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Meet Karly Razo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karly Razo.

Karly, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been drawing since I was a child. I was your classic artist kid. Let’s just say every Christmas I received at least one of those artist gift sets for kids with the cheap paper, pens, and colored pencils. I was a major bookworm and I recieved my first guitar at eight years old as a gift from my older brother. My art classes were my main focus in academics growing up, art club, all that, and I was very fortunate to have the art teachers that I did. Mrs White, Ada Brown, and Ron Reeder all challenged and inspired me in pivotal ways. I remember being in my painting class and working on a portrait I had going for a few days when my teacher came up to me, painted over it in white and told me “start over, I know you can do better”. I appreciated that and I needed that. She saw my potential and called me to a higher level of performance.

I had a really well rounded musical upbringing due to my parents and older brother having exceptional taste, so I grew up in an aural environment that really contributed to my creativity. My parents had a rad record collection and I was the only third grader I knew who’s brother was teaching her how to play miserlou on the guitar. I would write little poems here and there in my teenage years and early twenties but it became an essential part of my being as time went on.

I’ve never not been creative, I don’t know what that’s like. It is second nature to me. My poems, my music, my art are all active parts of my being, like breathing. They are fundamental to my well being. They serve as release, processors, and prayers. How I started and how I got to where I am is kind of hard to answer. It seems that art, writing, and music really just befriended me at a young age and I’ve grown with them and continue to do so.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I suppose I don’t think about my creative endevors as something that I pursue persay but rather parts of me that I am constantly returning to. I never wanted to be an artist I just always was one. It just came with the package that is my life. As I get older it can be challenging to return to my purpose though for sure.

I don’t work with any intent other than what comes naturally to me. I feel too intimately tied to my creativity to ever create something with the intent of it being a product, everything I create is just a natural function of my being on every level, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I’m not in the business of forcing flowers to bloom for profit if you know what I mean. So has it been smooth? No. Because life is not smooth.. but it’s my job to make it beautiful so I do that.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I do hand-drawn illustrations typically of a spiritual and religious nature. Lately, I’ve used lots of Catholic imagery and my pictures tend to depict Jesus in spacey, intergalactic, scenarios with some rainbows here and there. Almost like Jesus if he listened to parliament funkadelic, which I’m sure he does…I illustrated the apostles creed, the entire rosary, and am now working on a creation themed series.

I write a lot of poetry. I use a lot of etherial, mystical, religious and yet raw imagery. My poems are echoes from my life. They range anywhere from personal purgings to prayers, from the hard parts to the holy, and every wild avenue in between. All sewn together with the common thread of God’s presence in and though it all. I’ve been working on an illustrated book of my poems that I hope to get published soon.

I play guitar and sing and I write songs here and there but I don’t have anything official recorded as of yet but I would like to. I sing about the same stuff I write about. I’d say about a third of my poems turn into songs. It can sound quite folky at times.

What were you like growing up?
I was a little weirdo with a big imagination and highly sensitive with a rich inner world. I’ve been questioning my existence and the meaning of life since I could think. My curiosities about God and things related to the soul were endless so I’m not surprised I have ended up to be who I am today. I was always drawing, reading, and listening to music. Not much has changed. Always curious, a little rebellious, introverted, and always a geek on the inside. Definitely wasn’t a cool kid, I was occasionally the one reading during recess, and hanging out in art class at lunch. All I really wanted to do was watch Lord of the Rings, listen to Led Zeppelin, go to shows and eat tacos with my friends.. I mean..I certainly would have hung out with me..

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