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      Artist of the Week: Koby Etzwiler

      Artist of the Week: Koby Etzwiler

      "I’ve always looked outside with wonder, and I do my best to represent my love for the wilderness in my pieces. "

      Koby Etzweiler 

      Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

      This week we are featuring Koby Etzwiler, Alaskan college student who uses many different mediums to share his love for the wild things. His creature stickers are durable and water resistant -- just like any true Alaskan needs to be, am I right? He is clearly just getting started, and we can't wait to see what comes next! Check out the full interview below to learn about all things Koby!

      Who are you?

      Hey! My name is Koby Etzwiler, I'm a 19 (almost 20) year old kid from Alaska who just loves to create. I’ve lived in Homer nearly my whole life, but I’m currently going to college down in Oregon. I’m working towards getting my Bachelors Degree in Outdoor Recreation Management. Basically, I want to be able to work in the National Parks. I love to hike, explore, fish, hunt, and just generally be out in nature.

      What do you do?

      Most of my background was actually in watercolors and pen and ink drawings. I did almost solely those two things for about 4 years, with occasional acrylic pieces here and there, but recently I bought an ipad so I could branch out into digital art. Lately, all of my pieces have been simple black and whites, though I recently started expanding into colored pieces. 

      Bigfoot Sticker by Koby Etzweiler

      Who/what inspires you?

      My biggest inspiration for almost everything I’ve done comes from outdoors. It’s no coincidence that’s the field I’m trying to enter as well. I love drawing any mountain scene with the stars. I’ve always looked outside with wonder, and I do my best to represent my love for the wilderness in my pieces. 

      What is your favorite moment in the process?

      Honestly, my favorite parts are 1) when I get the inspiration to create something new, and 2) when I finish placing the last star. That part is always so tedious for me and it feels great to be done and look at a completed project. 

      What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?

      The biggest piece of advice I can give for any medium I’ve worked with is watch youtube videos and ask questions. There’s always somebody out there with more knowledge on something, even if its a minor detail, and you never know who might be able to give you the advice that makes your next piece your best one yet. 

      What is next?

      My next goal is to expand my digital art style to attempt to create more realistic looking pieces. I love where my inspiration comes from, but I’d also like to learn how to do more types of scenery. If I had to pick one I’d like to learn how to do though, it’d have to be northern lights.  

             

       

      Check out his Instagram @etz_art to see more designs!

      Artist of the Week: Ben Huff of Ice Fog Press

      Artist of the Week: Ben Huff of Ice Fog Press

      "I'm inspired by the artists who, in this time of tumult and uncertainty, are showing up, putting their heads down, and telling the story of this place."

      Ben Huff in his studio in Juneau, Alaska

      Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

      This week we are featuring Ben Huff, award-winning photographer and owner of Ice Fog Press, with whom we have the privilege of being friends and neighbors. Ice Fog Press does the printing for our Growing Upwords giclées and Ben also ships his work through our post office. We have a very strong appreciation for him and his craft, and wanted to highlight the magic he continues to put out into the world and our community. Check out his full interview below! 

      Who are you?

      I'm a Juneau based artist. Primarily, I'm a photographer, but also a bookmaker, printer and teacher. 

      What do you do?

      My days vary considerably. I run an operation called Ice Fog Press which is my publishing imprint, where I design, publish, and construct small run artist books for photographers that I appreciate and want to work with. Also, IFP is sort of a catchall for anything else that isn't my own work. As a photographer, I have a particular skill set that can be useful outside of my own artistic practice. On a given day I may be printing for another local artist, editing photos from a commercial or editorial job, teaching a class out of my studio or at UAS, or working on my own projects. 

      Who/what inspires you?

      I'm inspired by the artists who, in this time of tumult and uncertainty, are showing up, putting their heads down, and telling the story of this place. 

      What is your favorite moment in the process?

      Every step has it's rewards. The making of the pictures - being in the landscape, meeting people and making portraits, stitching it all together to make something coherent - it's a rush, an addiction. But, the end stage of printing, which I'm deep in right now, is also really satisfying. Whether its a digital or analogue capture, finally seeing the image on paper, at scale, is exhilarating. You never really know if you got it until its on paper. 

      What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?

      Last semester I taught the Art Appreciation class at UAS for the first time in a couple years, and I show this old clip that features Chuck Close which I hadn't thought about in a while. At the end he says, as sort of parting shot to would-be artists "Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work". As I get older, I recognize how true those words are. Every breakthrough I've ever had in my own work has come from work itself. I can be prone to navel-gazing and when I was younger, waiting for lightening to strike. It took me a long time to just trust my process, curiosity and instinct. And, that all of the bad pictures are necessary in order to get to the good ones.

      What is next?

      I have the heaviest exhibition schedule this year that I've ever had. It's both exciting and terrifying. I just released an artist book through Ice Fog Press called The Light That Got Lost, and I'll be exhibiting that work at the City Museum in February. It's an ongoing project that I've been working on for a couple years up on the ice field as arts faculty with the Juneau Icefield Research Program. Then in May I'll be showing Atomic Island, the culmination of a five year project on the Aleutian Island of Adak, at the Anchorage Museum. That show will run all summer, and come home to the State Museum in November. Also, later in the year I'll be included in a big group exhibition in Portland, and a couple smaller things that are too early in the works to speak to much about. It's going to be a big year of unveiling some things I've been working on for a long time.

                 

      Ben's Work can be seen on exhibit at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum until February 28th and on the Ice Fog Press website.

      Artist of the Week: Molly Bosley of Found & Feral

      Artist of the Week: Molly Bosley of Found & Feral

      " My jewelry is made using globally sourced materials like raw brass, acetate, vinyl disc beads, vintage sequins, agate and quartz stones."

      Molly Bosley of Found & Feral

      Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

      This week we are featuring Molly Bosley of Found & Feral. Molly's geometric brass jewelry brings joy to all who see or wear it. The symmetry in her work can sometimes take you right inside of a kaleidoscope with shapes mirroring one another so perfectly. Molly is newly a mama and we look forward to seeing what inspiration comes from this journey. Read about her process below!

      Who are you? 

      My name is Molly Bosley. I live in Winooski, VT which is a “big” little city and I hope in the near future to find a big farm where I will have space to roam and make and think. I recently became a mom which has been so wonderful and also a big adjustment in figuring out how to run a business from my home and take care of my baby at the same time.

      What do you do?

      I make jewelry from my home studio. My jewelry is made using globally sourced materials like raw brass, acetate, vinyl disc beads, vintage sequins, agate and quartz stones. I would describe the aesthetic as modern, geometric and big minimalist. 

      Who/what inspires you?

      I have been an artist and maker since I was young and have tried lots of different mediums over the years. Along with making jewelry, I have been known to illustrate, cut paper, sew, embroider, collage and create sculptures from old books, everyday objects and paper. I am inspired by shapes from nature, shadows, old architecture, textiles and pattern in everyday objects. I love to be inspired by other artists and find energy from what other people are making.

      What is your favorite moment in the process?

      As an artist I approach making jewelry in a similar way to creating anything where I look at the whole composition and how the negative and positive space react with one another. Jewelry is not just an object to adorn ourselves but I think of it as a piece of the composition of our overall style and ourselves as the canvas. I use my instinct to place shapes together and love when I find that perfect balance that clicks.

      What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?

      Try the unexpected. Don’t make something you wouldn’t wear yourself. Even if it’s not a huge hit, keep trying new things because someone will like it. Keep reading and learning how to be better at what you love.

      What is next?

      I find it hard to squeeze in time for new designs but I would love to focus on experimenting with new styles. I am currently trying out some designs for bracelets and more beaded pieces.

      Brass Earrings No. 20 Brass Earrings No. 25 Brass Earrings No. 16

      See more of her work here!

      Artist of the Week: Brigida Swanson of Yardia

      Artist of the Week: Brigida Swanson of Yardia

      "I’m a native of Seattle and the sense of home that hiking through the forest and exploring tidepools on the beach gives me is what fuels my imagination and my creative process."

      Brigida Swanson of Yardia

      Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

      This week we are featuring Brigida Swanson of paper goods and gift company Yardia. Brigida's greeting cards travel far and wide, bringing love, sympathy, congratulations and more to everyone you love. Her art prints allow us to slip away into a tide pool adventure or a starry night of camping without leaving the comfort of our house (sometimes it's too cold, right?). Read all about her process in the full interview below!

      Who are you?

      I’m Brigida Swanson, an artist and business owner from Seattle, WA. I’m a gardener, hiker, chicken-keeper and learner.

      What do you do?

      I work with watercolor to create Pacific Northwest-inspired stationery, gifts and home decor for nature lovers. I run my illustration-based product company, Yardia, full time from my home studio, so my days are a blend of creative work, painting, writing, marketing, number-crunching, packaging and walking to my neighborhood post office.

      Who/what inspires you?

      I’m inspired by the quiet beauty of nature in the Pacific Northwest. I’m a native of Seattle and the sense of home that hiking through the forest and exploring tidepools on the beach gives me is what fuels my imagination and my creative process.

      What is your favorite moment in the process?

      I love working with watercolor because it’s a collaboration with what the paint wants to do since it doesn’t like to be controlled too much. I love the moments when I get surprised by what appears on the paper from my brush and the natural flow of the paint. I also love how painting is a process that allows time to disappear once I really get into the focused flow of things. It’s so meditative!

      What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?

      Have patience with your process, whether it’s learning to work with watercolor, or starting a business. Start to recognize and quiet the voice of your inner critic, and when it comes up in your process, say, “Thanks for your concern, but I’ve got this handled.” Begin instead to seek the voice of intuition, your inner mentor, who can guide you with gentle encouragement and truth.

      And on a more practical level, register your copyrights before you publish your artworks! It’s so much easier and more inexpensive to do it this way, and you’ll be grateful you have that little bit of extra protection around your work when, inevitably, you have to put your rights into action.

      What is next?

      I’m bursting with excitement to be on my way to the National Stationery Show, a wholesale trade show that has been a goal of mine to exhibit at since I started Yardia in 2016. I can’t wait to see how this takes Yardia to the next level as a company. 

               

      See more of her work here!

      Artist of the Week: Hollis Kitchin

      Artist of the Week: Hollis Kitchin

      "I do have a love for the fog and rain here in Southeast Alaska which is reflected in my work but I also draw and sketch everything around me my dog, scraps of fabric, vegetables, scenes around town, rocks I find on the ground."

      Hollis Kitchin

      Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

      This week we are featuring Hollis Kitchin, a Juneau-based artist whose watercolor paintings have charmed many visitors and residents alike. Hollis is a multi-talented human who finds fulfillment in all the ways her art contributes to the community, such as our recent Kindred Post holiday card or new set pieces for Perseverance Theatre. Read more about Hollis and her work below!

      Who are you?

      I’m a pluviophile, illustrator, artist, bra fit specialist, and general maker of things.

      What do you do?

      I paint, draw, and build things. I primarily use watercolors, ink and gouache (a thicker opaque type of watercolor paint) in my work. I have also built props for theater productions using a variety of materials from wood and metal to sugar.

      In addition to making visual art I also co-own and run Bustin’ Out Boutique where I specialize in professional bra fittings and get to be involved more one on one with the community of Juneau. 

      Who/What Inspires You?

      For me Inspiration comes from anything and everything, I do have a love for the fog and rain here in Southeast Alaska which is reflected in my work but I also draw and sketch everything around me my dog, scraps of fabric, vegetables, scenes around town, rocks I find on the ground.

      What is your favorite moment in the process?

      The randomness that watercolor produces. There are definitely ways to control the paint and be very precise but my favorite way to use the paint is to start with an idea and see where the paint takes me. I love to start with a completely wet piece of watercolor paper and just drop color onto it and see which direction it wants to go, let that first layer dry and then let the painting come out of that.  I also really enjoy filming timelapses of my work as I make it so others can see the process from start to finish.

      What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?

      Use more water than you think you need, and work with a test strip of paper until you feel confident with your control of the paint. You can always build up color and intensity with watercolor but it’s very hard to lighten the painting if you go too dark.

      What is next?

      More creating always! I have an upcoming show at Annie Kaill’s for March’s First Friday and am working on getting more prints made of various paintings and illustrations that I have done. 

                 

      Hollis will also be a First Friday Artist for Kindred Post in August. Official announcement to come later this year.

      See more of her work here!