We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Kelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephen, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I didn’t choose a creative career necessarily. Creating art is just the only way I’ve ever been able to communicate my thoughts and ideas to the world. It is my journal, a form of therapy, and a secret best friend. Whenever I take a prolonged break from producing work, my world slowly begins to fall apart around me. It is as essential to my psyche as exercising. I will be creating art in some form or another until the day I die, regardless of whether or not I am making money off of it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work ranges from figurative oil and water-color paintings, to large scale mixed media abstraction. Humans are my inspiration. Our relationships, our ugliness, our beauty, and the constant struggle and confusion that is our everyday lives. Everyday is a battle as an artist. Not only a battle to stand out and be seen, but a battle with yourself. We don’t get a lot of validation or recognition for what we do. So we must provide ourselves with the confidence and love needed to keep going. If you’re in this for glory or to feed your ego, you will not last. This is a life-long pursuit. You must love the process and the act of creating your art.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There was a time after college that I did stop creating art. I think I was burnt out from school and hadn’t quite grasped the idea of what it meant for me to be an artist. As I began to emotionally unravel, my friend Joey Palestina had to remind me of my own talent. After countless weeks of complaining to him of my unhappiness, he put me in my place. “Enough is enough.” He said. “Go make a painting. It can be shit on a piece of wood for all I care. JUST DO SOMETHING!” I listened. I didn’t shit on a piece of wood, but I did make a painting. And from that painting, I created a whole new series that would become the focus of our first Art & Prozak show. Art & Prozak is a multi-media artist collective founded by Joey and myself. Other than Joey, my family has always been my biggest support system. Without all of these amazing people in my corner, I don’t know if i’d be where I am today.

Website: www.stevekellyart.com

Instagram: @stevekellyart

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.