Inspiring Artist, Kelley Brown

Meet Kelley Brown…

Please introduce yourself and your art a little bit.

I have been an artist from the time that I first picked up a crayon: I drew a horse, and that image still hangs in my parent’s house reminding me of my passion from an early age. I was involved in art classes form that point on, majoring in art in high school and college. I learned all the “right” ways of creating art. And then, I went to grad school to study art therapy and was introduced to art journaling. The process allowed me to break all the rules I had learned and in turn opened up creativity in me I did not know existed. Although I have always been an artist, through art journaling, I have come to live an artistic life.

My blog chronicles my ongoing projects, including a recent project about turning 30 and a process I call “parallel art journaling” where my significant other and I explore themes together through art. I have presented on the topic of art journaling at universities and the National Art Therapy Conference along with several other local venues. My blog and my work were recently featured on Psychology Today’s Arts in Healing blog, in an article about art journaling as an art therapy tool. I conduct local workshops in St. Louis, where I live and work, and have curated art journaling exhibitions. This spring I am excited to be one of the teachers in Dirty Footprint Studios online art journaling workshop 21 Secrets. (Learn more about 21 Secrets here registration is open through May 31, 2011.)

For me art is… healing, centering, relaxing and fulfilling.

What are you currently working on / playing with?

I love to use recycled materials, or other people’s trash. I love the idea in transforming what was discarded and turning it into something beautiful and artistic. I rarely buy art materials (besides glue and paints) because of this. The metaphor of this transformation in art is then echoed in my life, brought in some part by the art in the art journals.

Tell us a little bit about your art journals.

I keep several different art journals. One that I keep is particularly for self-care at work. I am an art therapist and by creating artwork in this journal, I am able to process the emotional intense work that I do on a day to day basis. (you can read more about this here) I also create an art journal with my guy. We work side by side in a parallel process, creating artwork in our journals answering the same prompt. (You can read about this more in depth here). Although these serve as my primary forms of art journaling, I also make altered board books about particular themes, and also have participated in several art journal round robins.

Who has inspired you?

I am constantly inspired by the people that I encounter in life, both face-to-face and in the blogosphere. My guy Chris continues to inspire me in his enthusiastic leap he has taken into art journaling over the past several years. I am also inspired by children and their trust and enthusiasm for experiencing the world through all their senses, and how this translates in their experimentation with art. I soak up so much information from blogs and books, I would hate to leave anyone out by listing them individually, but you can see them linked on the right column of my blog under inspiration.

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

There are so many. But two of my favorites are:

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life ~ Pablo Picasso

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

Are there any tips to living a creative life that you’d like to share?

Schedule time for art and creativity. I use my lunch breaks to make art as well as schedule weekly art nights for my guy and I. I also have a monthly art group (read more about that here) Beyond that try to find creativity in all the things you do, either in noticing the beauty around you, or in creatively completing a task.

Where can people find you and your work?

Kelley, Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today!

Thanks for the opportunity!


Click button to view past interviews.

“Inspiring Artists” is an ongoing artist interview series at Join me Mondays for a weekly dose of creative inspiration.

The series will continue as long as there are artists wishing to participate. If you are an artist and would like to share your story, please contact me at, I’d love to hear from you. Thank you!

Love & Blessings,


  1. Natasha
    April 4, 2011

    Jeniffer, thank you SOOO much for featuring Kelley Brown. She is such…SUCH a creative force. I love how she lives and breathes art. Her art journals are gorgeous and moving. The way she worked with art in so many ways inspires me deeply. I liked her work before but I’m a HUGE fan now…thank you for this!!

  2. aimee
    April 4, 2011

    wonderful interview, jeniffer! kelley’s work is gorgeous and i can’t wait to take her class! xo

  3. Kelley
    April 4, 2011

    Thank you so much for interviewing me. And than you ladies for the lovely comments! I so appreciate them! xo

  4. Barbara Nigg
    April 7, 2011

    Beautiful interview – crying because I feel a deep resonance to Kelley’s words and artwork. Also, one of my own battles is that I feel I leave the family to go and create – I will invite my husband and daughter to create their own journals and see how that goes. I am so inspired by the amazing artists gathered for 21 Secrets!

  5. Iris B.
    August 26, 2012

    Hello! My name is Iris and I am an artist…self made. I love to dabble in most anything relating to art. I love to draw, create art journals (especially in the the area of discovering the inner me), paint, write, create poetry, and a whole lot of other stuff. I use art as a way of letting go of the frustrations of the day and as a way of discovering who I am…inside. When I’m creating…I seem to become one with whatever I am doing at the moment…and I’ve noticed that during this time…great amounts of time goes by so, so, so fast. But, in the end, I’m am most calm, at peace, and serene.


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