I signed up for Kelly Rae Robert’s Flying Lessons e-course in early 2010 as a gift to myself. I was trying to dig my way out of a dark place in my soul, and knew I needed a little help to finish finding my way out of the gray place that was my life. My life for the past 2.5 years had been chaotic: My favorite grandmother died, my mom had been diagnosed with terminal brain and lung cancer, we moved, I had a baby, and then my mother passed away. The passing of my mother left a huge hole in my heart. She was my creative partner and my best friend. My soul was feeling lonely, and I had let my creative business almost dry up, with all that was going on in my life. That is when I found this e-course, and I knew that it was exactly what I needed. I needed community with other artists, and information to get me excited about my business again.
And you know what? It worked! Within a week, I felt like I had found my long lost sisters, like Laura Otero, and I was once again, excited about business and art again.
Now, I am happily working in my artwork, and I am ready to make it happen. The Creative Entrepreneur came up in a comment someone left on my blog, as a way to get your business plan in place, but it was designed as a business plan for creatives! Not the dull, dry business plans you hear about in your college business courses, but this was something I could comprehend and make work – for me! I think so many of us creatives allow ourselves to be scared off by the thought of “Business” but really, like many of our problems, it isn’t scary if you tackle it one step at a time. Join me and the rest of the artists as we travel on this not-so-scary business plan journey!
Kelly Thiel found clay in 1999. Interested in all things creative, she grew up with an artistic mother on a small farm in rural Georgia, where she developed her love of playing in the mud. Those formative years influenced her greatly, and since then, she has always been involved in the arts.
A couple of years after graduating from Virginia Tech, Kelly moved to Charleston, SC and began actively persuing her creative interests. She traveled around the country to study with different artists, like Tom Coleman and Lisa Clague, and to further her knowledge of the clay. She has shown her award-winning sculptures in regional and national exhibitions, and currently participates with the American Craft Council retail shows each year. Several of her sculptures will be included in the Art Buzz, Collection 2011, an art book dedicated to the visual arts. Kelly has also recently expanded to offer select pieces in bronze.
While Kelly is known for her claywork, she has always sketched and painted on the side, when time permitted. She finds that working in the different mediums is inspiring and freeing, and the influence from one carries over into the next. She is currently participating in a world-wide art venture called The Sketchbook Project, due out early in 2011. She also has a group exhibit, opening in January 2011 for the Cabarrus County Arts Council, where she is exhibiting five of her recent sculptures.
With a studio on Folly Beach, Kelly is able to stay connected with the marsh environment, and has a wonderful view of a tidal creek, with many trees and birds.
Kelly is married with one young daughter, who has already attended many art shows and exhibits in her short life.