Introducing Kate Comen, our quarterly featured artist! Visit our store to marvel at the mural adorning our front window and to purchase one of our limited edition Kate Comen x Candlefish candles. Every purchase contributes 100% of its profits to support the Charleston Arts Community. Dive deeper into Kate's inspiring story below!
How did you get started?
I grew up in Charleston and then attended Clemson University, where I majored in Visual Arts. I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember but hatched the idea of being a full-time artist when I was in high school.
What inspires your art, and are there any particular themes or motifs that you tend to explore in your work?
I find inspiration in a lot of different things I see throughout my day. A lot of my color inspiration comes from interior design, that I usually see online. I like to paint pieces while imagining it hung up in a certain space. I like to focus on color, pattern, and light in my own pieces.
Could you walk us through your creative process, from concept to finished piece?
I’m not someone who plans out my paintings so much. I usually start it with a base color and build a palette off of that as I go. I like to use a palette knife and other little tools to scrape off paint in some areas to reveal layers that lay underneath. If it ends up going in a direction I don’t love, I just paint over it and start over!
What advice would you give to aspiring artists who are just starting out?
Keep painting and putting your work out there for people to see- the best way to develop your style is to just keep creating! Also to say yes to any projects or commissions even if it’s not the direction you think you want to go in. It’s all experience and you can narrow down your projects as your business grows.
What are your future goals as an artist, and are there any upcoming projects or exhibitions that you are particularly excited about?
My goal is to keep growing my brand. Collaborations, like this one with Candlefish, have shown me that I can do so much more with my artwork. One dream of mine is to expand to products like textiles, while still putting out original paintings regularly.
Can you share a particularly meaningful experience you've had as an artist?
Anytime a client falls in love with a commission that I’ve painted for them. It’s amazing that so many people have trusted me to capture such meaningful people, places, and things.
How do you think the local art community can be supported and encouraged?
It can be supported by going to local art shows and galleries. There are so many amazing artists in Charleston, and there's always something going on in the art community!