Art Superstar

Contadina K

Get creative with Vivian from Contadina K

Vivian Keh
San Jose, CA
Artist/Writer/Newbie Home Orchardist

Have you always been creative and what’s the earliest work you can remember creating?

Yes, I've always been creative. My earliest crafty memory is sitting on the floor in our living room in front of a coffee table that was designated as "mine." I'd quietly sketch and paint there for hours while my Dad would watch TV and fill the room with his cigarette smoke haha, my Mom would cook dinner, and my older sister and brother would come and go.

What's your studio like and how do you keep organised?

Sadly, my studio is most often a disgusting mess. I have a short video of it on my YouTube channel, contadinaK. The studio is small, and a work in progress.

Bit by bit, I'm figuring out the storage solutions that will work best for me. As often as possible, I try to keep tools that I want to use always visible but not taking up counter space.

My little 7 lb. dog, Pupusa, has about a 14 in. x 14 in. square of prime counter real estate reserved for her, because, well, dogs rule.

Where do you look for inspiration?

My garden/farmden/home orchard.

Whats in your pencil case / camera bag?

Colored mists, juicy mixed media scraps, gesso, glue gun, heat tool, inks, blending tools, wet wipes.

Any tips for someone suffering from creative block?

Stop, go out, do something completely different and fun, and come back tomorrow. Or you can exhaust yourself trying to make something work all day, end up with something of a failed project, and come back tomorrow. I've done both, and believe it or not, there are major pros to the latter painful option. I've learned major stuff about myself and my craft with my failed projects.

Personally, I try not to look at other people's works, as I'm really interested in developing a style that is my own.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I feel most alive when I'm in my garden. I love being out there with my dogs, planting and tending fruit trees and vegetables, weeding, starting seeds. During the warmer months, I craft less and garden more. My interests are turning more practical lately, leaning more toward the edible garden and less pure ornamentals. In 2015, I'd like to gain some skills in grafting.

I am also a produced, "emerging" playwright, currently working on a commissioned one act for a theater in Los Angeles.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you so much for having me as an Art superstar - it's an honor!!!

Make sure to follow Contadina K on

Vivian Keh
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What's your favorite...

TV Show
Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Sopranos
I can't choose one. I'm honestly not a big music fan. When I'm working in my studio, I actually find it too stimulating/distracting.
Local Las Vegas - the yummy nooks and crannies away from the strip.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Cloud Atlas, Shawshank Redemption, Bridges of Madison County
Magazine / Book
Currently - Gaia's Garden
Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O'Keefe, Lian Quan Zhen
Watercolor & Colored Mists
Tool or Product You Couldn't Live Without
My Hot Glue Gun