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Good evening Kc, and happy Thursday! Is everyone having a eventful week? We hope so! Today we are coming back to you with another inspiring story, from Surface Designer, Sheri Biritz!


“Inspiration happens in a few different ways. Many of my paintings come to me in dreams while I'm sleeping. Once I awaken, I capture the images in my sketchbook and even mix colors of paint so I don't forget the color palette. Quite often I get intuitive downloads of a visual. I've learned these images I am seeing are future paintings. I try to replicate what I saw as closely as possible. It's not always a success but I at least attempt it. Nature is also a big influencer and inspiration point, but for me, it goes beyond just being in nature and viewing it. I love studying dramatic textures, patterns, and color within nature. Using an intuitive process I try bringing the feeling of those elements into my paintings through a layering process, which marries them together in a very special way. I also love listening to music while painting. My favorite technique is listening to new music I've never heard. There are no emotions or feelings connected to the new music. As I listen, it's creating a high energy as I paint because there are no previous emotions affecting my painting process. Whereas listening to music I've heard before can influence my painting because it draws up emotions I associate with the music from previous experiences. Listening to podcasts is another way to tap into a fresh experience by stimulating the left side of my brain. Combining each of these systems inspires me to create.”

WHAT DOES YOUR ARRWORK REPRESENT? My artwork is an intuitive process and my focus is in capturing an emotion through color and texture. The subject matter is affected by my environment and our world. Sometimes it's a heavy topic like death, a pandemic, or the global environmental crisis. When I was younger, people would tell me I was' too happy'. I found myself hiding my day to day joy, toning it down for people. However, now, I don't hide and most of my paintings reveal genuine excitement I feel. I'm a happy person and express it with paint.” HOW DO YOU MAKE IT, IN THE ART COMMUNITY? “I love meeting new people, especially other artists. There's an inner connectedness almost instantly. I respect other makers' craft and love seeing the hand in their work. I find supporting fellow artists by buying their work not only supports them but also the local economy, small businesses, and is more sustainable for our environment. Creating these bonds with other artists allows me to grow as an artist by collaborating and sharing tips and tricks with one another and celebrating our wins together. Other artists become expanders for me as I push myself to create in new ways. My circle of art friends has grown worldwide due to the global pandemic. I've relied on technology to make the much needed connections with other artists. I now have artist friends in other countries like New Zealand and Canada.” WHAT DOES ART MEAN TO YOU, AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SOCIETY? “Art is therapy. It's how I'm able to navigate through living in a complicated world. If I can use my art to create comfort or healing for someone, that is everything to me. This concept applies to our society as well. Our lives are filled with art. It's everywhere, whether we realize it or not. We surround ourselves with art daily. Our home decor, clothing, down to the car we drive. All of these things involve a creative mind to help the aesthetic we want to surround ourselves with. It's all self expression and art allows society to thrive. Art evokes all the emotions and feelings we want to express.” HOW DOES BEING FROM KC AFFECT YOUR WORK IN THE ARTIST COMMUNITY? “I've lived in KC for 30+ years and I constantly tell people that it's a hidden gem. It's filled with so many artists and beautiful artwork. From architecture, museums, murals to sculptures, and of course the art community is electric. The buzz of artists throughout KC inspires me. The vibration is exciting. Not only is this energy floating around but driving through the city I become motivated to create. There's a beautiful energy here and it makes me want to emulate it through paint.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ART MEDIUM? “For my latest work, it's a combination of materials. I create abstract acrylic mixed media paintings. Starting with a messy underpainting, I begin alternating warm and cool tones as I build up each layer. Before the layer dries, I use things like a large nail to scratch into the surface revealing underlying colors. Through mark making I add in mixed media including charcoal, china marker, water soluble pencils, tempera paint sticks, and oil marker but really anything I can grab to create interest in the layers before alternating to cool tones. I repeat the process until I feel the painting is complete. As much as I love painting on canvas and paper, I also love upcycling discarded things I find at the thrift store or repurposing items I already own and breathing new life into it. Sustainability is very important to me.” TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF? “I am a Kansas City, Missouri transplant and still long for the nature I experienced growing up in Montana. I received my degree in Commercial Art. Working in the field and eventually starting my own freelance business, I rediscovered my love of hands-on creating in 2015. From there I began exploring mixed media art and fully shifted in 2017 to painting. My art is inspired from my childhood, where I grew up at the border of Yellowstone National Park. I use an intuitive process to create abstract art through texture, color, and patterns. My work reflects my love for both graphic design and nature through careful placement and balance, combined with blended colors, textures, and patterns throughout each composition. Working as a surface designer for many years in the world of commercial art, my work sold in big box stores throughout the United States. Later, as an art director, I worked closely with Disney/Buena Vista, DreamWorks, and all major film studios. I maintained a client relationship with Disney after leaving and starting my own freelance design business. Currently I have surface design artwork within several stores in Kansas City, MO. The City Strip Design is carried in the Made in KC store, both Rally Houses on the Country Club Plaza, and The Best of KC store in Crown Center.”

ANY STRUGGLES YOU’VE HAD AS AN UPCOMING ARTIST? “Finding my lane of how I wanted to present my art and show my individuality took time. Hearing the word 'no' after applying for Artist Calls was hard. Learning to trust the process, acceptance, and most importantly being patient by staying the course in creating and doing what I love were big breakthroughs for me.” WHERE TO FIND SHERI: Instagram: @sheribiritz Site: As always thank you Sheri for opening up to us and sharing your inspiring story! Kc, thank-you all for the support and love you continuously show to our local Artist, and last but never least thank YOU reading this for taking the time out of your day to hear our voices! xoxo, Inside Girl 💋

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