Kelly Björk

The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?

Kelly Björk: Kelly Björk, 30, Freelance artist/illustrator, self-employed and when it comes to odd jobs: jack-of-many-trades!

Self-Comfort , 11x11 inches, gouache + graphite on paper,  2015

Self-Comfort, 11x11 inches, gouache + graphite on paper,  2015

TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?

KB: I'm into houseplants and gardening. I spend a lot of time with my neighbor doing things around our apartment building; gardening, spoiling our kitties, cooking, and heading to the neighborhood YMCA for some quality community fitness time. I also love walking, and hiking, and camping, ALL THE THINGS. My environment and human interactions are what inspire my work, so it's important to stay connected to the outside world --the more I see, the more possibilities I have to work from.

TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?

KB: Personal work definitely gets put on the back-burner, but in the end I always make time because if I don't, I feel insane. For me the hardest part is setting a schedule and sticking to it. Since I work from home, I have a tendency to get distracted by "home" things, especially my cat.

Jazzy J , 6 x 8 inches, gouache + graphite on paper, 2014

Jazzy J, 6 x 8 inches, gouache + graphite on paper, 2014

TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?

KB: Each day is different! I'd say between 11am-4pm I'm deep in the creative flow, and then sometimes 10pm-2am! I'll go with it whenever it happens. I think Saturdays are my most productive days, that's when my favorite shows are on the radio.

TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?

KB: I'd love to do more editorial illustrations, design a card line, and make more of my own work. A goal for this year is to just keep drawing, everyday.

TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?

KB: In March, I finished 9 pieces for a group show that was at Smith & Vallee Gallery in Edison, WA.  This was a continuation of my Space Blanket series, which I've been working on since 2012.  I collaborated with Hannah Ruth Levi and did several drawings from her beautiful weavings.  This series is of twisted, floating blankets/weavings -- they show one perspective of a material that is subject to constant movement.

I'm currently working on 3 illustrations for Fresh Magazine that I'm excited about.  Recently I've been talking with Pilgrim Paper about designing series of cards for their paper company, which is super dreamy.  And I have a handful of commissions in the works too!  It's a busy time, and I couldn't be happier about it.  

Amy Tan , 9x12 inches, gouache, flashe + graphite on paper, 2014

Amy Tan, 9x12 inches, gouache, flashe + graphite on paper, 2014

TCU: Anything else you want to add?

KB: I curated my first show, a Cat =^._.^= Show!  I'm very excited about this and everyone involved.  Artists include Gillian Myers, Matt Offenbacher, Forrest Perrine, Brandon Vosika, Phoebe Wahl, and myself.  A wonderful group! And it's been a real treat working with Velouria's owners, Chika Eustace and Cat Wilcox -- how about those names?  So perfect!

Come join us for the opening reception Thursday, June 4th 5-9pm (dog-lovers also welcome)!

145 S King St 98104
206 788 0330

You can find out more about Kelly and see more of her wonderful art at