Artist Q & A: Kelly Kay Paper
Meet Kelly Kay Vidrine owner of Kelly Kay Paper! She is an artist that specializes in invitations, stationery, art prints, greeting cards, calendars & gifts designed right here in Fort Worth. She is passionate and super talented at her craft which reflects on every piece of art she makes. She draws inspiration for her art from nature, family, and everyday things that surround her. A piece that stood out was her “Table Grace” boxes that have cards with different prayers and bible verses that are perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday! We did a Q&A with her so you can get to know her more!
Get her products at: KellyKay.com
Q:Introduce yourself and give us a brief overview of your career.
A: My name is Kelly Kay Vidrine and I’m a native Texan married 12 years to an awesome guy. We have two young kiddos and I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon. I chose TCU for the graphic design program, which was a win because my courses helped me take my very rough talent and grow, refine and learn a marketable skill. I always knew I would start a business (entrepreneurship is in my blood) but I didn’t know what until working two years at a Fort Worth paper store, Salutations. My first love was invitations, and as I honed in on my “look,” my art became more prominent in the design. The real magic happened when I discovered Sennelier oil pastels, a far cry from the rock hard Pentel or Cray-Pas from Hobby Lobby. Sennelier oil pastels are straight pigment, the richest color, and they roll smoothly onto the paper creating texture, vibrancy and instant beauty. This medium makes my heart sing, I geek out, and I can’t stop drawing. I would rather draw than sleep. So I suppose the artistry part of my career followed closely behind the graphic design / entrepreneur part. Bottom line is that I LOVE what I do and I am beyond blessed to be able to do it.
Q: When did you know you wanted to peruse this as a career?
A: When I looked around the walls at the paper store where I worked, I really thought I could create lovelier and more interesting and compelling designs than the ones available at the time. It was competitive motivation and inspiration at the same time.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration for your art?
A: No person, place or thing in nature or at home is safe from becoming my inspiration! I get ideas everywhere, but usually at inconvenient times like while driving or in the shower when I can’t write them down. The best inspiration, though, is a loved one’s party or event; I love to create custom invitations for close friends and family and adapt them into my line. Also I draw a ton of inspiration from interior design which is clear when looking through the accounts I follow on Instagram.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your job?
A: The part where I hole up in my office full of bright, clean light, sit at the drafting table my husband hand-crafted for me for our one-year anniversary, and draw. Preferably for hours.
Q: Tell us about the table grace boxes. How did those come to be?
A: My precious grandmother had a vintage set of Table Grace Cards and every time the family gathered at her house for a meal, she would pass out the prayer cards, one to each of her eight grandchildren. We would read them oldest to youngest to bless the meal. As we grew older, our spouses were invited to read with us. The first time the first great-granddaughter read with all of us, there was not a dry eye in the house! This tradition spans generations in our family and must be carried to other families. The original set is out of print, so I decided to make my own set. It was a year long labor of love, using all my own artwork and researching all new prayers (and even writing a few). The prayers are kid friendly; some are serious and some are playful and they really make saying grace in front of others less intimidating. There is one card for each day of the month, so you can read “the third day” on the third of the month, or pass out many cards if you have a big family or dinner party.
Q: Where can people purchase your cards/art?
A: We sell Table Grace Cards, lovely 2018 desktop calendars, stationery, greeting cards and art prints on kellykay.com. We are also proud to have several Fort Worth stores that carry our line (mostly invitations): PS The Letter, Kay’s Hallmark, Polka Dot Penguin & Party Warehouse.
Also, I’ll be at Shop Small Fort Worth at The 4 Eleven, 411 South Main Street on November 11th & 12th. I’m also looking forward to a Pottery Barn pop-up at the University Park Village location (inside the store) on December 2nd & 3rd.
Q: Favorite thing about Fort Worth?
A: My favorite thing about Fort Worth is the incredible mix of different cultures and ways of life. I love that you can walk through the arts district and see fine art, grab a food truck taco and greet a real cowboy. We have the best food & restaurants ever. We have the best police force. And of course, this town is super family friendly, warm & kind. Everyone has a smile and people hold open doors for each other. It feels small in a really good way; I feel like I know lots of folks but it has everything I could ever want in city life! We absolutely love it here and hope to never leave.
Q: Favorite public art piece in Fort Worth?
A: In the Botanic Gardens, in a clearing along a path just south of the Rose Garden, there used to be (maybe still are!) some columns, artfully placed, some broken and some standing. This is the spot where my husband proposed. I don’t know the official title, but it’s definitely my favorite public art piece. My other favorites are the beautiful horn playing angels on the Bass Performance Hall downtown. I’ve loved them since the moment I saw them as a teenager visiting TCU.