We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Kinnare and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtney, how does your business help the community?
Coming from a background in environmental economics, I’ve always had an affinity towards bettering the environment and world. After leaving my full-time job in the sustainable packaging industry to pursue art, I wanted to try harder to positively impact our planet both in and outside of my studio. Seeing as my practice uses resin – which is a synthetic compound similar to plastic – I knew that I had to make changes in order to use this medium without the negative impacts of the waste it created. Simultaneously, as I moved my studio to Downtown Los Angeles, it became clearer how broad the homelessness crisis was. An idea stood out to me — to take my excess resin and use molds to create combs for homeless shelters. Through this, I was able to decrease the waste I was generating and instead turn it into an array of colorful combs that were high in demand at LA donation centers. Additionally, I package and ship all my art with 100% plastic-free packaging. While there is still work to be done, I am proud that my small business can still make a conscious impact on the community around me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been creating art professionally for just about 2 years now, and was able to transition to full-time this past February. Classically, I’ve been known for my resin & pour paintings inspired by nature and the world around me. However, recently, I just released a new series titled ‘Brighter Days’ which I believe is some of my best work yet – and so different from my norm!
“Brighter Days” explores the interactions of textures, materials, and colors to communicate the flurry of emotions rushing back after a year in isolation. Due to quarantine, I was forced to seek inspiration in new ways – this time from emotions, feelings and experiences rather than from travels & culture & exploration. I created this work from a collection of samples created over the past 6 months as I studied mediums and tools outside of my regular span of work. Branching out beyond my normal style and technique of pour paintings contributed to the process – as I was communicating a new rush of emotions from the world reopening, I was simultaneously experiencing new ones in the studio.
Releasing this series in a way “unstuck” me. I felt pigeonholed by my classic style and medium, continuing to create the same commissions over and over. After a year of solitude and stagnancy, pushing myself beyond these boundaries and the positive reaction I received allowed me to see a brighter day – that my community supports me as an artist beyond just what they’re used to. I am excited to continue experimenting, learning, growing, and bringing you all along for the ride!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite things to do is host guests and give them a little taste of the city. Coming from San Diego, I never thought I would live in LA – I thought I knew it all and was beyond uninterested. But I’ve found my little pockets and have grown to love it! We’d start the trip off with dinner at Honor Bar for the best fried chicken sandwiches in town! Hit some local bars in Silverlake, hangout with friends or have a chill night in. Of course, we’d have to sneak in a beach day baby! Drive up the coast to a small beach in Malibu & bring all the essentials – cards, music, snacks, drinks, and of course sandwiches from Bay Cities. Spend all day under the sun and wrap up by hitting Malibu Seafood for some fish & chips! If we felt up for it, we’d seek out some live music or end up at a rooftop bar. On the last day, we’d start the morning with some brekkie at Tartine in Silverlake and walk around the flea market. Hike in griffith park (picking up a bottle of Natural Wine & picnic supplies from Erewhon ;). Lounge around my rooftop pool & end the day with Kazu Nori!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes out to my family friend, neighbor, mentor, and prior boss, Kerri Leslie. Even while working as her full-time employee at her startup, Verity, she was always encouraging me to pursue my dreams and offering words of advice on navigating life. She showed me just how dedicated you have to be to start a successful business and how to push through the hard times to get to the top. Running a business is fun, but it’s also long nights, hard work, sacrifice, discipline, and so much more. I’m forever thankful for my time at Verity and look up to Kerri in so many ways! Thank you Kerri for pushing me to where I’m at today!
Other: Tiktok: @courtneykinnare https://www.tiktok.com/@courtneykinnare?lang=en
Some images by Haley Busch. (main image + image in white dress and image in blue jeans)