Meet the Woman Behind These Mesmerizing Watercolor Flowers
Kelly Ventura started out as a graphic designer but picked up a paintbrush six years ago and never looked back. Her mesmerizing Instagram videos show the transformation of watercolor shapes into delicate petals and patterns. The resulting dreamy flower artwork steals the show on any gallery wall. The vibrant florals translate as captivating wallpaper, fabrics, and other home goods, too. And we’re not the only ones who can’t get enough of Kelly’s work—she’s landed partnerships with major brands like Crate & Barrel, The Land of Nod, Windham Fabrics, and Anthropologie. (She also has a super-secret new project launching soon!) We caught up with Kelly to learn the inspiration behind her beautiful blooms and snag some of her design tips.
How would you describe your design style?
My design style is gestural, fluid, and full of color. Playfully sophisticated. My painting style contrasts my home design style greatly, as most of my home is white, gray, and black. I love adding pops of color with art and textiles to a minimal, clean wall. It's easy to change things out with a neutral foundation.
Who or what are you inspired by?
I am inspired by bits of everyday life: nature, flowers, fashion, pattern, and color.
What is your favorite piece of design advice?
I get questions all the time asking how to get started in the industry and the best way to fine-tune your style. My number one piece of advice is to create every day! Start, create, fine-tune, and you will see your voice emerge over time.
What has been your biggest design challenge?
Designing and launching my branded wallpaper line. Being in charge of finding a manufacturer, selecting patterns, color, fine-tuning, marketing, and launching my first collection of wallpaper was no small task, but I am so proud of this line and can't wait to get it out into homes around the world.
What is your proudest design moment?
I've had the privilege of collaborating with some really great retailers on a wide range of home, gift, and children products over the past six years. It's such an amazing feeling to see a new product launch each time. It’s one of those "pinch me" moments that never gets old.
Do you have any design rules?
Just start. Sometimes starting is the hardest part of the process, but I've learned to get something down on paper. Once you tackle that step, the other steps seem to come along much more naturally.
What are your favorite sources for finding decor or supplies?
There is nothing like going into a small art supply shop and seeing every single gorgeous pigment perfectly organized by color on the shelf! As for home decor, I like a healthy mix of new and old. I have an obscene number of chairs that I've rescued from Craigslist, diners, and garage sales over the years.
How has your style evolved over time?
Before I started my design company, I was creating everything digitally in Adobe Illustrator, churning out vector-based patterns and icons for a wholesale gift company. I began painting with watercolor in 2012 and my style was very tight and rigid as I learned the basics of this new medium. Over the past six years, my painting style and scale have evolved into work that is more playful, loose, and full of movement and bold color. It's been such an adventure to watch it unfold, and I'm excited to see how it continues to evolve over years to come.
How do you make your work kid- or family-friendly?
I have three young boys that can often be found drawing, painting, and creating alongside me in my home studio. I love the way they approach painting with an open mind; it's a refreshing reminder that the process of creating is the best part.