A Step into the Studio with Shelby Leigh Kizer

We have loved getting to know Shelby Leigh Kizer this past year and are so excited about her new collection, "Ocean Light" that just launched on Tuesday. Since beginning to work with Shelby, we have sent her paper pieces across the United States. The work varies from florals to landscapes to her new ocean scenes. There is something for everyone! We have loved sharing her art with you, but we are even more excited to share this interview about her creative journey and process. Join us in stepping into her studio and seeing how she creates such amazing pieces.

Click here to check out her new collection.

Shelby Leigh Kizer in her Studio

When did you first discover your love of art?

I discovered my love for art in kindergarten. So many of my memories I actually remember at that age were of art class. I remember us taping a piece of paper to the bottom of our desks and laying down on the floor to paint like Michangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. I remember creating primary colors and lines like Mondrian. I remember just loving every minute of art class. I told everyone I wanted to be an artist when I grew up!

When I was about middle school age, I started to feel self-conscious about my drawing. I knew that I couldn’t draw as well as most of my peers, which led me to think I just wasn’t ‘good’ at art, so I just stopped taking art classes all together!

My junior year of college I took a drawing class because I thought I might want to be an interior designer.

In that class, I re-discovered my love of art again!

Paper Pieces by Shelby Leigh Kizer

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How did you decide to take the leap to go full time?

Since graduating in 2018, I’ve always had a job other than art. I worked as a secretary for the family business, I taught english as a second language online for about 6 months, and then I was a preschool teacher for a couple of months.

When the pandemic hit in March,the preschool I was working at shut-down, and I was sort of thrown into full-time.

When it was time to go back to my day job a few months later, I almost did---out of fear of instability. But my sweet husband talked me down and encouraged me to keep pursuing my dream. With his support, I finally decided to take the leap to full-time permanently in August of 2020.

Shelby Leigh Kizer Floral paintings

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What is the inspiration behind your work?

My faith is the main inspiration for my work.

With every new series I create, there always has been this connection to something in my faith that is being challenged and worked on and something in my art that I’m working on.

Nature and color are also two big inspirations for my work! I love to paint landscapes and florals, but in reimagined color palettes.

How do you stay inspired?

A practical thing that helps keep me inspired is finding time to paint early in the day. I’ve found that my creativity just works better in the mornings!

Taking time away from painting all together is another thing that has helped me stay inspired. That time away from creating allows me to rest and to get excited again about paintings.

Happy VII by Shelby Leigh Kizer

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Do you have a favorite artist?

My favorite artist is Andrew Bucci. His marks are so lively and energetic . His color palettes are simple and condensed. I love his use of white space in his work. His work is just my favorite!

Tell us a fun fact or something we might not know about you.

I played soccer all my life and all through college! It’s my favorite thing to do besides paint!

Ocean Light Photo

Painting from "Ocean Light" Series

Do you have any upcoming events, series ideas, or other exciting news that you want to share?

I’m working on a new series titled, ‘Ocean Light.’

This series will be collections of paintings about how the light and colors of the sky reflect upon the ocean.

The meaning behind this series is a metaphor that God is like the sky--full of light and goddess, and as His children, we are like the ocean---called to be a reflection of light of His light and His goodness.

Want to shop the full collection? Click here.

Photography by @colorcreativeco and Shelby Leigh Kizer

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