Kylee Abbott

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

Kylee Abbott: Kylee Abbott (@kablab), 24, Interactive Designer at REI

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?

KA: Music is a big motivator for me. I'm always listening to something while I work and I try to go to shows pretty regularly. It's really special to watch an artist putting their work out there in-person and seeing it resonate with so many people; being surrounded by that positive energy and support always stays with me for a while. Hiking, camping, traveling, and reading are also invaluable to me. Getting outside of my normal routine or headspace always brings me back refreshed (10x if it's in nature).

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

KA: Definitely. It's a balancing act. But when you have a strong enough desire to create I think you will always find a way, because that's the only way. For me that usually means sleep deprivation but it's never not worth it.

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

KA: Creativity and productivity usually peak in the late hours of the night when I should be deep in the REM cycle. There's a weird energy that comes from knowing most of your city is asleep while you're wide-eyed, bumping 90's R&B and creating something magical in the glow of a retina screen. It's peaceful and thrilling all at once. The lack of incoming texts at midnight helps too.

TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?

KA: To dig deeper. To think bigger. I know I've only scratched the surface of what I'm capable of.

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?

KA: My digital illustrations are an ongoing labor of love. They're such a tedious effort that I really can't force them unless I'm in that particular creative space. It started out as a school project and really evolved into something close to me. I try to choose artists that I resonate with on some personal level and pick a color palette that expresses their essence as I see it. I'll redo the color combinations ten times until I think it truly feels like them. There's no precise formula for it, so much is feeling and senses. I'm in the midst of a series of hip hop artists and Ms. Lauryn Hill is next at bat.

On the other side of my brain, I love code, so redoing my portfolio website to what I want it for be (forever changing) is an eternal work in progress.

I'm also trying to explore different mediums, like painting again, to see what I can do in that space. I don't really know what I'm doing but a friend gave me the sage advice to "just start painting, don't try to paint anything" so I'm gonna see how that goes. It's a nice change of aesthetic from the digital arena.

TCU: What scares you?

KA: Ego. Letting my dog down. Starting my own company.

TCU: What does success mean to you?

KA: Happiness. I keep coming back to the feeling I had at my last birthday -a happiness so full you can physically feel it in your heart. Not needing anything more or less. Being authentic.

TCU: Anything else you want to add?

KA: Pitbulls ftw. Be honest with yourself, that’s when shit works out.

You can see more of Kylee's awesome illustrations (including her kick-ass Dead Prez series) at