Creating a Buzz

Kristin Beck’s artistry had humble beginnings—think paper placemats in restaurants coupled with any drawing utensil she could find—but it has assumed many forms.

“I want to say it’s been with me my whole life,” Beck says.

In what her husband calls the “Tarantino style of talking,” (a meandering but connected way of storytelling) Beck shares how she studied graphic design (or commercial art, as it was known “100 years ago”) and then fine art in college. She began doing graphic design again when she worked as a magazine production manager, photographer and copywriter in her 20s. Later, she owned her own art gallery in Orlando, and now she’s a creative-for-hire (or a freelance creative director, depending on her mood) and runs Art Buzz Studio in Oakland Park.

The art Beck does in her free time ranges as much, if not more, than her job titles. She is a painter, photographer, book binder, quilter and pretty much any other type of artist, depending on the materials she finds. Her main purpose is to elicit emotion—hopefully, she says, humor or happiness—using bright, expressive colors and textures and encouraging viewers to touch her art.

“I’m a big believer that artists need viewers just like viewers need art,” Beck says. “We need each other … but I also see that as a connection. As human beings, we all want to connect and communicate.”

Beck considers art a positive expression of emotions, versus the negative manifestations that occur when we repress them.

“We don’t give ourselves positive ways to express ourselves, and the arts do that. … I dare you to try to look mean or scornful while you’re skipping,” Beck says. “We’ve deemed those things less important, sadly, in school systems.”

To counter that, Beck hopes to bring the arts to her community. At Coconut Creek’s ArtsFest in September, Beck introduced herself to other artists and discovered many were interested in expanding the arts in Creek as well. She helped organize a gathering in March for Coconut Creek and West Broward artists to “connect, brainstorm and just talk about art.”

“I started the meetup with my agenda being no agenda. I did not want to dictate anything or to anyone,” Beck says. “I wanted it to be an open discussion [of how to bring arts to Creek]. The response was positive and people are ready to act. Ready to define a purpose.”

As for her own artistic career, Beck has created a series of workshops in hopes of becoming a teaching artist. In the meantime, as always, she wants to “make more stuff.”

To learn more about Beck’s art or to contact her about workshops or expanding the arts in Coconut Creek, visit thekristinbeck.com.

Crazy Abstract by Kristin Beck

Extras with Kristin Beck

Favorite artists: Photography: Abelardo Morell and Cindy Sherman; painting: Andy Warhol; printmaking: Star Shaped Press

Biggest inspiration: A desire to be heard, followed by making people laugh.

Favorite local artists: I have two local art crushes: Francie Bishop Good and Bernice Steinbaum

Tools of the trade: Sketchbook, Sakura pigma micron pens, a 6-inch ruler and camera phone

What to do when you’re “stuck”: Jump up and down in my studio and crank up the music.

Describe your work in three words: Colorful, emotional and tactile

Describe your creative process: With painting, my process is about exploration and layers and color mixing—all hallmarks of abstract painting. With book binding and quilting, I found the process of combining the substrates of each (paper and fabric) such a delight. … With photography, my process is about capturing a moment, not just to document things.

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