"Here's the story, of a lovely Schlady"
There might be a royal "we" sprinkled across Schlady pages, but it's all just me, Kelli! I'm the artist, owner, designer, button maker, meme curator, social media manager, online store admin, and customer service desk of Schlady. I guess that's where the "we" comes from... it's a lot of work being an artist on my own.
I'm most inspired by animals (especially cats!), colors, nature, silly memes, and the work of fellow artists. Born & raised in northeast Ohio, I'm currently living & loving it in Colorado Springs with my partner Dan and all of our cats (Bridgette, Piper, Sophie, and Mister). The mountains called, and I had to go!
Schlady's been a long time coming. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Columbus College of Art & Design in 2009, I opened a little Etsy shop a couple years later. My hope was to sell prints and greeting cards, but I didn't take it very far; my full time production design job was demanding & draining, and I only managed to create a few paintings and designs on the side here and there. With quite the change of scenery in moving to Colorado in late 2018, my artistic inspirations were completely refreshed and I brought Schlady back right at the start of 2019. Since then it's been so incredibly rewarding to do the things I love to do, including a "day job" I loved at a local indie bookstore as their stationery buyer. (A dream come true for my little kid self - being a real artist AND stocking all the school supplies & greeting cards at essentially a year-round Scholastic book fair!)
I'm honored to now be working solely on Schlady full-time as of fall 2023, able to constantly share my inspirations & expressions with those who enjoy living life just as colorfully as I do! I'm grateful for each & every customer, client, and stockist that keeps my art dream going strong.
Why the name "Schlady"?
It's honestly not too exciting, it started as a nickname in high school that I liked enough to keep using. I don't think of myself as much of a lady anyway so it's kind of like a "lady, schlady" jab too.
Third-person bio / artist brand statement:
Schlady is the brand name that encompasses artist Kelli Kohn's spectrum of art & design work of original acrylic paintings, art prints, greeting cards, stickers, buttons, and more. Kelli's colorful "painty" style is one of joyful expression, varying from Impressionist-like paintings of earthly local landscapes to ethereal galactic cat portraits. Kelli then takes textures and colors from these paintings to give life to more portable expressions of self, such as LGBTQ+ identities and relatable internet memes, as stickers & pinback buttons.
Kelli lives and works in Colorado Springs, with nearly 20 years of experience in the art & design world. They earned their BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design in 2009, and they have since worked in freelance greeting card design, logos & branding projects, both creative & production graphic design, and as a retail buyer specializing in stationery for an indie bookstore. These rich experiences have culminated into Kelli finally setting out to make art solely for their own Schlady brand, bright designs that reach out to others looking to express themselves just as colorfully.