Krystal Bilberry you bring us so much JOY! It comes as no surprise that we are all needing a little more Joy in our lives these days. As luck would have it, the latest talent to join Well + Wonder is striving to do just that - to bring joy and life to collectors. It is our greatest pleasure to introduce to you all Krystal Bilberry!
Holding onto light and joy are inherent to Krystal's being. Growing up in an environment that presented many hardships and challenges was difficult, but rather than allowing life's difficulties to overtake her Krystal became a seeker of light, a lover of the good, and a student of joy - a mission that is a driving force behind her work. Krystal views art as a light for finding joy. She is interested in how colors play together on a canvas and connect with the inner spirit to express the beauty in the world. Mark making, layering and simplicity come together in her paintings to reflect the joy she feels deep inside. The first in her family to attend a four-year college, Krystal has a BFA in Interior Design and an MEd in Counseling Psychology/College Administration from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She and her husband live in the coastal area of Southeast Virginia with their four small children. We are so pleased to finally introduce Krystal as a Well + Wonder artist and loved getting to know her better through our rapid-fire Q&A. If you are anything like us you will be incredibly inspired by this talented artist! We could hardly wait to debut all the goodies straight from Krystal's studio tomorrow at 9am. Welcome, Krystal Bilberry, we are so thrilled to have you as part of the Well + Wonder team!
What is currently on your nightstand?
My water bottle, cell phone and a journal.
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
I have recently been very influenced by Tricia Robinson. I love the freedom of spirit she paints with. She has really helped me to connect my art more with the heart of God and in doing so I have been able to bloom into my current style. I am also learning about Alma Woodsey Thomas. She was an American expressionist painter known for her colorful abstract art. She was the first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the first to have a piece of her artwork in the White House Collection. She created her work during the Civil Rights Movement but her art didn’t reflect the turmoil of the times but rather the joy and beauty of God’s world. We are very similar in this way. Although our nation is going through so much right now, I can only paint what God inspires me to paint, and that’s joy.
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
My most memorable moment as a young person would probably be anytime spent with my grandparents. My grandfather was my first art teacher and he taught me how to draw. I loved the moments when I would go to his house and he’d say, “Krystal, come to the table and let me show you how to draw something.” My grandmother was my first and forever mentor and hero. She constantly poured wisdom, encouragement, and warmth into my heart. Being surrounded by the love and care of my grandparents was my safe place as a child.
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
Can sunlight be considered a “supply”? Painting in natural light is good for the soul and the paintings always turn out brighter.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
My favorite room in my house is the kitchen. The light comes through the windows and floods the white countertop of the island and everything is so bright. I don’t have a studio yet so I paint at the island a lot. With four small children, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen so I’m glad it’s my favorite room in the house. Also, for some reason when I am washing dishes or cooking, I often hear God speaking to me. He has moved so many mountains in my mind while I was cooking or cleaning up for the night.
What is your biggest score online?
I have a secret obsession with ThredUp! I have to constantly uninstall the app from my phone so I can stop the madness. Besides, we’re not going anywhere very much these days with a pandemic, so why am I filling up my closet with new outfits? Duh, because why not!
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
A collective is a sweet word that simply means “community”. Buying art from a community of curated and talented artists makes art buying feel like connecting with good friends. The artists in this collective are not just curated for talent, but also for the genuineness of their character. When you buy art with Well+Wonder Collective, you can be sure that the quality of the art and the heart of the person who made it are exceptional. If you are new to buying original art but feel overwhelmed about which piece to buy then I recommend reaching out to the artist you are interested in buying from. Tell the artist about yourself and/or your space and they can lead you to the perfect piece in their collection. It takes out the guess work for you because and artist can find what you are looking for in their art very easily.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
Am I allowed to skip the museum and go to Barcelona to see the architecture of Antoni Gaudi? I would just stand there in awe probably drooling in front of one of his uniquely designed buildings.
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
Seriously, any hotel that comes with a complimentary full breakfast or any hotel with a room that overlooks the beach.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
Red, oh yeah! She’s bold, wild and free and that’s what I want to be!
I can never get on a plane without….
Let’s just take off the “without” from this question because I do not like flying even though I have before.
How did you get into the world of art?
I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. After graduate school I started making paintings as gifts for friends and one friend showed my work to a woman who owned a shop that sold art. Immediately the woman offered to sell my art in her shop and she asked me to participate in an art show/fair. That was my first art show, then I became hooked and signed up for numerous art festivals from 2010-2016. After I had my third child I stopped selling art for a while. Now that our family is complete I’ve been actively selling my art on Etsy since last winter. I set a goal to create a collection of florals and see if I could be accepted to a gallery and Well+Wonder responded enthusiastically! I am so thankful to work with Mollie and to be a part of a community of such talented women!
What do you do to relax?
We live in coastal Virginia so I love to go to the beach with my family or a couple of friends. Reading, painting, praying by the beach is the most relaxing experience for me.
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
The closer I walk with God the more inspiration comes. Whether I am overflowing with gratitude or emotional distress I find myself inspired because in both circumstances I cling to Him. I believe that a call to create is a call to worship, so it makes sense. Inspiration comes like a flood and sometimes I just cannot sleep until I get some paint on a canvas.
Prediction for the Color of 2021?
Some shade of yellow! We all need a little sunshine happiness after this crazy year we’ve been through.
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
Dinner and a movie for sure! That’s been our go-to date ever since my husband and I met in college.
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
A floral painting in my dining room. I knew the piece would just be for me, so I didn’t feel a lot a pressure to perform. I painted whatever I knew would bring me joy every time I saw it. The whole piece sings and exudes happiness. You can’t look at it and not smile.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
Buy what you love! Art should fit the design of the room you hang it in, but it’s more important that it fits who you are and what you want to feel when you see it. Style and design always change, but a piece that resonates with you will always fit in your home no matter how many times you redesign your space.