Meet the Maker: Kelly Fleek
by Kollabora Follow

posted 10 years ago

My name is Kelly Fleek, you can see my visual art at and listen to my music at I am a maker of many things and I work in various art forms as a means of self expression and exploration.

My DIY weapons of choice are virtually anything I can get my hands on from day to day. I love to draw and paint on recycled paper grocery bags and I create sculptures with yarn and up-cycled thrift store fabric. I have an obsession with finding the 'perfect' pair of scissors and I enjoy finding cast away pieces of plywood for my large scale abstract paintings. Often, I grab my bass guitar and microphone to give a voice to my world.

I live in an incredibly inspiring world at the base of a small mountain in the Pacific Northwest. I need only step outside my door to experience nature in it's utmost splendor. I left the city 11 years ago to allow myself the space to create without the distractions of urban living. I habitually collect and read vintage encyclopedias and books on nature. I love the imagery and the fearless descriptions of our world and I find the smell of old books intoxicating.

After a long day of making work which currently involves knitting another wearable sculpture for my new series 'Nature Drag', I retreat to my music studio for band practice with my husband and best friend Alton. Then I hang out with my amazing daughters, now 16 & 20 years old, and we read to each other in front of the woodstove. We are currently reading Erin Morgemstern's book  'The Night Circus'.

When I think about starting a new project, I doodle endlessly, I freestyle knit, making the patterns as I go, stopping only to do a little math here an there along the way. I most frequently sketch on bills that I do not feel like paying or on the back of my 16 year old daughters graded homework.

The best part about running my own business is that I have headspace to myself and the ability to express my creativity on my own timeline, as well as being able to interact with my family and be outdoors when I desire. My advice to anyone about to start their own business is don't panic, the worst case scenario is that you start over, and that in itself can be a great adventure.

If I wasn't a working artist, I would go back to professional baking, I love baking cakes!  I am a happy vegan who believes in food subterfuge! No one argues when their mouth is full of delicious food. Nothing feels better than sitting down to a delicious meal with friends and family and unveiling a beautiful cake.

I believe in the interconnectedness of everything that I do. I do not separate the baking of a cake from the completion of a song or having a new knitted sculpture on my needles. In that way, I will never stop creating, It is part of who I am entirely.

The first thing I do when I wake up is have my morning espresso & toast while I answer my emails and complete my 'office work' in bed another perk of working for myself.

My favorite smartphone app is Instagram hands down. I have even begun a new photographic series that you can find on my website that all began with Instagram. My Instagram moniker is of course, knitfreestyle.

My favorite movies to watch when I am feeling down are the first installments of Star Wars and the original Star Trek television series. I also always turn to my friend an colleague, Audiosapian for the perfect music to shift my mood.

My favorite new phrase came to me while working as a visiting artist in a local high school. When describing my creative process, I referred to my work as 'Emotional Architecture'

My least favorite word is Bored. I do not experience bordom....ever.

The fictional characters I most relate to are Molly Weasley and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. My family and my children's friends compare me to a synthesis of the two, extremely flattering actually.

My favorite artists and Makers are Man Ray, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Shepard Fairey, Ilaria Margutti, Cookie A and Celine Dupuy.

My favorite thing about creating work is processing my life, thoughts, and emotions in a constructive and positive way.

My favorite DIY websites are Save the Kales, The Post Punk Kitchen, Hands Occupied, Fake Sheep, Kollabora.

My favorite Kollabora projects are the Loopy Caplet, the Chunky Cardigan and the Yoshimi Knit Dress. I love simple projects as a break from my work.

You can enjoy my sculptures in action along with my music in the video 'The Happiest Sound' for my band the spider ferns.

[photos courtesy of Kelly Fleek]

Discussion 2

  • Kelly Fleek commented 10 years ago

    Many thanks for the lovely feature..!  


  • Missbatch commented 10 years ago

    Kelly- It's so much fun to peek into your world! Thanks for sharing! Your work is mind-bending in a really good way. :) 


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