Inside the Studio of Kelsey Evans

Light streams through the windows of an artist’s studio, reflecting off of paintings coloring the floor and illuminating the small but vibrant space. Instrumental music plays lightly as two mischievous cats weave through a jungle of succulents and cacti, stopping to sniff at peculiar flowers and stealing peeks at their owner to see what they can get away with. As the proud mother of three fur babies and the owner of this special place, Kelsey Evans spends around 25 hours a week working on watercolor and acrylic paintings, ink illustrations and graphic design in this unique art studio--and that’s just her side hustle.

An up and coming Salt Lake artist, Kelsey has been creating art since she can remember and in the past five years has honed in on her abilities as a skilled graphic designer and unique illustrator. She currently works at the University of Utah’s College of Humanities as a graphic designer and has taken on several freelance projects in between. She’s also worked with Ballet West, Salon Lamont, and a few other small businesses designing and creating logos, websites, and brand identities.

 

Kelsey’s portfolio is filled with more than just corporate projects -- she also works with organizations trying to make a difference in the world. One of her first collaborative projects, Kelsey has illustrated books for the nonprofit called Healthy Am I. Now working on their second edition, the first book “Healthy Are We: Women Around The World” was self-published last year and put on Amazon where it has been picked up by organizations and distributed to several third world countries. The goal of the project is to educate women about their bodies and health in general, something that will be furthered by an educational video series currently in the works (You can find a paperback version of the book here).

Kelsey’s work with nonprofits and organizations looking to better the community doesn’t stop there. Just recently she has been accepted to participate in an art market raising money for the fight for Bears Ears, a national monument in Southern Utah that was reduced 85 percent by the Trump administration in December. The Earth Day market features local artist and raises awareness for a variety of environmental issues, but each dollar spent at the market will result in a donation towards the creation and operation of a Bears Ears Education Center called “Visit With Respect”. The enormous popularity of Utah’s parks attracts many visitors that leave a lasting impact on areas like Cedar Mesa, an educational center will reduce the consequences of tourism by reminding visitors why this unique landscape needs our protection.

Working closely with the organization, Kelsey has designed the flyers for the Earth Day market in her signature style: pen ink illustrations splashed with vibrant watercolor, a texture she uses to expresses emotion, movement, and spirit. Similar illustrations can be found on her website, Kelsey Marie Studios, where she sells her unique pieces. Scroll through her online gallery and you’ll be met with a variety of sea-dwelling critters and four-legged friends artfully crafted in Kelsey’s recognizable hand. The latest addition to the shop is a series of animals native to the Rocky Mountains framed in geometric shapes, dark triangles dramatizing the mammals we see in our own backyard.

The unique style Kelsey refined over the years has caught the eye of many Salt Lake locals, and she’s commissioned pieces featuring pets, various buildings and other eccentric animals like the manta ray. Kelsey has even designed a tattoo for a friend of a friend in her signature style. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a friend of Kelsey’s who hasn’t been touched by her art. A truly passionate creator, she goes out of her way to make one of a kind pieces for birthday gifts and Christmas presents--one December boasted an upwards of 25 different paintings that were gifted to awestruck friends and family.

Local artist like Kelsey are changing the landscape of the Salt Lake community and becoming a driving force behind enacting change in our world. To keep up with the happenings of this ambitious artist, check out her site called Kelsey Marie Studio and try not to spend all your savings!

 

To support the fight for Bears Ears and learn about pressing environmental issues while browsing local artistry, save the date for the Earth Day Market on April 21st from 12-6pm at the Ember SLC Event Center 623 State St SLC, UT