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Meet Keilana Ellison

Today we’d like to introduce you to Keilana Ellison.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Keilana. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My artistic journey… I am originally from Oakland but grew up, for most of my life, in Maryland. Like most households, mine was not perfect. I used to tell my mom that once I made it, I would do x,y, and z for her and our family. There were a lot of struggling times growing up, but I did not lose my spark and forever remained hopeful of change. As a kid, I knew that once I graduated high school, I wanted to move back to California to live out my dreams of being in the art and fashion industry. I was always that crafty kid that found an outlet in anything art related, but I didn’t really start taking it serious until later in high school. I have to say a BIG thank you to my high school art teacher, who inspired me daily and saw my visions no matter how crazy they were! She would invite me to showcase my art at events outside of school as well as encourage me to sign up for local art contests…this was the exposure that I needed. I went to art school in D.C. right after graduating high school to brush up on my networking skills and to learn more about the art industry.

I used to tell my friends and family that once I’m out of art school, I would be moving back to California. At that time, I don’t think that they believed me ahahah. They would laugh at the idea and be like “how!?”, because they knew I would have to pretty much start over from the ground up, as far as making new friends, a social circle, etc. and all at the age of 19. Their responses and them underestimating me, made me want to try even harder to make things happen for myself! It took me 1 month to plan my way out of Maryland. Once I moved to California, I job hunted and immediately started to make some type of income and got my first apartment. For a couple of years, I would do art here and there, but I was primarily focused on making money/my career. Fast forward to the last two years, my art has lead me to places I have only dreamed of! With the power of social media, I started an Instagram page for my art and got contacted to be a part of my first Los Angeles art show!

My artist journey wasn’t really fast-paced, so you can imagine how huge this was for me. I remember getting the email invite for the show and damn near crying from the amount of joy I felt. Very humbling! After that first show, I started doing more art shows and worked on expanding my network. It’s crazy how everything comes full circle. Though my journey and dreams did not unfold overnight, it definitely taught me patience and that if you want something, you HAVE to go for it no matter what! I have had many challenges in my way leading up to this very moment in my life, but I did not let them distract me from my passion and soul purposes; which is helping others through my art! It’s so heartfelt attending these art shows and hearing the feedback from the audience and how they “felt” my art.

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?
No hahaha, the road has been windy, long and not smooth but defines the route worth traveling. Some of my struggles along the way included financial hardships, falling out with some friends, breakups, but all of those things build character right? 🙂

We’d love to hear more about your art.
KeilanaDezignz is a hub for all things art! Originally, I started doing just paintings but figured that since I wear many hats, I might as well expand my horizons by including other services like logo designing, fashion styling, curating, and I’m currently looking into apparel. I consider my art to be “flow art” because every brush stroke is organic, free and never planned. I paint with a metaphysical or an abstract vibe/mood in mind, so each painting tells a story that is up to the viewer to decipher. I am proud of KeilanaDezignz because the message is LOVE and no matter who you are, where you are in the world, I want to make you feel like we are one in the same. What sets me apart from others would be my versatility! I believe that I am not subjected to just one artistic style, so I am able to connect with a more diverse audience.

What were you like growing up?
Level headed and go-getter! Whether it be in sporting competitions or just by having all older brothers, I was that tough chick who didn’t put up with no crap. I was a very social kid and had many friends growing up. Since my parents were in the military, I traveled often and lived in new places and made new friends regularly. I think not having a stable household hold growing up, made me more adaptable to my environment than most kids my age. I had a tough exterior but was a sweetheart at the same time…I think that this still stands true haha.

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