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Meet Lexis Krieg of Lexisworks in Englewood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lexis Krieg.

Lexis, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve made things for as long as I can remember. I took every art class in high school but when it came time to pick a major in college, my mom wanted me to pick anything but art. After a series of declared majors hovering around mass communication and art, I ended up majoring in graphic design (in the art department) and minoring in mass communications. My dream was to work in a design firm after graduation, but 2007 turned out to be a bad year to enter the work force.

I never found my dream design firm job and by 2011, I’d been laid off from two mediocre jobs. During this time, I was creating mixed media collages and selling reproductions at Denver craft markets. I continued selling my art at craft fairs and local shops while I worked temp and part-time graphic design jobs. When I had the opportunity to start doing freelance graphic design work, I bought my husband a six pack of beer and told him I wanted to quit my job. The benefit of working low paying jobs out of college meant that I really wasn’t taking a pay cut to freelance. Freelancing gave me more time to pursue my art interests which had expanded from collage to larger paintings and illustration.

Now that I have two small children, my freelance art business allows me to work and be home with my girls. One day I am creating an original, mixed media collage for a new client, the next I am designing next year’s calendar of my own artwork. I practice hand lettering while watching Disney movies and design promotional material during nap time.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
One of my biggest challenges is a mental one. For a long time, I didn’t consider myself an artist. Despite my years of creating, I felt like a fraud identifying as a real artist. There are still days I answer with “graphic designer” over “artist” when I am asked what I do for a living.

I have often thought one of the cruel twists of fate for an artist is having to promote themselves and their work. I am happy to be alone in my studio working. Standing at a craft fair talking about my work and my process to a complete stranger often left me feeling anxious. The birth of my oldest daughter was a good excuse for me to stop doing craft fairs. Becoming a mother has required me to evaluate how I spend my working hours. I’ve decided to let some aspects of my freelance business go because it no longer brought me joy.

Please tell us more about your work. What do you do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
Lexisworks is a colorful creative studio specializing in mixed media paintings, illustration and design. I am deeply influenced by my love for the mountains and outdoors so I have become known for my mountainous landscapes. I produce prints, cards and stickers from my original paintings, some of which feature overlaid typography. I have a distinct voice in my mark making, which makes my illustrations stand out. This can be seen in a large painting, an illustration for a housing poster or the hand lettering on our entryway message board.

I am always surprised at where my client’s vision takes my talent. After seeing my colorful, layered mixed media collages, I was asked to paint a storefront window in white line art. This has now become one of my signature styles and has led to murals and photography backdrops.

I have been commissioned numerous times to create custom pieces of art to celebrate the birth of children. These paintings feature layers of found papers representing the family and beautiful mountain landscapes. Each one tells a story of what the family treasures most.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
As my second daughter approaches her one year birthday, and with my oldest in preschool, I’m deciding what the future of my business will look like as my kids grow. I know that when they are both in school, I will have more time for larger projects. For now, I am looking to grow my illustration portfolio with the hope of landing an agent to help secure licensing deals for surface pattern and product designs. I would love to have somebody else searching for clients on my behalf.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
David Mjolsness, Jen Olson

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