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[Artist Interview] Falling In Love with Krista Darling

/// Falling in love with Krista Darling (real name Krista McKenzie) isn’t very hard. Not only is she an artist of several mediums, but she is extremely skilled in every single one of them. She has made custom pieces ranging from ‘wearable art’ dresses, paintings and sculptures. Each work of art is crafted with her signature style, enticing the viewer to take a second look.

“I strive to create art that captures attention; nothing in my world is boring. Whether it be fashion, painting, or sculpting. My goal is to ignite a spark in the viewer’s soul. To produce intrigue through a fresh perspective. Life is magical, and I want others to see how interesting life can be.”

“Above all, watch with glittering eyes
the whole world around you
because the greatest secrets
are always hidden in the most unlikely places.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
-Roald Dahl

Her mood towards art is refreshing, inspiring and incredibly motivating – her wearable art dresses prove this to no end. Krista was initially approached by Jan Strimple, a very well-known fashion producer, to design a dress for Baylor Hospital here in Dallas for the Texas Kidney Foundation. Her materials? Real X-rays, surgical gloves and paper.

The dress is now on display in the newest building of Baylor in a beautiful glass case, giving passersby no option but to take in the incredible sight of the sculpture. Her next major project was to design another wearable art masterpiece for the FGI (Fashion Group Intl) Awards in the Fall of 2010. The dress would be fashioned for the event’s presenter and sponsor, Cadillac.

Using only tape, poster board, metallic netting, wire and spray paint, the dress was an absolute hit. These two events are the biggest career-wise for Krista. “They both taught me so much about networking, getting out of my comfort zone and trying something new. I had never made anything out of uncommon materials until the Baylor dress, but it was something I instantly loved. The tasks were perfect and combined the things I adore; creativity, fashion design and the art of sculpting.”

Krista’s love of art doesn’t stop at dresses. She’s made beautiful paintings for friends, family and people who have reached out to her via social media. In 2012, she lived in Italy for 3 months while in a program for Christian artists who want to make a difference in their art and contribute to communities in a positive way. Familiarizing herself with the Italian Alps, she spent every day  exploring, delving into the culture, mediating and getting to know herself completely as an artist. During her time there she was asked to create a mural for a Salvation Army in a nearby village, called Torre Pellice. The piece represents the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ and is one of her favorite art works to date.

She began marketing herself as a custom artist soon after returning home from Italy. “I used to be scared of my artistic ability, and that I might not live up to the client’s expectations. You will never be successful as an artist if you don’t put yourself out there. It’s true when they say ‘you have to fake it till you make it’. Appearing confident and taking the initiative to get your work seen makes all the difference.”

To be successful as an independent artist, having a clientele is essential.  The personal connection she makes through her art has gained her a loyal following,  and she is beginning to do custom pieces more  and more frequently. She recently completed a painting for a girl who found her online. She was given the mood, scheme and a photo of the client, and created this:

Feeling inspired yet? Keep up with this beautiful artist by following her social media websites below!

Facebook // Instagram // [email protected] for custom paintings

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