Spotlight On:

KGee Art

2019 is quickly coming to a close but don’t worry, we still have time for one more Crafter in the Spotlight. To round up what we can only call a wonderful year, we spoke to the talented lady behind KGee Art, Kayla Irving.

Kayla is a pencil portrait artist specialising in animals and people. Based in Buckinghamshire, Kayla has always loved art from a very young age. She decided to turn her passion into when her friends and family pushed her to develop her skills.

“I never believed that I was any good until I started posting my work on social media and had great feedback from all over the world. Then people kept asking me to do portraits for them and that’s what started me off.”

If you look at the KGee Art website, you will see that Kayla produces a variety of art, from portraits of celebrities to sketches of families, individuals and dogs. We asked where her inspiration comes from and she told us she finds it “everywhere!”

“People, places, organisations, memories. I’m constantly thinking about new ideas for creating art. So, I try and focus on one thing and at the moment it’s pencil portraits.”

As well as using her own ideas, Kayla also does commissions for her customers. She gets asked to make “all sorts of canvas related work.”

“I have a few projects which involve woodworking and in the past, I have created CAD based work for designers in timber building structures.”

“Photoshop and Illustrator have allowed me to produce artwork for designers in footwear too.”

“And I’ve even designed, and hand sewn an adult giraffe onesie!”

We asked Kayla what her favourite piece that she has created is and she said: “I get constantly told my white pencil Morgan Freeman portrait is the best. I loved drawing it, as it was completely new to me and a lot easier than I expected.”

“However, my Leonardo DiCaprio portrait is what motivated me keep going and not stop drawing. It will always have a special place in my heart.”

It’s clear that a lot of work goes into each and every piece that KGee Art creates and we were interested to find out how long it takes to finish a project.

Kayla told us that it “all depends on the subject of the drawing and the size.”

“Generally, I quote by size but once the drawing starts the realisation of how much detail is in the work isn’t until you start drawing.”

“Imagine looking at a photo of a dog. The focus of the portrait is the dog but once you look closer, you see all those little tiny bobbles on the nose or reflections in the eyes or strands of fur going the opposite way to the rest of the coat.”

“It can be complex. But on average I’d say from 12 hours for a simple standalone dog portrait (no background) on A4. So you can imagine the larger the portrait and canvas the more detail goes into it and the hours just fly by.”

Like CraftCover, Kayla absolutely adores animals and told us that when it comes to drawing, she “loves the story behind them.”

“I really enjoy it when my customers ask me to do a portrait of their pets, which is something that they generally adore and want to share with the world. Being an (extreme) animal lover myself, I find it hard not to put love into the drawing itself.”

We can expect to see lots of exciting this coming from KGee Art in the future as Kayla’s list of things she wants to sketch “keeps growing.”

“I want to draw a pangolin next to make people aware of them. They are basically a scaly anteater and they couldn’t be anymore adorable.”

“They are extremely vulnerable and are considered the most trafficked mammal in the world because they are captured and used for parts of their body which have no medical use whatsoever.”

“Pangolins are completely harmless and having no teeth. It’s basically torturing for fun! They are so cute! They always look like they are nervously waiting to ask you a question.”

When she isn’t business sketching Kayla has lots of other interests, “too many to list!”

“Many of my hobbies involve art and animals. I’m also from a musical family and I don’t ever find myself going anywhere without music on.”

With 2020 just around the corner, we were keen to find out what the plans are for KGee Art. Kayla told us: “I have a few ideas and creations up my sleeve.”

“I’m hoping to collaborate with a few people in different industries. But my main focus will be to draw, because it’s taken me this long find something worth sticking at.”

Finally, we wanted to round the brilliant interview with one final question… About insurance!

We asked whether crafters realise they need insurance and how important it is. Kayla said: “I never considered it to be honest, mainly because my focus was on producing the art not what comes with it.”

“It’s important to protect yourself of course, especially if you consider your work to be of value and want to ensure you have backup if things don’t go the way you planned.”

We would like to say a big thank you to Kayla from KGee Art for taking part. Keep your eyes peeled in 2020 for more exciting Crafter in the Spotlight interviews!