For the past few years, we've been Instagram friends with Utah based artist, Karly Tingey, and h u g e fans of her work. I mean, just look at the pieces featured below. Aren't they just incredible?! She channels so much emotion and creativity into her illustrations, and doesn't just draw a pretty picture - she creates art that makes you feel things. We admire her talent, her heart, and her willingness to show the world who she is and what she feels through her work. Follow her on Instagram and read on to learn more about Karly ❤
WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN ART?
It wasn't anything in particular that I remember. I grew up playing with paints and crayons because I just had fun doing it. It became my way of relaxing and playing, and that never changed.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT ART?
THERE ARE NO RULES. Like literally none. What else can that be said about? It’s total freedom, which is what I crave most.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MEDIUMS YOU WORK WITH?
I’ve been focused on graphite pencil for the past two or three years, but now I’m trying to transition into digital drawing/painting in Photoshop. I’ve worked with acrylic paints and watercolors and I love them, but haven’t used them recently.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE STYLE OF ART?
I’m not sure I could define my favorite style, plus I have a lot of favorites. One style I like to use when drawing in graphite is lots of line work, so using lines as shadows rather than gradient fills (à la Sarah McCloskey). I also like warping human proportions—anything I can do to keep a portrait from looking photo-realistic. I think people who can create photo-realistic art are way impressive, but to me it’s like, ‘then why not just take a damn photo?’
WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
Basically I play around on my phone and take naps until I’m so frustrated with myself that I finally start drawing. Once I start it’s really fun and exciting to keep going, but starting is tough. In the beginning stages of a piece I get so involved, usually it consumes all my free time until I think it’s finished and then I fall into a depression period. I don’t know why but it happens with everything I create. Feeling like shit is what motivates me to start the next one—I’m not saying it’s a healthy process but it’s mine.
WHAT KIND OF SCHOOLING/TRAINING HAVE YOU HAD?
No formal schooling. I took all the art classes in grade school and a couple elective ones in college but I learn a lot faster when I direct myself. Studying the work of better artists and practicing their techniques is how I prefer to do it.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE YOU'VE EVER CREATED?
That’s a little like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. I like everything I’ve made because it all represents something in my mind. Some pieces are definitely prettier than others, but I like them all.
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
So many artists inspire me in different ways; they’re all total masters at their craft. I couldn’t even begin to choose a top one, but a few include Sarah McCloskey, Sainer of Etam Cru, Shepard Fairey, Isaac Hastings, Lucas David, Jodee Knowles, McKay Felt, Audra Auclair, Ursula Decay, Becca Clason, Danielle Evans, the list goes on and on and on… I’m also hugely inspired by every woman on the planet because GRL PWR.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE FOR IN THE FUTURE (IN REGARDS TO YOUR CRAFT)?
My friend Isaac Hastings is making his living right now by selling his art at festivals and shows across the nation, and it’s his full time job. I’m so inspired by him and his dedication to do what he loves all the time. I want to be able to do the same thing with my own art, at least for a little while to see how it feels.
WHAT ARE SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF?
I’m a passionate feminist; anything that lifts up women gives me LIFE. My absolute favorite thing to do is spend time with my mum, twin sister and our golden retriever puppy, Miya.
CONNECT WITH KARLY ON: karlyfriesstudios.com / INSTAGRAM / TWITTER