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Emily Kalina

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About me

After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design in 2003 with a degree in Illustration Emily entered the gallery world in which she sold and exhibited her signature style of layered, textured, and patterned watercolors. 2009 marked a seismic shift for Emily from traditional media painting to creating artwork for commercial use. She combined her 14 years of experience painting watercolors into best selling scarves and a variety of products for Nine West Dress, Michael Kors, Barney’s New York, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Elie Tahari, Nordstrom, Target and TJX to name a few.

Using her watercolors as a basis for her current paintings, she combines her sharp eye for trends with an innate sense of color and style to produce vibrant artwork that is appealing to a wide variety of clientele.With an appreciation for pop culture, Emily creates amazingly vibrant designs, patterns, and intricate visual stories that are both trendy contemporary and comfortably classic in a single image. Kalina's work can be found on Amazon, Walmart, Better Homes and Gardens, Racheal Ray, Wayfair, Houzz, and Joss and Main among many others. Recently she entered a partnership with Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH to create artwork specific to the historic village, which can now be found on a number of products at the Museum's gift shop. in addition to selling a number of products and prints featuring her original artwork, Emily creates custom artwork and promotional products for a variety of businesses and private clients.


An Evolution from Traditional to Digital

I was classically trained with traditional media, ie: watercolor, oils, charcoal and pencil, but over the last 8 years or so I have transitioned from exclusively painting with watercolors to drawing and painting digitally.

I began drawing with a blunt stylus on an iPad mini 8 years ago for fun, experimenting with it as a new, portable medium. It was a useful tool for sketching elements I then incorporated into prints for product design. I spent the first half of the last decade designing prints for scarves and a variety of other products for major companies. In that line of work, the volume of designs you need to produce on a regular basis can be overwhelming. More and more I saw the benefit of working on an iPad because although I started out as a purist, I could see the writing on the wall that selling through galleries and exhibiting artwork would go the way of the dinosaur. If I wanted to keep painting and make a living, I was going to need to think outside the box. So gradually over the past 8 years, I painted more and more on the iPad.


Now all of my paintings are done on an iPad with an apple pencil. The mark-making you see is me drawing/painting with an apple pencil that responds to pressure much like a brush or pencil would.

I use different apps but the one I use most is called ProCreate which allows me to design all of the brushes I use to the smallest specification. Because my first love is watercolor, I have designed brushes to mimic a cross between watercolor brushes and professional markers that allow for shading and layering called Copic markers.

Over the years the technology has evolved by leaps and bounds and I have adapted, learned along with it, and now feel lucky that I can make my living creating paintings this way.

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