Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!
Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
KE: Although I was drawing as a little kid, I really started to do and enjoy art more in my high school years. I work in many traditional as well as digital media, but my current favorites are digital painting and traditional oil painting.
Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
Like many artists, I usually start off with a sketch. If I'm creating an imaginative scene, though, I may make clay models that I can light or use a 3D modeling software like Modo or Sketchup in order to pose possible scenes, light them, and create more dynamic perspectives.
For oil paintings, I use the technique of the Old Masters, painting a grisaille layer in a single color then layering on transparent glazes. The technique is wonderful of allowing faces to pop in a three-dimensional way out of the painting.
Sometimes I find it helpful to set things aside and come back to them. It lets my subconscious work on the art and later I can see a work with fresher eyes.
Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
I find all sorts of inspiration. I like great stories, I like great artists, and I enjoy taking the beauty of natural surroundings and animals. When I hear a good story, I often visualize the events in my mind's eye. I worked for a few years in wildlife rehabilitation and when I did so, I became interested in the idea of how the world would look from an animal's perspective. Animals also have a way of connecting directly to children in a way that stories about grownups don't. All of these feelings and experiences led me to become interested in creating animal versions of classic adventure stories.
Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
I guess my specific beat would be imaginative realism involving animals and maybe especially birds. I appreciate birds' intelligence and the wild diversity of their colors and forms.
Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
This is a tough question to answer. I have a special affinity to my Captain Nemo, a great horned owl. It was one of my earliest experiences where I felt I really created a character.
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
As mentioned, my time working with wildlife definitely influenced by art, but earlier than that, I've always been a more visual than verbal person. As a child, I was captivated by Escher, African masks, surrealism, and classic Disney illustrations, but I didn't always have the words to talk about them. It was only later in life that I could really begin to work with and create physical artwork that would reflect some of imagery and ideas inside my head.
If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
The best place to find me and my work is to visit my website at KristerEide.com. I'm active on social medial like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and I like to show work in Seattle area art fairs and science fiction and fantasy conventions like Norwescon but also have a small online store through Etsy and Society 6. I'm also active in Western Washington's Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
My current passion project is an animal version of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I'm just putting together a picture book dummy now and look forward to sending it out to children's book publishers when it's done.
Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
Although I'm not really a coffee drinker, I do take tea and enjoy hot chocolate every now and then!