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THE ART AND THE ARTIST

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A Little Background

Bright blessings! My name is Kalysta Fellines and I am a 23 year old self-taught fine artist, illustrator, and storyteller from Elk Grove, California. I have been passionate about the arts in general for as long as I can remember, but it took me until I was halfway through high school to ignore what others deemed 'conventional' and decide to focus on art as a vocation. Though I've been pursuing art professionally since I was 16, I didn't start truly coming into my preferred mediums, subject matters, and personal style until after I graduated high school. I even made the big and last minute decision to not go to college and work on my craft full time. Finally, I launched my shop in September 2020, when I was 19. Besides creating the actual artworks, everything from website management, order fulfillment, product photography,  marketing, and pretty much anything else you can think of going into this business are done solely by me at my kitchen table.

The Art Itself

I am mainly a painter of watercolors and acrylics but I also enjoy illustrating with graphite. My favorite subjects are women and animals, from witches and faeries to Nature spirits and anthropomorphized creatures. What makes my creating unique to me is that I combine my passion for art with my passion for writing; there are entire stories behind each being or scene I create, a world of my own complete with its own folklore and mythology. I’m not sure if the story or the artwork comes first - often I think it is a dual effort, one feeding the other until they both are fully formed. I make it a point to share my artworks and their accompanying stories together, though I do love the way art is open to personal interpretation. I always say my art is a lot of work with little to show if you don't know what to look for; when I'm planning a piece I take into consideration corresponding colors, plants, animals, symbols, etc. to really convey the tale behind it. I indulge in (often 100+) hours of tiny details - I consider them to be meditative and find that though they're small, they intricately weave together to make a piece especially beautiful in both image and story. I typically work on pieces 5"x7" to 8"x10" in dimension and rarely work on anything larger than 11"x14", for some perspective.

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"Worlds Between and Within" is the perfect example of what I want my art to be: full of in-depth story and tiny details, a whimsical subject (be they animal or person), intricate Nature, and personal magic. The process of creating this scene as a whole flowed so smoothly and intuitively and this stone rabbit is one of my favorite beings I’ve ever encountered in my art world.

To Inspire and Be Inspired

My works are influenced by my Greek heritage, my love and knowledge of mythology and folklore, and my ability to recognize magic in the world around me. My creations come to life through the incorporation of divine feminine energy, the sacredness of Nature, and ancient mysticism. I like to explore natural dichotomies and cycles in my art: the magical in the mundane, the ebb and flow of the seasons, and the ever-present cycle of life, death, transformation, and rebirth. I am endlessly inspired by the woods, wetlands, and patches of neighborhood Nature I have grown up exploring - both for their physical and spiritual properties - so my images and stories usually reflect the flora, fauna, and magic familiar to and beloved by me. You could say my art is like an act of devotion - to the natural magic of the world and the magic I find within myself, a rhythmic flow of creative and inspiring energy. My art is an extension of Me after all, a journey of Otherworlds and beings that exist as both their own spirits and part of my own. My little art world, as I call it, is always being further explored and expanded upon - I hope you will follow along and explore with me!

Art, My Love

I always say the pursuit of creativity professionally is such an investment, one that takes passion, determination, and courage. I’ve always been very sure of myself in general but I feel confidence in my art the way I never have with anything else - I always say that if the great Leonardo da Vinci were still alive, I’d show him my creations in an instant! It’s not at all because I think my skill level is something special, it’s more because I consider myself an artist as much as I am anything else; it’s not just a hobby or a job or even a passion, it’s as much Me as any other part of my identity, of my soul. Imagination and creation can never be that simple anyway; it’s enveloping and connecting and conjuring whole worlds, a truly spiritual experience. Simply put, I am proud and grateful to be inspired and to create. Each pencil line and brushstroke, every story written, is creating a world of my own and a path towards material and spiritual fulfillment, a life of peace and freedom, a life that’s mine completely. I have a pure passion for creating and storytelling and so I do create for myself first and foremost, a mindset I truly believe is the key to artistic enjoyment and authenticity. That being said, I am so indescribably grateful for the support that my art and I get from others! Whether it’s in the form of comments and shares on Instagram, newsletters read, or actual purchases in my shop, all of it brings me SO much joy knowing there’s people who enjoy and even resonate with what I create. To share something so deeply personal and have others connect with it, that’s pure magic!

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"Mother Marrow" is a fellow witch and kindred spirit. She was inspired by my love and wonder of animal bones that I sometimes find and collect on my Nature walks. Her story channels divine femininity, ancient witchcraft, Nature's innate magic, and the cycle of life, death, transformation, and rebirth.

Outside of Art

When I'm not working on art, you can find me being inspired in other ways. My most favorite way to spend my free time is just walking through Nature, looking for mushrooms and creatures to admire - bonus if it's raining or I find an animal bone to collect.  I'm often reading tarot and I feel like I'm always celebrating something magical like a change in the season or a moon phase. I have always enjoyed singing, playing the guitar or piano, and writing songs or poetry - just doing anything creative. I am an avid reader; few things bring me more joy than when I find myself unable to put a book down. I love to cook and bake, especially with ingredients from my garden. I also spend a lot of time with my family and my pups (and any stray cats that wander by). Honestly though, even when I'm not physically drawing or painting, I find myself constantly mentally planning a new art piece or thinking about business stuff - being a freelance creative and running a small business is a full time, often overtime job!

Collaborations and Other Fun Projects

 - In June 2019, I participated in an art showcase with the global company RAW Artists. This particular exhibition was held in Sacramento, California. I was 18 at the time and it was my first showcase outside of high school.

 - Since the summer of 2020, I have been co-working on a book, written by my mom, as sole illustrator.

 - I have been featured in 6 issues of Take Care Zine since October 2020. They are a wonderful, independent zine giving creatives of all kinds a platform to showcase their work.

 - I am currently working on creating my own tarot deck! 2022 was dedicated to researching each card's meaning and imagery extensively and using that knowledge to plan my own take on the cards. Actually illustrating the cards will begin in 2023 but as there are 78 cards in a tarot deck, the whole project will take several years to complete.

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My painting, "Memory Garden", and its accompanying story in Issue 10 of Take Care Zine

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