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MEET KRISTI

Kristi Kohut, as featured in Rue Magazine. Photography by Dustin Halleck. 
 

The Artist & The Studio

Kristi is a mixed-media artist based in Chicago. Her process is inspired by color and pattern found in nature, often using a variety of media including acrylic, watercolor, ink, pastels and glass beads.

In 2007, in addition to her fine art practice, Kristi founded Kristi Kohut Home, a design studio dedicated to making high-end fabrics, pillows, poufs and wallpaper - all in Kristi’s signature colorful style, created from original artwork. In every piece of her art, you’ll find not only the highest quality materials, but a ridiculous amount of love, passion and attention to detail.

Kristi was named one of “7 next-big-thing artists” by Elle Decor magazine and her work has been available at the Architectural Digest Home Show in NYC, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, West Elm, Nordstrom, One Kings Lane, Domino and Minted. She and her studio have also been featured in HGTV Magazine, Luxe Interiors and Design, Domino magazine, World of Interiors, Real Simple, Martha Stewart, Lonny, Design Sponge and more. Her work is currently represented by Walker Contemporary and has been exhibited at the River East Art Center and the ARC Gallery in Chicago, IL. In 2010, she was awarded the Juror’s Choice fine art award at the Chicago Art Open.

When Kristi isn’t in her studio, you might find her practicing yoga, knocking the ball around the tennis court or soaking up inspiration in the latest fashion mags. She’s also a self-proclaimed “foodie” conveniently married to an excellent cook. Kristi and her husband live north of Chicago with their son, Owen.

 
 
 
 

Artist Statement

My work is influenced by color and pattern in the world all around us. A permeating crack on the sidewalk, the vibrant layers of agate rock, the exotic clothing of a faraway place, are my muses. I love the color and effect created when unexpected colors and textures are combined. The glossiness of an acrylic paint next to the chalky texture of a pastel. Or an iridescent blend next to a thick, velvety smudge of oil pigment.

My process is an intuitive dance of play, working until I find just the right combination of color and texture. I know when it is done, when it elicits a feeling inside, a zing, a ping of joy or pleasure that often comes with that final touch or pop of color, suddenly transforming the piece. That feeling is a connection to something more, something that is not of the day-to-day routine of life. The antithesis of routine. A hint at what's on the other side of this world.

 

 

Kristi has been featured in Domino, Rue, HGTV Magazine, World of Interiors, House and Garden Magazine, Lonny, Design Sponge, Glitter Guide, and numerous blogs.

 

 
 

MY PROCESS

 

"Every piece I make is born from a whole lot of joy, sweat, grit, hundreds of hours of trial and error, play, fear, doubt, grace, faith, strength and a relentless love of creating."


 
 
 

IT ALL BEGINS WITH A LITTLE VISUAL CANDY

My process is very intuitive. I start by feeding my head. Looking at the world around me for inspiration. I love design and fashion blogs. I'm obsessed with the visual candy of Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. There is beauty everywhere. My work is influenced by color and pattern in the natural world and in the commercial world. A permeating crack on the sidewalk, the vibrant layers of an agate rock, the mix of color that randomly pops up on my Pinterest board, the exotic clothing of a faraway place, are my muses.

 

 

RECENT INSPIRATION FROM PINTEREST

 

 
 
 

AN EXPLORATION OF SHAPES, COLORS AND TEXTURES

It is an intuitive dance of play, working until I find just the right combination of color and texture. I love the color and effect created when unexpected colors and textures are combined. The glossiness of an acrylic paint next to the chalky texture of a pastel. Or an iridescent blend next to a thick, velvety smudge of oil pigment. I'm very inspired by the symmetry in nature - both the visual and the metaphorical - and I often incorporate the technique of folding the rice paper in half and letting the paint bleed through to the other side, creating a mirrored effect to my work.

 
 
SHOP THE ART

SHOP THE ART

 
 
 
 

Capturing the beauty and magic that surrounds us

I know it's done when it elicits a feeling inside, a zing, a ping of joy or pleasure that often only comes with that final touch or pop of color, suddenly transforming the piece. That feeling is a connection to something more, something that is not of the day-to-day routine of life. The antithesis of routine. A hint at what's on the other side of this world. The something more we feel ourselves longing for. For me, making art is to touch the divine. The hidden force that turns a nut into a tree, makes your heart sing when your baby smiles, puts you at that exact spot that you hadn't planned on being at, right in front of your soulmate. There is magic and mystery all around us. Beauty everywhere. If we can just open our eyes and look. That's what I am trying to capture.

 
 
 

transforming art into unique pieces for the home

I firmly believe in the power of surrounding ourselves with beauty, which led me to create my line of pillows and textiles. All of the patterns on designs originate from my original artwork. My process involves scanning the original work using a powerful flatbed scanner and importing the image into Photoshop. From here a new process of intuition and play begins as I reflect and repeat different elements from my work, creating the vibrant patterns that are then printed on beautiful, luxurious linen. I love the effect of seeing the patterns transferred onto the linen...the nuances and natural texture of the fabric mimics the quality of the rice paper that I often create my works on paper on. 

 

 
 
 

A CYCLE OF FEEDBACK, GIVING AND INSPIRATION

When you buy a piece of art, you're not just buying the work itself, but all of the passion and love that goes into creating each piece. The hours upon hours of experimentation and play that go into honing a style and fine-tuning a technique. The joy and wonder in observing the world around us and imagining what lies just on the other side. The power of finding your calling and bringing to life what only once existed in fantasy. To me there is nothing like creating art, and I hope that it brings to you even just a bit of the happiness it gives me in making it. 

It is really important to me to be able to pay some of this happiness forward and do my part in helping to make this world a better place. That is why we donate 1% of all sales to Feed Projects, to assist in their amazing and generous work in combating world hunger. Know that a bit of your purchase will go toward supporting this wonderful cause.