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Photo of Kiki (Kristen) Dondzila

Kiki (Kristen) Dondzila

Canton, MI, United States

My name is Kristen Dondzila, I just go by Kiki. I have spent most my life in Canton, MI where I grew up. As a kid I always enjoyed the unusual, unlike most girls I knew I was into drawing using my imagination and was more of a tomboy. Not only did I spend a lot of time inside doing creative things I also spent a lot of time outside exploring nature. I enjoyed snowboarding and even motocross. Always that attempt to live life a little bit on the edge. At Schoolcraft College I played soccer on a full scholarship. I believe that playing sports and being active has made me the hard worker I am today and why I enjoy pushing myself to the next level. While I was at community college I spent any free time I had (which wasn't much) painting because it is what I really loved to do. This is when I realized I was done playing soccer and just wanted to be an artist, only problem was I wasn't sure what major I would go into. I didn't want to go into painting because I was worried about becoming one of the starving artists. After a bit of research I chose Motion Graphics attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, SCAD.At SCAD I was able to get portfolio and academic scholarships. Yet after my first year of being a Motion Graphics major I realized I wasn't enjoying myself anymore because I had no time to paint. Even though I had excellent grades and was learning a lot, I just felt very limited by being on the computer all the time. I ended up taking a year off, working for a while and spending time painting. I continued to look into other majors that would be a better fit for me. This is when I found illustration and honestly, going back to school for this major, was the best decision I could have ever made. My experience in illustration has been life changing. I came back to school with a whole new mind set and have been spending every single day learning and pushing myself to be a better artist. Although for me it wasn't enough, I wanted to do something different, bigger and better! Over my two week break before fall classes of 2013 I decided to take one of my digital illustrations and recreate it as a large scale painting. Mostly because all the digital classes I was taking really just made me miss working in a traditional medium. The digital illustration I choose was Mad Monkey and it was the first in my circus zombie series. The first question I asked myself when starting the first painting was oils or acrylics? The answer was found by looking up one of my favorite artists Greg "Craola" Simkins, he too worked in acrylics, also I'm not to fond of oils in the first place. From here my process is simple but very time consuming. It starts off just like my digital work and work up my values in grey scale before adding color. I work up my color/paint is layering and I mean layering a lot! The end result is well worth the time I put in. My passion has become working on large scale paintings, they feel so alive even the undead ones. My work represents a philosophy of creating images that I enjoy and have put a fun spin on. The beauty in the weird, unusual, and scary. Another important thing I live by is staying optimistic and open minded. Put your heart into everything you do, even when you do not succeed use it as a learning experience because no matter what, there is always something new to learn. The Images I create are either hand drawn or digitally sketched before working with tradition media or a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paint. I always use bright colors and imaginative characters within each piece, the type of work I enjoy doing is more character driven and fantasy. The current Painting I have been working on for art prize "Watering the Flowers" is really personal because through much of the positive experiences in life I have experience I have had just as much pain and hurt. The world takes innocences away and when you are a mother of a 18 month old the last thing you want to see is his innocence stripped from him because the world damaged him, but it happens because it happens to everyone. The world can be a dangerous place. The name Kiki comes from another personal experience good and bad. Bad things happen to good people because everyone is born good but just a little different. As humans we have been in this cycle for so long we don't realize every how bit of our existence is about the environment around us and how it effects us, how we effect each other. The problem is we individuals are different because of our minds and how they all work differently. We never try to understand each other because we only see what is on the outside and the the inside. I believe the world can heal itself but only through positive action and reaction, are we able to accomplish a greater goal for all of human kind. You can view more of my work on my website... I don't put everything on my website but I hopefully will get to have a solo show of my work in the future.

Kiki (Kristen)'s ArtPrize Entries

These are Kiki (Kristen)'s official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

  • Photo of Watering the Flowers (work in progress)

    Watering the Flowers (work in progress)

    2016 ArtPrize Entry Kiki (Kristen) Dondzila
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Kiki (Kristen)'s Past Work

These are images of past work that Kiki (Kristen) has done.

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