Digital Art: Kathy Grieb Kennedy

1.  Who is Kathy Grieb Kennedy?  Tell us a bit about your background.

I am originally from a little town called Bellefonte in Pennsylvania, but my father was in the military so I’ve lived all over the world.  Currently my husband and I just moved back to Naples, Florida, from San Franciso.

Artistically, I have no pedigree, but I’ve always made art.  My latest venue is digital collage.  I just started about a year ago, and this by far is my favorite.

2.  Which aspects of your collages make them stand out as yours, what is your signature?

I’m still trying to find my style as a collage artist since I’m relatively new to this art form.   Lately, though, I’ve been doing a lot of digital portraits using vintage women and animals.

3.  Why did you choose to make collage?  When you did you start?

I started making collages about five years ago after not doing any artwork for several years. I picked up a few magazines published by Stampington & Company (particularly Somerset Studio and Somerset Gallery), and just fell in love with the medium.  When I moved to San Francisco I just didn’t have the storage space for all of my art supplies (a collage/assemblage artist needs a big pile of junk).  Around the same time a friend of mine, who is a photography professor at Trinity University in San Antonio, introduced me to the mesmerizing artwork of Maggie Taylor.  Up until then I thought digital art as being more illustration or anime/manga, which I appreciate, but wasn’t really me.  I bought Paint Shop Pro X2 and started experimenting.

4.  Are using any other artistic medium?

The last new medium I tried was a sculpting class at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco…..a sculptress I am not.

I found my niche in digital collage.  The possibilities are endless and it’s still very exciting to me.  Every now and then I go to an art show or festival and get a little urge to get my hands dirty….but that moment always passes.

5.  Tell us a story about one of your images?  What is your favorite one and why?

The Suitor [above] is one my favorites.  It still cracks me up when I look at it.  I love the whimsy of it.  My favorite is usually the collage I just finished, but this one I’ve always found particularly charming.

6.  What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to face to get a great image?

Since I don’t do my own photography that really isn’t a problem.  There are so many talented artists on Flickr and DeviantArt (my two favorite sources) that are kind enough to share their personal photographs, found photos, emphemera, textures and backgrounds for merely a credit mention.

7.  What ‘s the message of your collages, what do you want to communicate or accomplish through your work?

I really don’t think about conveying a message when I’m making a collage.  I wish I had a deep, thoughtful, introspective idea, but for me it’s just really about fun.

If I could accomplish one thing it would be to inspire/encourage anyone who feels creative to give digital collage a try.

8.  What’s the question you wish I had asked?…a what is the answer.

I do get asked a lot about my “creative process.”  So here goes…..

When I start a collage I usually have no set idea of what I’m going to do.  I just pull a photo from my collection of vintage photos that I find interesting, throw it on the computer, and start.  No staring at the screen waiting for inspiration.  I just start playing with the photo, textures, backgrounds, etc.  It’s like a puzzle…all the pieces eventually fit.  Creativity is a funny thing…you think you’re in control and somewhere in the process the piece takes on a life of it’s own.

(Images © Kathy Grieb Kennedy – More of her work here)

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