Artist Spotlight: Keltbh
Color Me Kurt's whole purpose is to celebrate those who do (and like) what they love, and give them the utmost of support and recognition. We're a huge pile of nerds, so our interests range across the metaphorical interest globe, which is what draws us to such niche-based and fandom-heavy sites such as Tumblr. The internet is such a well of talent, undiscovered or not, and while our spotlights aren't going to always be on the more fandom side of things, this site was, in fact, created with the inspiration from many. Without drawing inspiration from shows, music, and the like, it's unsure if this site would ever have come to be.
So, true to our roots, we're taking this spotlight train down the tracks towards one of the most passionate and dedicated fan stops we know!
If you've ever stepped foot into the Rooster Teeth and Funhaus fandoms, Kel is seemingly a household name as of late. Building up an immense following over the years, and contributing to many varied interests, Kel has found her calling among the beefiest stew, which is YouTube's Funhaus. Formerly known as Inside Gaming, Funhaus is a group of YouTubers dedicated to gaming and podcasts, focusing heavily on gameplay videos, gaming and tech news, and comedy podcasts, all of which is closely related to their parent company, Rooster Teeth.
Kel's art is seemingly a backbone in the community, and can be seen strewn across both Tumblr and Twitter, loved by both fans and the respective subjects themselves. Her style has evolved over the years to unique cartoon-esque vibes she uses today, but even her older art has always had something different, which is what had initially drawn many to her in the first place, years ago. Her linework is strong and smooth, but her work is more easily recognized by the sense of warmth her colours and shading bring (even when not using the classic warm tones!) She also captures likeness incredibly well, which is often hard to pull off with such a stylized touch, clearly displaying an even wider set of skills and understanding than one would think to consider of artists.
Kel isn't just incredibly popular for her art, either -- she's also incredibly sweet and utterly hilarious. Her Twitter is just a scratch of her personality, leaving followers and friends with hilarious doodles, constant communication, and (personally, a favourite) bear-related tweets. We managed to snag some of her time for a bit to get a few of our questions answered!
COLOR ME KURT: How did you first become interested in doing art, and how long have you been drawing?
KEL: I've been drawing for most of my life! I used to watch my sister draw and thought it was really cool, so I'd try to copy her. I think it all started with playing Pokémon Blue on my Gameboy Colour and having to take breaks because I wanted to draw all of the Pokémon!
CMK: What are some of your favourite and least favourite things about being an artist?
K: My favourite thing about being an artist is probably that I can literally just... draw whatever I want. It's quite baffling; if I'm feeling sad I sometimes like to draw myself in a funky suit of armour or something, because I remember that I can do that and it makes me feel cool. Least favourite is probably how hard I am on myself--there's always this overwhelming pressure to continuously improve, and if I don't see myself making progress in my art it can be a little tough to deal with. For example, I get really discouraged when I look at certain drawings from 2015/2016, because they're better than some of the stuff I make these days! It's really hard to shake off how disheartening that is.
CMK: You've made a name for yourself via the Funhaus fandom. How did that come to be?
K: I honestly do not have a CLUE how I got so lucky with the Funhaus fandom!! I just drew them a lot (like, an insufferable amount) and I guess people started to notice! I find that if you're nice to people, you can generally expect a decent reaction. It's so easy to be nice!
CMK: What drew you to Funhaus initially?
K: We all know that the answer to this is tall and bearded and rhymes with "Madam Schmovik".
CMK: We understand you met the [Funhaus] team this summer. How did that go?
K: Oh my GOD meeting Funhaus! Genuinely the most exciting experience of my life. They are angels and Adam managed to wangle front row seats for us at the panel they did on the first day at the convention, and so we (my friends and I) were sat up front with the B-Team (the lovely editors who aren't on camera as much as the main six) so that was excitement enough. When I saw the guys for the first time I was sat next to Jacob, and they walked on stage and I just caught sight of Adam and BURST INTO TEARS. It was awful and amazing and completely expected. After the panel, [Kip] and I were handing out some prints to people just in front of the stage, and we were pretty much surrounded by people (which was SUPER COOL, by the way. Oh my god). I was talking to a guy as I signed his print, and I saw him look up over my shoulder so I turned to look at what he was looking at and I just saw the crowd in front of us PARTING and this GARGANTUAN SILHOUETTE come marching towards us like fucking Moses parting the Red Sea. Introducing: James Willems! I'm pretty sure he broke one of my ribs when he hugged me but I was SOOOO happy I could hardly talk. I had my face just buried in his shoulder so when he spoke I sort of felt it more than heard it, but he hugged me and then without letting go he said, "but I know I'm not who you're really here to see--" and I'm preeetty sure I fell into some kind of cardiac arrest at that point cos I looked up and there's this small space around us and HEY WHAT DO YOU KNOW Adam Kovic's just standing in front of me. He goes, "hey", and I go, "ADAAAAAM" and I'm crying and it's embarrassing and amazing and genuinely the best experience of my entire 20 years of life.
Anyway--they were the most accommodating, charming, friendly, wonderful group of people I have EVER met and even when I had such impossibly high expectations they managed to go above and beyond and really gave me and my friends the best RTX experience anybody could EVER hope to have. Getting to hang out with Adam and have a proper conversation with James and Elyse and get a humongous smile out of Lawrence and MAKE BRUCE GREENE LAUGH oh my god. I cannot believe how lucky I am. I need to take a break after answering this question cos I'm weeping like a BABY just remembering it all. I want to go back!!!
CMK: Outside of your fanwork, what other artwork and projects do you have, or what do you hope to start?
K: I'm pretty awful when it comes to original works; I lose interest sooo quickly and I've abandoned so many promising projects! When I have the time, I'd really love to get into making my own comic. I'm also hoping to study animation at university next year, so that's something I want to look into as well!
CMK: Do you have any advice for those wishing to pursue a similar interest or career in art?
K: My biggest piece of advice would be to initially draw stuff that makes you happy! There'll come a time when you're so swamped with commissions and freelance stuff that you won't be able to draw the things you really want to as often as you'd like to, so whilst you're starting out just be SUUUPER self indulgent because that's the biggest motivator, I find! For me, it's drawing big beardy men: find your niche and roll with it, because passion really shows in art and drawing something that you're passionate about and that you enjoy is what's gonna make people invested in what you create!
CMK: Lastly, your favourite colour?
Spotlight Author: Maddie B.