Hello and Welcome!

Hello! Welcome to my blog! I’m Saskia Kiell, an artist and illustrator just recently set loose upon this world. I’ve taken my time with school, but I made sure to try to get what I needed out of it. My college journey is another subject I may get into in the future. I thought it would be good to start at the beginning and introduce myself and my artistic history, so it is as follows:

I’ve grown up in the Chicago area, and have spent the majority of my life there, aside from living in Pittsburgh and attending Carnegie Mellon University for a couple of years. I grew up in an art-oriented family, with my mom being a big art history and classical music enthusiast as well as a violinist, and my dad working in design through his newsletter business. My name is even an art reference - Saskia was the name of Rembrandt’s wife.

I’ve always had a bit of a knack for drawing. In preschool and kindergarten I filled up multiple sketchbooks with the stories of my cat characters. When my peers were drawing only dots for eyes, the people I drew already had eyelashes and lips. Continuing on in school, I was known as someone who could draw well, and it became part of my identity. I will admit- I didn’t take art as seriously as I could have, and I do wish I had. Getting to high school and realizing I was actually one of many artistic students was a bit of a wake-up call, but as I was also good in academic subjects, I couldn’t focus myself on art because I wasn’t sure that’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my academic career.

In applying to colleges I came to the decision to apply to art schools and art programs at various institutions. It seems like I made that decision fairly easily, and in hindsight I can’t quite say why that was such a simple decision for me. I hadn’t been putting everything I had into art, but clearly it had the most resonance with me.

A lot of my wisdom, I feel, is derived from my time in college. Looking back, I think it would have been best to have taken a gap year, as I don’t think I was ready to go straight to college, but I was also competitive, and couldn’t let my peers get ahead of me, or so went my thought process. Because I wasn’t ready for college, I certainly didn’t last long enough to get my bachelors degree at the first school I went to, so I came home and spent a few years recuperating and reflecting. It was in that time that I decided I did really want to try my best at art, and that I would use my time and resources to pursue a career in art. By fate, it seems, I came to hear of an illustration program in my home state, only about an hour’s drive from my home. I set my sights on finishing a BFA in illustration, and received it in May 2018.

Art, in its way, is very satisfying to me, but also a constant frustration. When you do something and you love how it’s turned out, you do feel a sense of satisfaction, but if you come to realize there’s something lacking in what you’ve done, you’re back to the struggle to improve. There’s always something to improve, and I suppose if you’re frustrated, that means you feel you have room to improve, and might even know what needs to be worked on. I love the satisfaction of putting images down on whatever surface, an image that previously was not there, and it’s obviously even better when the image is aesthetically pleasing or fulfilling in some respect.

Well, I suppose I’ll leave it there and wrap up my first blog post. Thanks for reading, and see you in the next one!

~Saskia Kiell

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