Kirsten McKenzie @KeKreationsart
Hi there! Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Kirsten McKenzie, or, as I'm commonly known online, Kekreations! I'm a freelance artist who's work ranges from webcomics and character art to pet portraits and colored animal art.
I grew up doing art at an early age and was always drawing different animals and fantasy creatures, as well as creating my own characters and stories. I love creating artworks that bring people joy in many different genres and avenues!
I'd say I do a pretty large variety of artwork. I've dabbled in many different mediums throughout the years such as watercolors, pastels, markers, ect, but have landed on digital art as my preference these days. I do a lot of different kinds of art/styles! I do more realistic pet portraits, and colorful wild animal portraits, as well as more illustrative fantasy and character artwork. Making animal artwork is always so relaxing and peaceful to me, and bringing my own and other's characters to life and exploring the fantasy worlds they inhabit brings me so much joy. I've always been passionate about animals and have been drawing them my whole life, back when I was around eight or nine, so getting close to twenty years or so go. I started creating stories and designing characters for those stories closer to middle school and high school.
Animals and nature in real life inspire me, as well as other bright and color scenes or artwork from others. Reading and creating stories myself and with friends has always inspired much of my character and fantasy artwork as well! With my styles and subjects being so diverse, I often find energy bouncing back and forth between the two. I'm currently creating my own webcomic and will often buffer myself with animal portraiture in between stages of the comic. My comic and character work involves a lot of passion and thought, whereas my animal work is very relaxing and soothing to me-- both are important to keep me 'fueled' and inspired instead of feeling drained or monotonous.
Do you consider yourself a member of the furry community or do you have any connection to it?
I'm not sure if I would fully consider myself a member of the community but I do admire it. I drew a lot of 'furry' type animal work growing up and furry artists (before I knew what furry was) were huge inspirations to me when I was young! I still enjoy drawing people's furry characters upon request, but don't personally consider myself a furry. I kind of hover around the community and admire other people's art and characters as well.
In general I've found the art community to be a very encouraging and welcoming place. Like with many avenues, I think you often get back what you invest. Showing genuine interest and encouragement in my fellow artist's work has helped me connect with so many lovely and talented and mutually-encouraging artists. There will always be drama and people who are unkind in any group or niche, but coming from other professions and communities I've been a part of, I've found it much more accepting and welcoming and less competitive than others. I think there's a mutual understanding that we're all struggling to succeed and get better, so many of us would rather help each other achieve those goals rather than compete.
I guess after many years of trying to fit my art into a certain box, going through burnout, and going through career changes due to wrist issues, I'm pursuing freelance art full-time again. I finally feel like I've learned to take care of myself and give myself the freedom to do whatever type of artwork truly brings me to life. In doing that I know it may take a longer road but I'll find my people who love all aspects of my work. At the end of the day I want to do what I love and hope that my variety of work can bring other people joy too.