Arts & Culture, Interview

We Heart Kenn Crestwell!

An interview with the artist


Kenn Crestwell is an artist living and working out of Boston who is currently finishing up her degree at Lesley University. Her work is exuberant and approachable – each doodle, collage, and self-portrait all carry a uniquely vibrant pop style, recognizable by their bold colors and playful themes. Kenn is also one of the 16 artists participating in the upcoming exhibition at our gallery, Dorchester Art Project,  Face Value: Art, Makeup & Identity (August 3-31), a group show exploring local artists’ relationship to makeup through the lens of politics, culture, and identity.

We heart Kenn Crestwell!

BH: Describe your work in 3 words: 

Vibrant, Youthful, Pure

BH: What are you working on right now?

Developing ideas for my senior illustration thesis for Lesley. I really want to break into territory that questions the idea of what illustration is and challenges the department curriculum. My goal is to make an immersive installation that includes paintings, illustrated poetry books, and assemblage with found objects.

Kenn Crestwell

BH: How has your artistic practice has developed and changed over time?

I started off doing only abstract art, and later started more figurative and illustrative work as I went on at Lesley. I think my art reflects both influences and will always bounce between the world of fine art and illustration.

BH: What artists do you look at for inspiration?

One of my biggest inspirations is David Hockney, this one painting ” the arrival of spring in woldgate” has always been my favorite and sometimes just looking at it motivates and inspires me. I am also inspired by the color use and world building of Yayoi Kusama, but overall my biggest artistic inspirations are my artist friends. Working with them and discussing our work and art in general is what keeps me going.

David Hockney

Yayoi Kusama

BH: What media (books, tv series, podcasts, etc.) are you especially into right now? Are you watching or reading anything you’re excited about?

The last thing I watched that really inspired me artistically was Disney’s Coco. It has such a beautiful story and color palette, and the music is amazing, as well as the character design and development. The whole movie was so striking and moving I was lost in it, and it reminded me how much I love art and storytelling, and ultimately I use my art to tell stories. 

BH: Anything you want to shoutout? Your website, social media, upcoming events? 

My instagram is @ladyfigbee and I post almost every day with updates on my current work and I am always taking commissions!

Kenn Crestwell

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