An Introduction to our Illustrator Kris Keys
Posted: Nov 14 2014
An artistic inclination is something that came naturally to Keys, whose upbringing saw her heavily influenced by her soulful Southern surroundings where music, fashion and culture are not only steeped in tradition but have their own quiet brand of theatre. The works of Al Green, Isaac Hayes and the sounds of archetypal gospel music may not have obvious resonance with Keys’ vivid watercolors and spontaneous strokes but look a little closer at her dramatic use of line and exaggerated silhouettes and you’ll see glimmers of the church-influenced "Sunday Meeting" culture that Keys absorbed during her early years.
This rich foundation in visual stimulation prompted Keys to study Fashion illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, then landing a Visual Merchandising position for a leading retailer on Madison Avenue after which she crossed the pond to continue perfecting her craft at the London College of Fashion. Now translating the drama of wide brim hats, broad shoulders and saturated shades of her upbringing into contemporary forms, Keys documents of-the-moment catwalk shows, editorial spreads and people-watching in London’s cool quarters like her favorite Broadway Market and the Vintage Emporium Shop and Café. A mix of watercolor, gouache, and Indian ink allow fluid flickers that lend themselves perfectly to these lively street scenes, garments in movement as well as choreography.
Like her work, Keys takes a natural approach to career progression saying, “I rarely go to events with intentions of ‘networking’, I just usually develop organic relationships from meeting people at fashion week, through friends, by word of mouth, or through my website.” London provides a vibrant landscape from which to gather inspiration and Keys agrees – “I visit museums regularly, read interesting books, talk to other artists, listen to music, go to live music gigs, etc. The list goes on with things that inspire me.”
Kris Keys; you are a true inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talent with Terminology and the world! Just remember:
Keys’ personal style has been featured in Vogue Italia and Essence Magazines and her portfolio work can be seen on and commissioned through her website bykriskeys.com.
*Images courtesy of bykriskeys.com