Monday, November 18, 2013

Guest Post: Amanda of the Kibnit Creative

Today we'd like to welcome a long-time friend and long overdue guest blogger on of Dwelling and Dress: Amanda of the Kibnit Creative!  Amanda grew up with both Rox and Jess and is an amazing artist and dear friend.  We are so grateful she agreed to share her gifts and beautiful artwork with us today!  Welcome Amanda!

Thank you so much to Rox, Jessie, and Aly for bringing me in as a guest blogger and vendor at this year’s Handmade Holiday Shopping Open House!  I am such a fan of Of Dwelling and Dress and so honored to collaborate with these awesome, talented ladies.   

A little background on The Kibnit Creative-

The Kibnit Creative was born from my passion for art and people.  I academically pursued art in college then taught primary and secondary school visual arts before staying at home with my daughter full time.  After completing my undergraduate thesis, I felt like my artistic endeavors were missing something- the work felt forced and unfulfilling.  Then I had a little girl who became my muse and grabbed me by the heart.  The creative juices started flowing again, and I picked up my camera and paintbrush.  I decided to be a little selfish.  For the first time in years, I was going to make a painting just for myself, a painting of my little girl.  I was a bit rusty at first but encouraged when S didn’t come out looking like an Ewok.  In fact, she looked a lot like herself- maybe a little stiff, but definitely my little girl.  After a lot of prayer, practice practice practice, and encouragement from close friends and my hubby, The Kibnit Creative was born.

I often get asked, “What’s a Kibnit?”  Well, long story short, my hubby and I began dating our sophomore year in high school, and BOY did we have our share of cheesy, embarrassing pet names for one another!  At some point, I became Kibnit, and it stuck in the very best way.
“Now, what exactly do you make/sell?”

I am an artist and habitual crafter!  If the mood strikes, I’ll hand craft clay beads and make a necklace or spray paint wood blocks and plastic figurines to make bookends.  These days, my passion for watercolor has really weighted heavily on my art and craft production.  I specialize in custom, original watercolor portraits of people, pets, and homes.  When I first began portrait work, I found that working closely with my clients to capture exactly what they love about their children, pets, and homes was so rewarding.  One client, the mom of a little boy I was painting, said, “Oh no!  Let’s not crop out his legs. I want to see the soft little rolls!”  She wanted to remember those little baby legs in all of their chunky glory.  My experiences just felt so personal.  I was connecting with complete strangers and bringing their loved ones to life in paint.  It just felt great, and I LOVED the challenge. 

(custom portrait in progress, pictured below)

(custom portraits, ready to ship, pictured below)

I also enjoy making Ready to Sell (RTS) artworks.  My RTS pieces are sort of on the opposite end of the visual spectrum from portraits.  They allow me to be inventive and to paint and create according to my mood or current interests, which is a lot fun and a great stress reliever for this mommy brain!  I make them ready to frame or display, so they are great gifts, especially if you’re short on time. ;)  With Christmas quickly approaching, I couldn’t help but get a little bit festive when drawing up my plans for the Handmade Holiday Shopping Open House, so there will definitely be some Christmas flair!

(detail of RTS artworks, pictured below)

(handmade ceramic ornaments in progress, below)

Thanks so much for letting me share my passion with you! I am so very humbled and blessed by all of the support The Kibnit Creative has received in its two short months of existence and am looking forward to seeing what else the Lord has in store for this venture.  Thank you again, Rox, Jessie, and Aly for having me.  I hope to see you all at the Open House!  Happy [insert day of week] everyone!
The Kibnit Creative

About the Author:
Amanda Littlejohn is a 2006 graduate of Mississippi State University’s college of Architecture, Art, and Design and MS licensed secondary school art educator. She is a stay at home mom of a pretty awesome little girl, wife to the love of her life, and the owner/artist behind The Kibnit Creative.

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