Making the Maker, an Interview with Kayla Gale

Hello! So glad you have stopped by to read our Making the Maker series (:

Today we are speaking with Kayla Gale, an artist from a small prairie town in central Canada. Kayla is a mama to a toddler, and her hobbies include, "sleeping and eating, the latter usually while standing." HA! We know how that goes around here. Kayla actually drew the oregano leaves for our Let Love Grow design, which is a personal favorite of mine! She is super talented, and we so enjoyed learning more about her.

Kayla:  Did you have any other jobs before becoming an artist?

Kayla G:  I worked as a florist for many years and today, while I am primarily a stay-at-home mom, I participate in a lot of volunteer work. I believe in living a simple life that focuses on people, not things. 

Kayla:  In what ways did working as a florist help to shape your art?

Kayla G:  Working as a florist was great for me in so many ways. I think mostly it just made me aware of my need to create everyday. I did a lot of art in high school and shortly after, but quit completely when I got married and began working. I didn’t realize until much later that the floral design was keeping my artistic passion going all of those years. When I shifted into the new role of being a mother, I realized there was something itchy about my new lifestyle. I LOVE being a mom, but that need to create was still there nudging me at the end of the day. I started painting again on printer paper with a Crayola watercolor palette – haha!! It felt amazing! It was then that I realized that I am just a super visual person who needs that stimulation every day as an outlet – whether it is art, or flowers, or whatever.

Kayla:  What inspires your products/business/design?

Kayla G:  I’m inspired most by the simplest things in my everyday life. I try to see small things; the colors in a little stone my daughter found, the shapes in my surroundings, the natural lines around a leaf. Being outside clears my mind and hits the reset button on my creativity, so it is always a part of my inspiration process. 

Kayla:  What is your design process?

Kayla G:  I don’t have much of a design process! Usually I am just struck by something I find beautiful, and I pursue it. I stare a lot – teehee!

Kayla:  What opportunities has making by hand opened for you?

Kayla G:  I think the most significant of opportunities has sprung from self-awareness and perhaps a small amount of new-found confidence. I had no idea I could create before, now I want to create all the time. It feels good to know who I am and be doing something true to myself. That in itself is an opportunity and can open all kinds of doors. I feel armed. 

Kayla:  Do you have any regrets, or have you made any mistakes when it comes to running a small business?

Kayla G:  Sometimes I feel regret when I doubt myself or tell myself I’m not good enough. But I think those feelings are common and can be overcome. Other than that I try to ignore regret because it’s just not a constructive emotion! I really believe in the process and learning as I go along.

Kayla:  What is the hardest part about running a small, handmade business?

Kayla G:  Self-confidence! What if no one likes what I do!?!?! Also, time. Like a lot of other hand-makers, I am busy in my personal life, and finding a balance is hard. But I think that examining and focusing on my priorities really helps with that.

Kayla:  You say that it is not easy to share pieces of your heart/self with others. Which parts of yourself do you find easiest and/or hardest to share with others when you create your pieces?

Kayla G:  I think my line drawings are the most challenging to share, because I know not everyone is going to “get” them. I have experienced critics who have said, “I could do that!” Ack – I hate hearing that. I often challenge the person to try. What I love most about minimal art is that it says more with less. I think that is the true art.

Kayla:  Can you walk me through the process of your abstract paintings? I am so fascinated because I cannot paint at all!

Kayla G:  Abstract painting is SO new to me. I have loved abstract for as long as I can remember but never been brave enough to try until just recently. So my process is really fluid and always changing at this point! It usually begins with a color palette or composition I see in real life. Maybe it’s a photograph or quick sideways glance at something in my surroundings. I immediately wonder what that would look like if the lines were blurred, or if you could only see the “feelings” or the “mood”. I love mixing up colors and feeling out where they should be. And there is always a point that I come to where I say, this is HORRIBLE! Haha! So I’ve accepted that as part of the process too. When I feel its done, I’ll tape it to my wall for a couple of days to be sure. But I always try to embrace less is more. 

Kayla:  Where would you like to see your business/artwork go? Selling prints? A book? A gallery? What do you see in your future?

Kayla G:  Ah, this is a scary question. I have given this a lot of thought for sure, but I haven’t solidified any real goals yet. I started making art as a release and for my enjoyment, and so those must stay in my future. But along the way I have learned so much and realized that art is most effective when it’s shared and most beautiful when it’s appreciated. Salvador Dali said that, “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.” I would love to share my work to inspire others, just as others have inspired me. I’m not exactly sure what that entails just yet, but that will probably come with time.

Thank you so much, Kayla, for that lovely insight to your business, process, and personal life! I enjoyed this interview so much, especially learning about how Kayla's abstract paintings are made. I do not always get abstract art, as she said, but what is interesting to me is what the artist was feeling when a piece was painted. That is so incredible! And beautiful.

You can shop Kayla Gale's art through her Etsy here, and following along with her everyday life on her Instagram @slow.season

Do you think your small, handmade business would be a good fit for an interview on Under A Tin Roof? Contact us through our contact page or shoot us an email at underatinroof2015@gmail.com

xoxo Kayla