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(Image: Kelly Welch)
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Artist of the Week: Kelly Welch

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 hello@seattlerefined.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with different mediums?
Kelly Welch: I have drawn all of my life. As early as I can remember in my childhood, I loved to draw. I've never strayed from my love of drawing, both black and white and color, but I like to work in watercolor and acrylic as well.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
I rarely have a predetermined subject for a drawing. Generally, I will see something in everyday life that inspires me to create a piece. Notable exceptions to this would be my drawings of sports figures. In my other pieces, I do most of my own photography and composition arrangement. I'll do a couple of rough sketches to decide what format and how to crop my image, then I go after it.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from.
My inspiration comes mostly from everyday people and settings that stand out to me as memorable.

Do you have a specific "beat" you like best – nature, food, profiles, etc.?
My first love is and always has been drawing people. I'm fascinated by the emotions that are displayed in facial expressions and postures. I feel that if a portrait captures these elements, it is a success.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
My self-portrait, "Bottled Up." That drawing was introduced to the public along with the story of my bipolar disorder. This was my decision to no longer keep my condition "bottled up" but to talk frankly about it, seek support, and to encourage others to do the same.

If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?
In 2014 I was struck by a car while riding my bicycle. This had a tremendous effect on me artistically. I had seven months off of work to deal with pain and depression. I turned to my artwork as daily therapy to cope with my situation.

What is next for you? Anything you're working on right now that you're really excited about?
My Facebook page. I am working on a very large drawing of my wife. It is the first major work that I have created of her. We have been together for over 30 years, so it is time. Outside of that, I have several commissions lined up.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? (We ask everyone!)
I had a cup of coffee in 1987. It seems to have held me over. However, I truly do enjoy Diet Dr. Pepper out of a plastic bottle.

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