There are some people who just exude joy and happiness.. who, even over the internet, make you smile and really enjoy life a little more. …Meet Kiana Mosley! Kiana is one of Minted’s newest designers and is soon launching a collection with West Elm! Beyond being a wonderful person, Kiana is also a stellar artist, creator, and designer, and she shares her story freely. I think you’re really going to enjoy her interview. I sure did!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you create:
hello! I am Kiana, and I am a visual artist! I primarily work in watercolor on paper or paper ground, and oil and acrylic on canvas… but I’m known to venture into other mediums periodically. I am an explorer, and love to learn. The subject matter and concepts I am currently producing works about are both abstract expressionist, or impressionist by nature – usually about some form or facet nature, and how we connect in this symbiotic dance of revelry…
How did you break into life your career as an artist and designer?
I was born into a family of artists and musicians, but becoming one was a hard road, fraught with dysfunction and a odd mix of both encouragement and simultaneously – discouragement. (long story) It took a long time to find my voice, and own up to the fact that if I wasn’t creating in some capacity, I just wasn’t living authentically – when I am not creating I am miserable. Yes, I do need to take breaks sometimes, but it doesn’t last very long…
When I went back to school, as an adult – I started going for my RN/CRNA, because I was still listening to those voices to do something “practical” I did want to help people too so i went for it… But after two years in, it became really difficult to balance life and home (I was already a mother of two) and the level of work needed to advance in this demanding field… Then in 2008 my father passed on. He was a painter, and my first mentor… after taking a a short sabbatical from my studies to grieve and regroup, I went back – but before I jumped into the hard core classes again, I chose to take a side trip in the art department. I took a really basic course, knowing most of the subject matter already, so I thought I was making it easy for myself… but what happened was pure epiphany/catharsis – the hopes and dreams, and WORK of all that I’d lived and strived for in my early years, that which was once repressed, suddenly threw the floodgates open… I spent one week in the class (mostly in amazement and tears) before I knew in my heart of hearts ( finally!) what I was really supposed to do. I remember calling one of my good friends to share with her revelation I’d had, and the academic change I was prepared to make. You know what she said to me? “Duh”.
I have never looked back. It has been a difficult road all the same, honing skills, finding my voice, reaching beyond comfort zones, learning, growing (which I hope I never stop!) I have so much soul satisfaction about the path I am on… helping people medically would have also been so great, but I think I knew deep down that I wasn’t really cut out for it. And I have come to realize that art can help too – therapy. expression. catharsis. change. healing.
What is the most exciting thing about being a creative entrepreneur? Did anything surprise you about the day-to-day life of an artist/designer?
Well, exciting is making connections and/or hearing how something I have made has in fact helped someone heal, or see, or make their own realizations regarding needs to express or make… exciting has been made up of all these little/big moments and tons of aha! moments that when all compiled and curated together shows sort of a timeline of growth… thats exciting. Exciting is reaching beyond what you thought was even possible for a humble emerging art career, and finally being able to tear down all those inner (or outer ) voices of critics – and staying true and strong on your path. Exciting are the moments of kismet that reveal themselves like little angels or wisps… or strange coincidences, that once again give you the feeling that yes, this is in fact where I am supposed to be, and I am grateful and listening, and aware.
What do you love most about being a Minted Designer? How has it helped you grow as a creative?
Minted is amazing. What they represent is a part of an incredible movement that has given artists and creatives a platform like never known before… and the care and camaraderie is so beautifully refreshing in an otherwise highly competitive field. It truly is art history in the making. I am so thrilled to be a small part of that.
Any creative rituals? (For example, I’m addicted to French press coffee and incense.)
Oh Yes! The rituals… well, music is my weakness… and I fall particularly hard for upbeat/laid back/island/beach/folk/eclectic/alternative/pop/classic. HA! So… I have some “mix-tapes” (ok, iTunes) loaded with my favs, but I also like the adult alternative and jazz stations… then of course I must have either darjeeling tea, chai latte, or super Venti coconut mochas… and banana chips. and candied ginger. and chocolate. And if my children are home during certain painting times, (often) I must get them occupied with something… their creative abilities blow me right out of the water so it usually works so awesomely.
Ok, now we can paint!
What are you most exciting to work on next?
Well, so much has happened up to this point, and I’m genuinely excited about all of it… I just keep pushing myself, while trying to stay consistent (sort of) and grow my body of work and style. But I look forward to what the future holds… always… be it collaboration, partnership, exhibition, etc… I look at every opportunity as a true blessing, in hopes I can undertake them all! (I’ll guess I’ll be needing that Venti Mocha now…) =)
Thank you so much for your candor, your sage advice, and for sharing your creativity with us Kiana! We can’t wait to see your collection release on Minted.com
& with West Elm
Everyone, check out Kiana’s work and process here
and find her on Instagram
how daily doses of creativity.