Small Business Spotlight: Kendal Blanchard
Small Business Spotlight: Kendal Blanchard
We are so excited for the next installment of our Small Business Spotlight featuring Kendal Blanchard. Kendal is a Louisiana native who now resides in Fairhope, Alabama with her family. Starting Wednesday, June 15th, we will be including a complimentary signed original mini painting by Kendal in online orders while supplies last.
When did you develop a love for painting?
From an early age I have always been creative and enjoyed making things. As a child I expressed myself through craftiness and designing my own clothes. My mother is a talented seamstress and allowed me to run wild with my ideas in choosing fabrics and embellishments. Some designs were very questionable but now as a mother myself, I see how valuable it was for her to encourage my creativity.
I always enjoyed drawing and coloring and received any talent from my father who was an artist and owned his own graphic design business. I spent much of my childhood in his office watching him create and it only seemed natural to create myself. I began to develop my artistic talent in High school through a very special art teacher and then went on to study graphic design in college. It was then that I entered the world of painting. I took a very long detour in my career and entered the world of elementary education but returned to creating and painting about five years ago when I was grieving the loss of my father. It was his prompting that let me back to my first love and it is now a way that I can still feel connected to him.
What materials do you use in your work?
I primarily use acrylic paint but like to add charcoal and oil pastel markings to most of my pieces. Often times I will water down my acrylics to achieve a layered look and then also sometimes add mediums as well to achieve a buildable, textured feel. I am a true lover of collage as well. This is something I have been working on and you will see in the near future!
From where do you draw inspiration from?
Living on the gulf coast provides endless inspiration. The natural wildlife and the many bays, rivers, deltas, and the turquois water of the gulf of Mexico fill my soul and is a jumping off point for my collections. Many of my color schemes come directly from the world around where I live.
I also draw much inspiration from interior design. My mother has been a large influence on my own personal design style. She exposed me to the design process through her own love of design and included me in making decisions about fabric choices, wallpaper, artwork, and selecting furniture. We spent many weekends treasure and antique hunting. As I got older she valued my opinion in selecting furniture pieces saying that one day they would be mine so I also needed to love them.
My dream relaxing day is scouring design books with my cup of tea and my favorite candle lit. With social media today one can have access to the countless amazing designer portfolios and endless inspiration.
Playing with colors and textures excites us when designing jewelry. What excites you when painting?
I am a texture gal as well. I am drawn to artwork that you want to run your fingers over because it exudes so much texture. Sometimes this can be achieved in the piece itself or other times the matting and framing add the special textual touch a piece of art needs. Matting and framing can be the “jewelry” to any artwork. Currently my go to mat is any kind of linen and I adore weighted mats!
Any business leaders or artists that inspire or influence you and your brand?
Oh my, this might be a long answer! Once again, my father had such a huge influence on how I approach my business. His incredible work ethic and ability to change with the times was inspiring. When he went to college for graphic design, he learned his trade by using a T-bar and pencil but taught himself web design as the market shifted that direction. He was an excellent writer and brilliant at marketing, so I picked up so much knowledge just by watching him run his business.
I am also inspired by so many female run businesses. As a mother of three girls, I decided several years ago to not let fear stop me from going after my dreams. I wanted my daughters to know that they could choose careers that fulfill their callings even if those paths were nontraditional. In order to do that I had to be brave enough to take the leap myself. When starting Kendal Blanchard Fine Art, I looked to other female created businesses like Hazen & Co. to get inspiration, tips and tricks, and tested business models. Comparison is the thief of joy, so I believe it is important that one stays true to their esthetic. There is only one you! I also firmly believe that women need to support other women and make sure there is a seat for everyone at the table. Someone else’s success is not your failure and vice versa. Luckily I have had so many supportive creatives and other artists come into my life during the building of my brand and they have been a true blessing to me.
What can we look forward to seeing from your brand in the near future?
I have an exciting summer planed with the release of a Water Lily collection with Dress the Room Charleston, a collection of collage pieces released on KendalBlanchardFine art.com, and a collaboration with a planner company who chose to use one of my pieces as their cover art for their 2023 planner.