The second artist in our New Year, New Inspiration series is Kelly Puissegur.
I first encountered Kelly Puissegur whilst reading ‘The Big Important Art Book Now with Women’ by Danielle Krysa. The book is bursting with inspirational female artists exploring and sharing their artistic voices from all over the world (it’s definitely a book I would recommend for any budding artists out there.) Reading and searching through the book, Puissegur’s amusing and vibrant work immediately stood out.
Puissegur grew up in Louisiana. At seventeen she left high school to have her son, but eventually graduated and went to college where she studied art. Originally an abstract painter, she made small wire sculptures to use as visual references for her paintings.
By the time Puissegur had finished her undergrad, she was looking to develop a new style of painting. She was inspired by artists whose work was humorous and had a story to tell. Puissegur quit Grad school shortly after she started. Being quite a shy person, she felt intimidated talking about her work in front of the other students.
Puissegur moved from Louisiana to Los Angeles and secured a job as a graphic designer, but instantly disliked it. This was the nudge that she needed to take her artwork more seriously. She left her job and created an online shop to sell her artworks from.
A prolific artist, Puissegur paints every day creating weird and wonderful mixed media artwork. Shyness is recurrent trait when you read interviews with Kelly Puissegur, something that is quite hard to believe when you see her colourful and often crazy paintings. A self-confessed perfectionist, she is always striving to be better at what she does.
‘I always think everyone else seems to be doing something better and more interesting, but then I have an inner dialogue and reassure myself that I’m making the only work I know how to make. It has to be good enough because it’s the best work I can do’ Kelly Puissegur
Puissegur is a collage artist and most of her works begin with her sorting through the millions of vintage images she has. It is during this process that a story for her work is created, be it a rollerskating gorilla or a horse on a couch, the weirder the better! It is from this rough collage that a painting eventually emerges.
Puissegur aims to ‘document the massive hilarity in everyday life’ (Kelly Puissegur) and loves to include overheard conversations from cafes or from family members in her work. She keeps a book and writes everything down for when she needs some inspiration.
‘My inspiration comes from humour in movies, music, and everyday oddities in life. I love making people smile and laugh with my work. My paintings are little appreciations for movies, music, animals, plants, people who inspire me, family, shapes, textures, and whatever else pops into my head. I change mediums frequently because I get bored easily, but my work generally maintains a childlike, playful quality.’ Kelly Puissegur.
Inspired by Puissegur
So, with all the other amazing female artists out there, why did I choose Kelly Puissegur? First of all, because looking at her work brought me an immediate feeling of joy. With such a challenging 2020 and an uncertain start to this year, It was important that I chose an artist whose work was fun and put a smile on my face.
Secondly, Kelly’s work is wonderfully crazy! From strange new fruit to bears swinging from chandeliers, each of her paintings tells a story. In Puissegur’s own words, her artwork is for people who ‘want something silly and ridiculous on their walls.’ Her work is far more wacky than anything I have done and I think it is good to venture out of your comfort zone once in while.
And thirdly, I was immediately drawn to Puissegur’s design process. Collages are a fantastic way to explore and experiment before committing to a final design. And the best thing about collages is that you need very little materials and anybody can do it!
So what will we be making?
I’m not going to give too much away, but we will be using Puissegur’s design process and use collage to plan a final sewn piece. It will also embrace the craziness of Puissegur’s work so watch out for the project next Friday!
Of course, I have only been able to tell you a tiny amount about Kelly Puissegur and her work in this blog post. For more information visit the following sites: