Kaitlin June Edwards
Kaitlin Edwards is a visual artist who has recently joined the Jacksonville art community. Kaitlin works in a variety of mediums from ink to digital art and concentrates her work on women of color who reflect her life experiences. In 2013, Edwards graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and since has primarily worked as a freelance illustrator working on book covers and other forms of illustration work. Kaitlin looks forward to being an active artist in Jacksonville and learning more about Jacksonville's art community. For Kaitlin, it is important to bring forth images that positively and properly portray men and women of color.
When I saw Kaitlin's work, I immediately fell in love! Her art oozes #BlackGirlMagic and expertise all wrapped up in bold lines and mesmerizing colors. Kaitlin and I have been in contact several months before she moved to Jacksonville and in that time I learned how important a career as an artist is to her. I look forward to seeing Kaitlin make her mark in Jacksonville's art community and being another artist who serves our community through art and diversity.
When did you become interested in art?
I became interested in art as a lifestyle and career after discovering the Sailor Moon comic book. After a year or so of collecting Sailor Moon comic books, I started watching the TV show and was so inspired by the transformation sequences and fashion that it peaked my interest in high fashion. I began to learn more about high fashion through magazines and realized that there is a lack of good representation for women of color that look like me. I decided to make myself a part of the change and started to focus on how I can help to fill the lack of representation. I make art for people like myself who are hungry to see positive images of people of color.
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it? What inspires your style?
My illustrations are of Afrocentric women in fantastical environments and sci-fi worlds. For each piece that I create, I carefully choose from a variety of mediums such as ink, oil paints, and digital art which each communicate different feelings. My digital work features saturated colors that create a prismatic mood. When I'm creating in ink I find ways to utilize the white space as creatively as possible.
What is your favorite artist tool and why?
My favorite medium and tool is Photoshop because I love the control that digital art offers. Digital art caters to my inner control freak, it takes away the need to wait on paint to dry and also enables the ability to start over many times without wasting material. I enjoy working with ink almost as much as I like Photoshop because it is the only medium that I allow "mistakes" in.
What do you want your viewers to take away from your art?
I want my viewers to see my work and be reminded of simpler, more magical times in their lives. I would love for them to relive nostalgic moments like when they were standing on top of an imaginary thrown in last year’s Halloween costume! Overall, I want them to feel like they can be themselves and that they can create and do anything they want just as they felt before they were told they couldn’t. I want my viewers to feel inspired to branch out into different outlets in their lives and experience some mental escapism.
As a new artist in the Jacksonville art community, how do you plan to assert yourself and participate?
I plan on being active in Jacksonville's art scene by attending art events and learning through lectures. I am also looking forward to getting to know the local street art scene too.
What is your ultimate art career goal?
My ultimate art goal is for creating to be my number one source of income. I also want to start a mentoring program that can help young girls achieve creative insight into their lives and use art as a means to break barriers within themselves.
Imagine you are a new addition to a crayon box, what color would you be and why?
If I were a crayon I would be lilac with pearlescent flecks. I am an all or nothing type of person when it comes to my art so you would either use the color all the time or sparingly because that quality reflects my personality.
To view a larger body of Kaitlin Edwards' work and follow her journey as a new artist to the Jacksonville art community please follow her on Instagram @kaitlin_june