At gorjana, we strive to immerse ourselves into the culture of the communities we join. In the past, we’ve done this by partnering with local charities and eating at a lot of local restaurants (lol). Our hope is that the community will not only enjoy the art, but appreciate, honor and celebrate the artists who constructed it.
Our new store in Austin presented a unique opportunity - a blank wall. We instantly envisioned a mural, and set out to find a local artist who could make our dream come true. We were successful - and met up with Molly McFee and Kayla Koslow, two art teachers who currently reside in Texas.
Molly McFee + Kayla Koslow
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO PURSUE ART FULL TIME?
MOLLY: I have been teaching elementary art for the past thirteen years, and have been lucky enough to teach thousands of little artists during that time. My desire to share my love of art with children was inspired by a visit to The Art Institute of Chicago on a college trip during Christmas break.
KAYLA: When I was a very young age I remember being creative and thinking a lot about the world and how it looked around me. My father is a very good artist and I remember him drawing often as a child and wanting to do the same. Art has always been a part of my life. I don’t ever remember a moment when it hasn’t played a large role in my upbringing and career. When I was a high school teacher in Virginia I started murals with my students inside the halls of their classrooms. This is where I learned my love for murals and the joy they brought so many. We completed 15 murals in the school before I left for Texas.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS AN ARTISTS ROLL IN THEIR COMMUNITY?
MOLLY: To help others notice the beauty and joy in the world around them.
KAYLA: I think the biggest thing we can do as artists is to bring happiness and joy to our community through the arts. The arts brings people together so beautifully
WHAT'S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS WHEN CREATING MURALS?
MOLLY: Our first mural, #austinwildflowerwall, was done with a few friends, and that’s when I discovered how fun murals are to paint. This was my second time working with Kayla, and she is a wonderful mural partner!
KAYLA: I love to let it flow when it comes to a mural. I rely heavily on my craft and eye during the process. I think it is so important to see the brushstrokes and small mistakes within a mural or it doesn’t look hand painted.
I sketch the mural idea on my iPad first and then when I get to the wall I like to trust my hand in the making and creating. I have never been one to love perfection and I definitely don’t strive for it, so when I paint I like to have my visual of the sketch in my hand but allow for my mind and hand to do the work.
WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION AND WHY?
MOLLY: Exploring- through avenues like traveling, trying new restaurants, taking road trips, getting outside, seeing live music, and going to museums always inspires me! I am very curious and exploring the world, locally and globally, always ignites my creativity.
KAYLA: I could never just name a person or style of art that inspires me. The beauty of social media is I am constantly inspired by so many daily. I love that technology has brought out a beautiful side of social media in the arts and that we can learn and be inspired by each other's craft.
WORDS TO LIVE BY?
MOLLY: My mom has a magnet that says, “Act old later!” and I love that mindset. I’m a child at heart!
KAYLA: “My Energy creates my reality”
I think the most beautiful thing we can do as people is to react to the world around us in the most positive way possible. We only can control our happiness and when we exude the energy we love, we in turn learn to love our reality.
WHAT GORJANA PIECE ARE YOU CURRENTLY LOVING?
MOLLY: I’m in love with the Parker charm necklace sets!
KAYLA: I am obsessed with the gold Parker Layering Set! I also love the new colorful pieces in the store. I am obsessed with color so I’m really loving the new coral and turquoise pieces.