Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Featured Artist - Kierstyn King of "Constructively Random" on Etsy

Kierstyn King is a 20 year old artist, writer, speaker, designer, coordinator, and wife living in coastal Maine who grew up in Florida and hates winter. Her husband is a web developer so they both work from home. Below is is my interview with the whimsical, folk artist Kiery:

A: What led to you opening a shop on Etsy?

K: I originally opened my shop in the fall of 2009 after moving to Maine (getting married) and freezing because I only had one scarf. I didn't want to pay upwards of $14 for one when I could just crochet some myself for a fraction of the cost. So I thought I'd open up an etsy shop selling affordable handmade scarves. It didn't really take off (I didn't sell anything and I still have a box of them that I'll occasionally tap into for accent pieces) and I got really frustrated with doing the same thing over and over again. So in December of 2009 my husband suggested that I do a drawing a day - because it was something I've always done and he thought I was really good at it, so I started doing that and crocheting.

My drawing really improved over time - a short period of time even. I used to draw and paint a lot when I was younger, and after I got older that side of me was sort of…mocked and art was frowned upon so I shut it down. When I started again, it was like I never stopped. For my birthday in February my mother-in-law gave me a set of prismacolor markers, so I started doing ink drawings, and I actually sold one to a friend of mine in June last year.

Somewhere between June and August I remembered painting. I found one that I had whipped together for my husband back when we were dating, and he loved it. I think finding that again might have triggered something - and my mother in law had a connection with a local artist who did lessons. So I took a few from August to November and picked it up again like I'd been doing it this whole time, and made some really good pieces. I'd shut down my etsy shop for the summer and decided that it would be more fun to start it up again in early 2011 selling paintings. So all of the fall and winter of 2010 I was making an inventory in between illustrating my book. So I worked my tail off and in early February of this year, I re-launched (and re-branded) my shop selling whimsical/fantasy paintings.

A: Where do you get your inspiration to paint?

K: Some of my inspiration comes from what's going on around me - stories I hear and how they make me feel. My "Anonymous Fairies" series are the biggest part of that. Most of my fairy lore comes from disney - the idea that fairies bring changes and have the world on their shoulders, isn't too far from what I (and I think everyone else) feel sometimes. I actually did a post on it here (

Other times it's the way the night feels or the colors that I see. My husband went on a business trip to Oregon and I went along and the sky there is stunning. We were in the desert but near mountains and every time we left the house we were staying at with the rest of the team and their wives we'd have this unbelievable view of the surrounding area, and the night sky was just spectacular - so many shades of blue.

Lately though, as I discover more and more fantasy and sci-fi goodness, I come down with a case of major-fan-girl syndrome and end up making some bits of fan art. Which is why you'll see Battlestar Galactica, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who pieces intermittently. When I start LOTR on audiobooks, I have no doubt I'll be doing something with elvish things.

A: How do you see the world as an artist, and how do you feel you can make a difference in it?

K: The world is complicated - it's full of intricacies and little bits of beautiful and fun things that most people miss because we're so busy just trying to keep our heads above water. I want to bring a little bit of the stuff that we had as kids but miss as adults back - a little bit of wonder, whimsy, and happiness. For me, it's almost backwards - I was consumed with real-life as a child and now I want to know the imaginary. I think so often we lose our imagination as we grow up, or just forget how fun it is to find something that you *really really* like or that moves you. And occasionally we find that, for a moment, and hopefully, that's what I do a little bit of.

A: What are the challenges and rewards you face as a business owner?

Most everything is a challenge for me, I'm learning (slowly) as I go along. I think the biggest challenge, besides making sure that I do *something* creative every day even if it's not necessarily painting - is just finding time for everything.

Which sounds weird, because art *is* my day job - my husband is very supportive of me and my art and he's told me plenty of times that he doesn't want anything to take that away (he's awesome). But it's all the little things that add up - we both want to get into film someday, so we're trying to make a short film over the summer, dishes pile up, cat needs to be fed and taken care of, and I also need to make time for gaming (because it's actually oddly important to me to level to 85 in World of Warcraft and I've been bad about it). Most of the big things take a couple hours of concentration - and painting takes up most of the day, so things can slip or go unnoticed…like the pile of dishes I have in the sink and the script I haven't worked on in a week and a half. Then add keeping everything updated relatively well like Facebook and twitter and my's a lot to balance, but I'm getting there.

I love learning though, and the challenges in themselves are rewarding in their own way. I always feel good after a particularly productive day or when some of my hard work starts to pay off - or when I make a plan and then stick to it and find I still have a little bit of daylight left over.

You can find Kiery on Facebook at Kierywhimsy and follow her blog at
Her etsy shop is


  1. I am enjoying all the great jewelry and artwork!

  2. kiery you are amazing & this is so cool!