We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Hollingsworth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyle, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
ART. Drawing and painting, and also sharing it with others and helping others to make it.
Want to make me jump up and down like a happy little kid? Give me a day where I am painting alongside other creatives or leading a creative workshop. Slinging paint with wild abandon while encouraging others to find their most fully expressed voice through art. That makes me truly happy.
There is something potent and magical about creating with other people, sharing ideas and techniques and just feeding off each other’s vibe. Finding a rhythm, a sense of flow, gives me such joy, and truly lights me up. There is a kind of alchemy in groups of people creating together. It’s magical.
Inspiring others, learning from them as I teach, and making art from a place of non-attachment and play makes me quite happy indeed.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I work as a professional painter, illustrator and designer. My art is a visual representation of my inner world and how I express myself most fully. I’ve been drawing and painting since early childhood and art has carried me through a life filled with both intense trauma and truly amazing experiences. This life is not boring, and my creations show it.
In my fine art, I work with a variety of media to create layers of paint, collage, ink, mark making and messaging using acrylic paint, vintage papers, crayons, personal journal pages – anything that carries the story visually. I begin each artwork by writing a message on the bare canvas or wood. An intention, a question, a powerful thought that is alive in me, and then I paint it. I tell a story through each work and hope that is speaks to the viewer, that they might find their own narrative in it. My illustration is a combination of traditional drawing and digital coloring using an iPad and Procreate.
I launched my own art business over the past year since losing my full-time career during Covid. I formed an LLC, trademarked my name, and built an expansive web-based gallery where I sell my original paintings, prints, and merchandise. It’s been one of the most challenging years of my life professionally, and I am proud to have stuck with it. It’s a process and persistence and patience are key. My work is reaching people, my art is selling, and I am grateful. I currently have gallery representation and also offer my work through my site, www.kylecreativeart.com.
My brand is purpose-driven and focused on helping my students to tell their story through creative expression in painting and mixed media art, to break free of creative blocks and to heal through creative expression, in both in-person and online workshops.
Getting to this point in my life and career has not been easy and the past two years have been riddled with challenges. Nearly two years ago, one month after we moved into a new home, I suffered a devastating injury to my face when our elderly dog attacked me and tore away part of my upper lip. That was followed by the painful loss of that pet. Shortly after, I was laid off from my job of 8 years as a creative director, due to Covid. We then lost several friends, a family member, and our other two dogs in the following months. I had no idea what life might look like going forward, but I knew that I would find the gold in all of it, somehow. I decided to invest in myself and my art. So, during all of this, I was working 16-hour days for months to build my business, my websites, to generate art and products and set up my print site. It was intense and I worked harder than I had in years, making lots of mistakes, learning a tremendous amount about marketing and what it means to run my own business. Whew. I’m proud of all I did to get to this place, and I am barely getting started. So much growth and lots of deep inspiration along the way.
What held me together through all of it was creativity + gratitude – I have a practice of posting my daily gratitude and recently surpassed 2000 days. It’s part of me, as much as drawing an painting. For me, art is my therapy, my joy, my medicine, my truth. As a person who deals with CPTSD, I can say that painting has been critical to my growth and my survival. By sharing my own story, my work and my teaching, I want the world to know that even in the face of all I have overcome, I am still here, still grateful, and want to be a lighthouse to others – to shine as brightly as I can so that I might help illuminate the way for other people going through similar challenges, and that my art might bring light and joy to theirs lives as well.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a homebody and would likely cook them a yummy meal. When we do venture out, I have many favorites, but here are the ones I’d want to do most: Getty Center museum / Hollywood Farmer’s market, lunch at the Reel Inn on PCH in Topanga, shop at Follow your Heart / go to Boba Jam in NOHO / Hollywood Bowl concert / hiking at Tree People / Malibu Canyon drive / Griffith Observatory / Huntington Gardens / Santa Monica / The Broad / MOCA
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am eternally grateful to my dear friend and mentor, Kathy Eldon. My brand, Kyle Creative, was born one day as we sat on the beach, imagining my future. She encouraged me to “go for it”, she suggested the name, and then she mentored me through starting my memoir and really launching myself as an artist and designer.
I am also deeply grateful to my husband, Toby, for his support and encouragement of me to take the leap in starting my own business and investing in myself and my talents. His love and belief in me is priceless.
Shoutout to all my friends, fans, collectors and family who support my business, buy my work, and share it with others. I am very fortunate to have a community who loves me and believes in me. So grateful.