Our Tribe // Meet Our Makers // Kelly Jay
In conversation with Kelly Jay
The creator behind ‘Of Visual Forms’
We recently discovered ‘Of Visual Forms’ - the multidisciplinary brand of Nottingham-based Kelly Jay, and knew immediately that her artworks would be a perfect fit for A New Tribe. With her strong use of form and shape combined with a soft tactility and texture, whilst using modest colour palettes - the artworks from ‘Of Visual Forms’ really are a perfect way to bring some pattern into a considered and paired back interior. We chatted to Kelly Jay to find out more about her and how her brand began…
Could you tell us a bit about your background, and how ‘Of Visual Forms’ began?
I would say I’m just at the beginning of my journey as a creative. In the past, I’ve studied Fine Art where I explored a wide range of mediums and techniques such as drawing, painting, printmaking, and textiles to name a few. I loved the freedom of trying something new every day in the studio, which is something I still like to try and do now. Of Visual Forms evolved from me discovering my own artistic style and expression. Over the past few years, I have discovered ways that I can translate it into something tangible. Through Instagram, I’m connecting with like-minded creatives and collectors which is something I really value. The traditional barriers between art and collectors are significantly reduced - I love chatting with people and sharing my work that way.
You live and create your work in Nottingham - how has Nottingham influenced your work, and what is the creative scene like there?
Yes, and I’ve come across so many other creatives from Nottingham! I was born and raised there and that’s where I’m working at the moment, in my outdoor studio at home. I love the mix of architecture in the city centre - from Victorian lace houses and gothic buildings to contemporary galleries. The combination of old and new is something really special. It’s an incredibly creative city - there’s so much going on. In September, I’ll be moving back up to Newcastle to finish the final year of my Interior Design degree at Northumbria University, where there’s also a great creative scene.
Could you tell us about the process behind your artworks, and where you draw inspiration from?
The act of creating works is generally intuitive, the compositions can be a result of both formulaic decision making and expression. Ideas can pop into my head when I’m least expecting them, but they usually develop through experimentation and sketches. I draw inspiration from almost everywhere. I tend to photograph something when I see the beauty in it. This all comes from years of exploration and curiosity to create. At the moment I’m working on creating an online journal for the stories behind my works on my website. I want to share my thoughts and processes so others can experience my work on a more personal and connected level.
You are also studying Interior Design, how does this influence your artwork?
To me, Interior Design is an opportunity to create environments that incorporate artistic vision and communicate a particular narrative - it has a symbiotic relationship with Art. Of course, there are key considerations for functionality and meeting expectations within a design project that you don’t necessarily have when creating artwork. However, I believe that amazing spaces always celebrate art, craftsmanship and materiality. I take inspiration from beautifully designed spaces; and the furniture, fittings and lighting within them. On my course, I’ve been lucky enough to have been on a few field trips; the most recent being New York pre-pandemic in February this year. I got the chance to explore so much of what the city has to offer including MoMA and the artisan markets in Brooklyn. I love visiting new places and experiencing environments and cultures.
“Through Instagram, I’m connecting with like-minded creatives and collectors which is something I really value. The traditional barriers between art and collectors are significantly reduced - I love chatting with people and sharing my work that way”
What would be your typical working day, and has the lockdown affected your working routine in any particular way?
Since finishing my work for my University studies I’ve had the time in lockdown to focus on creating artworks and personal projects. My days vary, but usually, after waking up I get straight into the studio. I try and be intentional with my time, but I also like to keep things loose and interchangeable. An idea or an e-mail can quickly change the course of the day.
It seems like an exciting time for Of Visual Forms - what have been the best parts of your journey so far and what are your future plans?
I’ve really loved connecting with people. I think during this lockdown situation we’ve all become a bit closer and conversational online. Currently, I’m working on a new collection of paintings centred around interconnectivity and movement, which I’m hoping to release towards the end of July/ beginning of August. I also have a few collaborations and projects coming up that I’m incredibly grateful for. In the future, I see myself working in the world of both art and design simultaneously, expanding my range of work under Of Visual Forms.
The ‘Outlines’ Series from Of Visual Forms will be available in A New Tribe from July 2020