bit about your process and how you go about making art.
KB: It’s all spontaneous, it’s never mapped out. I just go straight on it with a pen, reacting to energy and my own emotions, working in different surroundings. Reacting to frequencies I’m surrounded by, it brings out different shapes and colours. I turn the page around if I can’t see where to go next and then it’ll show me something different. And there’s never any set process, apart from just being free to go where I want, do what I want, never thinking about what it is I’m doing – just feeling what I’m doing, rather than thinking about it. But there’s still always certain steps that I follow like I tend to put contrasting colours next to each other. The line work that I use is tapered. That’s picked up from manga artwork that I used to draw as a kid. I like the tapered style of the line more than just straight line. I find it gives it more depth.
TSOTA: How does the environment you’re in make a difference? Things like music? The people you’re around?
KB: Yeah my favourite is drawing at live gigs, just because I can get into the flow of the
frequency and it kind of helps my arms move. I just go with the flow of what I’m feeling around me.
TSOTA: Have you got any reasons or motivations for making art? Do you think it’s important to have a reason or is it just something that comes out naturally?
KB: For me it’s just a good way of positive escapism. It started out as that. I’ve always been into art, but I stopped drawing for about seven years because I was too critical of what I was doing. When I was drawing actual things, things that looked like things, I’d just compare it and think it wasn’t good enough. So I just stopped doing it. Then I tricked my ego by drawing things that didn’t look like anything, and realised I couldn’t compare it to anything, so it was just mine. And from that I were able to just follow that process, not know why I was doing it or the reason behind it, I just wanted to draw. I’ve got quite an obsessive personality, so it allows me to still have that but in a more positive and productive way: I can just get obsessed with drawing or painting.
TSOTA: What are the main sources of inspiration for your art?
KB: Like I said before, manga artwork for the style, for the eyes, for the tapered lines. I loved Escher, as a kid. Nature, a lot of it comes from nature. The inspiration for the colours definitely comes from nature. It was always taught in school like, red and green should never be seen and stuff like that, but to me that’s nature. And I don’t understand that logic personally, of telling people not to use contrasting colours because to me they work really well.
By Kelly Boyle
TSOTA: Name your three favorite artists.
KB: Escher. I find it hard with artists, I’ve never really looked at other artists. Larry Carlson. And Mother Nature.
TSOTA: What are your plans for the future? You’ve mentioned touring American festivals to me in the past, so tell me a little bit about that.
KB: Yeah I’ve been invited to Denver next year in April to do three festivals over there. So I’m contacting festivals to set up my own tour. And just bob round on greyhound buses. I’ve got a few exhibitions coming up. I’ve got one in The Light coming up this week, which is in Leeds. I’m doing some work with an I.T. Company at the minute, which is a bit on the low down, but it’ll be part of their marketing ploy. And hopefully I’ll be doing some work with the art gallery, as part of some interactive thing using a big touch screen computer. Also doing some community work, giving something back and encouraging people just to enjoy drawing, and enjoy doing artwork regardless of whether they think it’s good or not. It’s just about getting into it and enjoying it and allowing yourself to feel rather than thinking about it.
TSOTA: How do you think your art will develop in the future?
KB: Yeah I think it’s always progressing, like it started off as just being little black and white drawings. And over time it’s progressed into larger colour ones. I’ve started using A3. Even the drawing I’m doing now, the lines, the black outlines are a lot lighter, and it’s giving it much more of a 3D effect, rather than looking flat on the page. Or looking less like a stain glass window and more like a world within itself. So it just develops nicely over time, I don’t really think about how it’s going to develop, it’s just something that naturally progresses. But I’m looking at doing t-shirts, I want to do fabric designs, quilt covers, lots of different ideas. I’m
doing a kids, well, kids and adults colouring-in book. I’m doing a book of progression which contains poetry from when I were fourteen, twenty-one, twenty-nine, and I’ve got drawings and stuff to go with that. So it like, captures all, from being a depressed teenager, all the way up to now, and now I’ve finally figured out what my artwork’s about, where I stand in life, and what I’m about.
TSOTA: If you could give some advice to a younger person who’s just starting out as an artist what would it be?
KB: Draw what you enjoy. Don’t let anyone tell you that your work’s not good. Accept constructive criticism, but just do what you enjoy. I’d definitely encourage people to go out drawing in public, just because it’s free publicity, and people come up to you and speak to you about what you’re doing because people are naturally inquisitive. And with that I’d always have business cards on hand and if you can have prints. Because then it’s people coming to you and you don’t have to go to people. You just sit with your drawing pad and your business cards and prints on the table and people will just come up to you.
By Kelly Boyle
For more about Kelly Boyle visit her website at www.kellyboyle.co.uk
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